The ultimate pursuit in life

Years ago, when I was going through my first big break-up that ended a 5 year relationship, my closest friend told me something that has stuck with me ever since. It has been the biggest and most profound lesson I’ve learned in terms of happiness and relationships, that took me a long time to learn. He told me; ”Max, you have to accept and be ok with being alone for the rest of your life. Because there is a chance, however tiny, that you might not find that one person. So your life and happiness cannot depend on you finding that person.”

I did understand the logic behind that statement right away, and agreed that that would be great, obviously. But it did indeed take a very long time for me to be able to get to that point in life. It’s not about settling for not finding that one person, deciding on someone you can tolerate or just have as good company through life. Nor is it giving up on the pursuit completely. It’s about realising that your own happiness in your own life cannot come from something or someone outside of yourself. You cannot give up control over what makes you happy to something you have no control over.

That will only lead to a turbulent and unstable life. In the end, you are the one who is responsible for your needs, wants and desires. You are the one that has to fight for whats right for you. You are the one who has to demand the love and treatment you deserve. You can’t wait for someone to come around, and by chance realise your worth. You have to claim it. You have to own your happiness. Self-responsibility, that’s what it comes down to. Don’t let someone else dictate whether you are happy or not.

In the end, what this has afforded me is the distance to people and situations, and understanding the big picture. It’s given me the perspective that, really, I’m a infinitesimal part of society, that in itself is a infinitesimal part of our world. What happens around me, whether that be other peoples actions, natural phenomenon or just dumb luck, has very little to nothing to do with me. I’m just along for the ride, and I get to both reap the rewards, and take a hit like everyone else when something goes wrong. That’s life.

Finding happiness in the uncontrollable nature of life, is the ultimate pursuit. The ability to flow with life’s ever changing circumstances, making your place in the world where you can contribute in a way that you find fulfilling and worth your time. Realising that you have the same right to not only exist, but be happy and create what you find missing in the world, as anyone else. Realising that, accepting and embracing that, is the, though extremely uncomfortable, but ever so freeing act that will allow you to live your life to the fullest.