Sometimes I feel a tension in my life between being good and being happy.
One of the things I strive for in life is to be good. I want to be excellent at my job. I want to write articles and books that change people’s lives. I want to be great at CrossFit. I want to get stronger and faster. I want to be an upstanding citizen, and love God and others well. To sum it up, I want to be good.
But I also want to be happy. I want to take a break and just play. I want to relax. I want to feel satisfied with where I’m at in my work, writing, and athletic ability. I want to be happy even if I screw up or make a mistake. Always striving to be good can wear me out and leave me frustrated and grumpy.
So for me, there is a tension between being good and being happy. The more I strive to be good, the less happy I feel in the current moment. And the more happy I feel in the present moment, the more likely I am to just accept a mistake or problem, rather than trying to fix it.
I think it’s impossible to be 100% good and 100% happy. There’s an inherent tension between the two, and I’m not able have both all the way. I have to compromise.
Lately my goal has been to be 80% good and 80% happy. In other words, I try my best at work, CrossFit, and loving God and others, but I’m okay if I don’t succeed 100% of the time. As long as I’m good most of the time, I try to let the other 20% go. And I try to do the same thing with being happy. My goal is to feel satisfied with where I am at, but I’m okay if that isn’t my reality all day every day. As long as I’m happy most of the time, I try to let the other 20% go.
Discussion: Do you feel a tension between being good and being happy? If so, do you usually lean toward the good or the happy? What do you think about the 80% compromise?