To Law or Not to Law: The Pursuit of Happiness

…I don’t know if Momma was right or if, if it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happening at the same time.
— Forrest Gump, in Forrest Gump 1994

Kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and now grad school. Every stage of my life seems to be a preparation for the next. Such preparations are necessary in learning, for one cannot learn calculus before knowing how to count, or cannot read before learning characters or the alphabet. Preparations imply a goal, and all the trainings I receive seem to be just milestones in a long journey that eventually will lead to a destiny. But after years of training, I look into the future, still with doubts about where my destiny is. And this feeling of doubt often creates worries and sometimes fears, which for the most times are unnecessary.

Luckily, there is another perspective of life, that life is a journey, and that it is not about the destiny, but about what is on the road. This perspective is relaxing, comforting, often joyous, for anything that happens on the road is interesting if one is curious enough. But since it precludes any fulfillment of  predetermined goals, it can be aimless and sometimes wasteful of energy.

Now I think that a certain degree of doubt is inevitable and necessary, but at the turn of life, when a decision is to be made, I learn to trust my gut, and ask myself, “will you be happy doing this?” And if the answer is yes, I will do it. And I also realize that enjoying the journey is as important as achieving goals. And from time to time, I ask myself, “are you happy at what you are doing now?” If the answer is no, I will start to make changes.

Published by

Wendong Wang

A chemist who blogs

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