An Annoying Cliché About Happiness

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Last week, my good friend, Charis from Charis Rowland Photography, and I took some time out to focus on thinking outside the box when it comes to our photography. We both focus on wedding photography, but for me things are changing.

After eight years, I no longer desire to pursue the wedding industry, but I’m not ready to give up photography all together, so I’m exploring other options, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, and opening myself up to see what I discover.

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While Charis and I were talking, I had an epiphany, and when I tell you what it is, you’re going to roll your eyes at the cliché of it all, but I’m serious, it’s like a light went on in a huge way for me.

Things Don’t Make You Happy.

See, I told you it’s an annoying cliché, and I’m sure you’re expecting me to follow it up with an equally annoying cliché scripture about being content and laying up your treasures somewhere in heaven, but I’ll spare you agony, but I can’t leave you hanging on the edge of your seat either, so I’ll elaborate.

Charis and I both agreed that being published in wedding magazine was it, and by it, I mean the pinnacle of wedding photography. It tells the world, I’m the real deal, pay attention to me. Most photographers who plan to make their mark in the industry, set their eyes on getting published, and that’s a great thing.

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Just like any good wedding photographer, I set my sites on some of the biggest wedding magazines and worked hard to get there. I’ve been published a few times, nothing big, but still, it’s exciting to see your work in print. I think I got 100 magazines to share and show off the one thing I wanted as a photographer.

I got my thing.

You know what’s coming next, let’s say it together, it didn’t make me happy.  Ok, I lied.  It made me super happy, and now everyone in my family has, like, two copies of my photography in print.September_14-0102 BLOG



That’s when it hit me, like an apple falling out of a tree and clonking me on the head, finding happiness is never about the destination or the thing.

Happiness is found in the journey.

When I live with the mindset, I’ll be happy when…, then I loose out on so much happiness along the way.

This isn’t a post to say things are bad, and if you pursue things, want things, then you don’t love Jesus, you’re full of pride, and you obviously don’t have any treasures in heaven. I’m not even saying you need to be content with less to leave more room for Jesus.  I’m not saying you can’t enjoy this life, if you expect to make it to heaven.  Nope.  None of that.

I’m not here to hate on things, because I like things, and I believe things are gifts from the One who loves to shower us with good and perfect gifts.


I’m saying if we learn to enjoy the journey, choose happiness in the right now, practice gratitude, and love with a whole heart, then our happiness won’t be disappointed when we get to our thing.

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Growing up as a Christian, we loved to say, Lord Jesus, things are bad around here, I cannot wait until I get to heaven where I can finally be free from all this misery!

We’re on a larger journey called life, and that destination is death, and then on to the afterlife.  What if heaven is just another thing on our list? What if, we get to heaven and realize we missed out on a lifetime of happiness, because we couldn’t be happy until we got our thing called Heaven?

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What if the talent, in the parable Jesus shared in Matthew 25, is just our choice to be happy on the journey of life?

Maybe our real purpose here is to share that talent of happiness and love, multiply happiness every where we go, and with everyone we meet?

What if when we get to heaven and say, but Jesus I was afraid to be happy in life, so I buried my happiness, but I can be happy with you now?

What if Jesus says, I gave you a life, and you choose to bury it? Depart from me?

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How can I be happy on the journey when things aren’t perfect, when things aren’t good?

I choose to be happy by first, practicing gratitude, and then, looking for the good on the journey to reach my goals.

So I as I dream, plan, and set goals for my photography, I have new things I’m excited to get, but until I get them, I’m going to slow down, and be happy on the journey to my next thing.

7 thoughts on “An Annoying Cliché About Happiness

  1. Charis says:

    Such a great reminder! When I think about the times I’ve enjoyed life the most, it’s the times when I’m doing something I love, with someone I love, and completely letting go of the outcome. It’s definitely not been the times when I’ve been so set on making a goal happen. (In fact, those are the times that cause the most unhappiness, because putting that thing on a pedestal makes me feel inadequate, frustrated, and incomplete.) Thanks for posting! 🙂

    • Charity says:

      Putting that pressure on yourself is good sometimes, but I agree with you, when it becomes something that zaps your happiness, then it’s time to readjust. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. Jennifer says:

    It may be a cliche but it’s one we don’t really think about and take to heart enough. It’s a good realization and I’m glad you had that time to reflect. I particularly love the nature pics you took in this post! The woods & path and the squiggly trees are so pretty and peaceful!!

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