Throw Away Your Happiness Checklists.

March 9, 2021

Throw Away Your Happiness Checklists.

May 29, 2023

I love Arthur Brooks’ regular column “How to Build a Life” in The Atlantic. In this recent piece, he writes about keeping score and checklists: “She who dies with the most checked boxes wins, right? Wrong.” We know that midlife and later can be a time ripe for fulfillment, the satisfying completion of a life well-lived; but what fulfillment means to one person may be completely different from what it means to someone else.

Beware of defining your happiness based upon someone else’s checklist. Finally, as poets and philosophers have told us since the dawn of time: Happiness arrives when you don’t pursue it. Sometimes, we just need to let life miraculously unfold—led by the twin sisters of Serendipity and Destiny.

American writer E.B. White expresses the delicious daily dilemma of later life succinctly, “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”

Enjoy your day, whether you’re saving or savoring.

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