I am beginning to believe that this is not a sustainable state. Is something wrong with me because I am not happy 24/7? My life is surely not worth living because I am not happy all the time. I must be doing something wrong. Happiness is the goal, journey and sole importance of our being. If I’m not happy ALL the time I should get therapy or get some pills, like all the other happy people out there. I must have some chemical imbalance because anything other than happiness is not normal. That is what life is all about. That is what makes it worth living - personal happiness. There is something fundamentally wrong with me if I am not happy all the time. This is what we have been led to believe. I am beginning to feel that this is once again some more bullshit that we have bought into hook line and sinker. Of the 3 decades I have been looking for this it has been elusive and fleeting. It has never lasted more than a few months or days at a time. Now, I am not suicidal or chronically depressed but I must say that I do get the blues once in a while but most days I am just content -not happy, not sad, but content. But somehow I feel that this is not enough, that the grass is greener over the hill that I need to feel happy all the time to feel truly alive, for life to be worthwhile. The more I have actively tried to obtain it the further I got from it. It came when it came and it went when it went so in that sense I think it may be an empty pursuit. I think we can try to increase our chances of being happy through our actions and deeds and it is a very nice feeling but I question of validity of happiness as being the sole measure of your life. Don’t you need know sadness to know happiness? Does it make sense to be happy all the time? Does it make sense to feel that we have to be happy all the time? We of the “me” generation, in this American “pursuit to be happy culture” have been led to believe that happiness is the only truly important thing in anyone’s life. But looking at history and other cultures it is far from being true. My Finnish friend said that they feel the American pursuit of happiness often comes up empty and forced like a fake smile or nicety and that we put happiness on a very high pedestal. Sure they value happiness but what they value more is stability and security. Happiness is not a measure of your state of success in their society. Safety, security and surviving the harsh winters have molded their national character to value different things besides happiness. Happiness never gathered wood or fought off bears. It never made you want to improve anything either. People who smile too much are perceived as being mentally unbalanced, idiots; and going after only your personal happiness often is perceived as a selfish endeavor not great in group survival cultures such as theirs. I don’t know if this is just his take on Finnish society but it struck me that this universal pursuit of happiness is not universal and it is far from being a natural state of being for most people. It is something that we have invented as a goal for ourselves, and making ourselves miserable. He asked me why I thought it was necessary to be happy 24/7 and then asked me if I was an idiot.