Ask Chelsea: Happiness is a Manner of Traveling

by Borderstan.com April 5, 2013 at 8:00 am 0


Chelsea Rinnig is one of Borderstan writers. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Looking for advice on how to accomplish your goals and make changes in 2013? Email Chelsea at askchelsea[AT]borderstan.com.

Stop living by your fears and start living by your passions.

It’s the time of year that asks the questions: what am I doing, what is my next step and where am I headed? As the admissions letters arrive, the mid-year reviews roll around and another year earns a tick mark on the calendar, we are reminded of our goals and often wonder where our professional lives may be leading us.

Especially among my young friends (who may be too embarrassed to email these questions to Borderstan), I’d like to address this condition commonly faced by such driven individuals, particularly in a constantly striving city. So here it goes; my unsolicited advice:

“Happiness is not a destination but rather a manner of traveling.”

We spend so much time worrying about the end game and developing some kind of five-year plan for success that we blind ourselves from our current happiness and the opportunities that may arrive in the present.


Start your traveling. (Chelsea Rinnig)

From my experience, what I want to pursue changes constantly–instead of concerning yourself with what you think you might want in the future; think about what you want right now.

My advice is to stop living by your fears and start living by your passions. Now is the time. Not next year, not after the next promotion, not in ten years. If you do not commit yourself to that which you love wholly and totally, you will never succeed at it.

This doesn’t mean living irresponsibly — we’re not all cut out for the MLB or the White House. But if you’re questioning where you are at right now, consider taking some time to distance yourself from the throes of the workplace through a retreat or vacation of sorts and really evaluate what sort of daily work gives you happiness.

You may fail. If this is the worst that can happen, then you are bound to grow and become better as a result of failure. So follow what pleases you and start living by that standard — not some other standard of success by which we perceive the world judges us.

The path will unfold before you so long as you keep yourself grounded in what exists in the present and what you love right now.

Always, Chelsea.

Note to readers: Under DC Law, Chelsea Rinnig is not licensed to practice, and does not represent that she practices: psychiatry, psychology, social work or professional counseling of any kind. This column is written for entertainment purposes only. 

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