For as long as I can remember, Davonia and I have devoted several Saturday mornings a year to administering the ACT to eager college-bound students. Reading scripted instructions and watching kids bubble multiple choice tests provides a large supply of time for mental planning, day dreaming, and reading interesting things posted on the classroom wall.
My favorite wall posting of all time is one from John Lennon. It goes as follows:
When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.
When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I wrote down “happy.”
They told me I didn’t understand the assignment.
I told them they didn’t understand life.
When you get to the bottom of it all, the five-year-old got it right, he just realized it a lot sooner than most of us.
I recently read The Happiness Project at the suggestion of a dear friend who had just done the same. While I enjoyed the book, my biggest takeaway was that I was already there, and have been for a very long time. My favorite quote is:
“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.”
– L P. Jacks
What do you think? Is happiness the key? How do we get there? How do we know when we have arrived?