The Happiness of Pursuit – an Invitation for Lawyers to Reframe Their Frame of Mind

As a lawyer who wears many “hats” in my work, I like to relax by watching movies.

Recently I watched a movie called “Hector and the search for happiness”.

The title intrigued me.

As a lawyer, mediator, wellness coach, I am always looking for ways to be happier. In fact, I believe that this has been the human condition for generations, wherein people have been striving to find happiness. I hope that this piece will give you some time to ponder ways in which you can increase your happiness and decrease the stress that is omnipresent within the legal profession.

In our search for happiness, many of us have succeeded in getting a glimpse of pure joy. Unfortunately, it’s fleeting, so we do all that we can to hold on to it for just a little bit longer. Scientists study the phenomenon in attempt to create a formula that will make happiness last forever.

However, what most of us do not realize is that happiness is in the eye of the beholder. The movie was trying to convey this very important message, namely that happiness can be found in every moment, and that it’s quite individual for each person. In one of the scenes women working as housekeepers, gathered in the street to have lunch together. The lead actor asks his companion, why are they so happy? She answers… they are happy to be together, in communion with one another and enjoying the few moments they have to eat together. Their joy was simply to have a meal together, and it did not matter that they were sitting on the sidewalk of a busy street and that in a few moments they would be back doing back breaking labour.

On the flip side, another scene depicts a very wealthy individual, who finds happiness in going to expensive clubs and paying to have people spend time with him. For him, happiness does not involve spending time with friends but rather having the ability to buy anything or anyone he desires.

I found the message very interesting, however one of the most poignant moment for me was when a professor who researches happiness, says that most people are in constant pursuit of happiness, rather than being involved in the happiness of pursuit.

As I pondered on that interesting play on words, I realized that running after some illusive concept that we call happiness, does not actually create satisfaction. The constant desire to achieve something new that will potentially make us happy for a fleeting moment in time, is actually an illusion. Most of the time, once we achieve the goal that we thought would make us happy, in a very short time, we will find another goal that we feel would make us even happier and off we go again in search for happiness.

What if we were to reframe the search for happiness, as the professor in the movie suggested. Rather than imagining new things that will make us happy, we create happiness in the daily tasks and the journey of achieving those goals. We do not wait to be happy when we reach a specific goal. We are happy in the pursuit and journey of those goals.

It’s a simple way to change how we approach our daily activities, which in essence will result in satisfaction and happiness on a moment by moment basis.

So I invite you all to enjoy one moment at a time, and feel the happiness of truly experiencing each snippet of the journey we call life. Be HAPPY in the pursuit of your joy, rather than PURSUING the happiness.



The information in this article is not therapy, counseling, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, mental health care/treatment, substance abuse care/ treatment, nor is it medical, psychological, mental health advice or treatment, or any other professional advice.

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