Most of us probably take this flawed approach to the pursuit of happiness in our life:
1. Figure out what you really want.
2. Go after it.
Sounds easy, right? But most people don’t even really stop to figure out what they really want.
Not what you want as in “I want to be wealthy” or even the relatively vague “I just want to be happy.”
These are not good goals or aspirations to have in recovery (or out of recovery, for that matter) because they are not specific enough to really be actionable. If you just “want to be happy” then how are you going to go about achieving that? Most people who say that they just want to be happy are pretty much spinning their wheels if you ask them what they are doing on a daily basis in order to achieve it.
So what is the answer? What is the solution? How should we try to live our life?
The answer is that we should seek passion. We should seek purpose. The point of the creative life in recovery is that we are going to push ourselves to create with real action. This has to be exciting. If you’re not excited about what you are creating, then you need to step back and evaluate again. Find your passion. What do you want to do? What gets you excited?
Want to be practical about all this? Figure out who it is you want to help the most. Then figure out a way that you can best do that.
Some people might want to work with young addicts in recovery. Others might want to raise money for the homeless. Whatever. Find your passion and get involved with it to the extent that your life has purpose.
If what you are pursuing loses meaning for you then you need to step back and evaluate again.
The goal is not to “be happy.” Find passion and purpose in your life and push yourself to create and you will be happy naturally. This is how to live in recovery.
Go create something. Go build something. Challenge yourself to use your own natural strengths and talents to do more with your life.
If you are good at helping people to recover, then go to meetings and sponsor people or offer to help people or whatever. Or go get a job at at rehab. Or go back to school and get a degree so that you can be a professional therapist.
But don’t just sit idle in recovery and do nothing to push yourself or to grow at all. Get out there, make something big happen!