I was talking to a guy friend about some of what I had observed while dating in my 30s. We were talking about a certain men in their 40’s / 50’s who are successful, yet out partying, playing volleyball or other sports daily, traveling the world constantly and dating 21 year old girls who don’t care and won’t question. And yet at their heart, these men aren’t actually happy. There is a restlessness about them that is kind of sad.
My friend said something very astute. That their behavior was a misdirected pursuit of happiness. These types of men think that certain things which made them feel good while doing them, will make them happy. But happiness and feeling temporarily good are two different things.
And so these guys, they keep self medicating – with girls, with travel, with alcohol, with sports because they are trying to feel “happy.” But all they feel is “good.” So they keep doing more in an attempt to find happiness. But happiness is something inside of us – it doesn’t come from things. It comes from being present in our lives. And in being happy inside.
I should note that this particular friend understood this type of guy, because he himself use to be the same way. But he is now happily married and loving life on a much deeper, happier, more present way.
I’m not saying we can’t have great things, and great vacations, and awesome fun while drinking. But if we do those things when we know how to be happy on the inside – then we are truly happy. Not just feeling good, and constantly looking for the next feel-good buzz. But sustainably happy.
What about you? How do you distinguish between people who are truly happy, and those still trying to fill the void?
For a funny dating story, see Looking For A Few Good Men
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