(originally published on LifesETC.com 3/24/18)

We all know the quote, “Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” But it wasn’t until a couple months ago that I finally¬†understood the quote. Happiness is a never ending journey and sometimes, it’s f-ing exhausting.

During one morning meditation, I got it: We are either moving towards the light or falling into darkness.

There is no resting place. No “level” we reach and simply enjoy. Even buddhist monks must maintain their daily meditation practice.

I know exactly what I need to do to be happy. My marching orders are simple: Spend time with God, exercise, write – repeat! Three little things to do every day to keep me on track.

But some days, I just want to zone out and watch a “Naked & Afraid” marathon. Or some days I tell myself I need to do X, Y and Z. There’s been some seasons where I decide my “majors” list is actually 10 or 20 things long and I do everything EXCEPT the original three. And I’m guilty of sneakily telling myself I should check out literary agents and places to submit short fiction instead of working on the freaking NOVEL in progress.

What’s up with that?

While there should be plenty of time in a day to do my major three,¬†plus anything…it’s like I self-sabotage and am only able to get the extras done.

I have in me a huge fear of failure – and that intense fear keeps me in a weird, comfortable limbo of going nowhere.

Novel not finished? Failure Fear says, “Can’t be rejected!”

I know I need to push through the fear.

The only way to do that is by making the conscious decision every, single, damn day to do what I need to continue on my happiness journey no matter what else pops up. No matter how exhausting it may be.

Because when I stop…whether for a day, a week or a month, I begin to allow depression and anxiety to rule my world. That’s the whole “falling into darkness” part.

It doesn’t happen immediately. That’s why depression is so dangerous. It sneaks up on us one day at a time without our even realizing it, until we feel miserable. It’s different for everyone, but the journey concept is not.

The whole never ending journey concept is true for my marriage, friendships and relationships with family.

And guess what – it’s true for you too.

Yep. I’m calling it. I’m putting you in my bubble – even if you’re blissfully less crazy than me – and saying that right now, in your life, you are either doing what you need to do to be the best version of you or are settling for some lesser version and some level of sadness.

Remember: We are either moving towards the light or falling into darkness.

Think about it. What are your major three? Are they ingrained in you? Or do you need to work to make them a daily habit?

I literally have a check list, created with 29 days to check off (29 days to a new habit). I’m sharing a blank version of it with you. It’s divided by the “Major Three” and the “Extras” to accomplish each day to stay moving towards the light.

Happiness is a journey…a never ending, sometimes f-ing exhausting journey. But it’s worth it.

Much Love, H

29 Days of Happiness