Robert Birming

The joy of not knowing

Pete Doherty's reflection on happiness in the documentary Pete Doherty: Stranger in My Own Skin struck a chord with me:

Maybe happiness is not being able to know what’s gonna happen. Maybe if we knew the end of the story there wouldn’t be anymore story.

Thought-provoking. As if happiness is not essentially a phenomenon in itself, but rather the absence of something else: expectations, assumptions, preconceptions...

So much of our unhappiness would never take hold if we focused on the present instead of trying to predict the future. So much of our disappointment would more or less evaporate if we focused more on what we have than on what we think we lack.

This doesn't mean we should stop setting goals. We can continue to look forward with excitement and evolve along the way. This continuous journey is the real goal, not the imaginary endpoint that we may or may not make a brief stop at along the way.

Seeing the beauty and forward momentum of never reaching a final destination, perhaps this is the essence of true, lasting happiness.