The Drive of Joy


“Do you know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you” – Thomas Jefferson

“The drive of joy..” hmm that’s kinda generic and blah… right ? Well, what if I reiterated the famous and important document of our great country? The Declaration of Independence.

There are so many possible interpretations of what Thomas Jefferson meant by  “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness “. Thomas Jefferson mentions “happiness” several times in the document. I would love to focus on a specific word, and it’s not “happiness” or “joy” but the most important word to me, “PURSUIT” or as the my title says “DRIVE.”

You might recognize some ideas and thoughts on this post that are synonymous with other posts, but that’s the great part, making connections through different points of view is key to developing and growing.

Let’s jump in the Delorean and go back to the topic at hand the word “pursuit” or drive. Motivation for happiness. Everyone’s happiness is subjective. I admire when anyone who pursues and  reaches their own level of happiness. Its like when Efren wrote about the two Target employees in Where You Want to Be. The older more hard working employee takes pride in their work versus the young employee texting and trying to do the least amount of work possible. There is an admiration with the older Target employee, one that we must all look up to.

Life is hard

The drive to happiness is what I admire, what I don’t admire is “I’m not happy” or “I’m so blah”. I ask the reason behind the current state of  not being happy and I get a generic response, “I don’t know, life is hard”

I’m not getting into specific examples cause I think most can assimilate with experience. Personally,  I really like helping people on so many levels; however, I don’t have the patience of Mother Theresa. I help, but I question the individual as well. I ask them “what would make you happy or put you in a better state of mind” and I get the generic response, “a million dollars”, “a better job”,  “to talk more with my family, have better friends”. All lovely things, but this is where my frustration and lack of patience comes in. Because, I ask the very simple question, what action have you taken to accomplish…(what ever would make them happy)”. Most of the responses I get are “nothing” or “you don’t get it, I don’t have time” or some excuse like that.

Skip the pity party

So Thomas Jefferson said “pursuit” of happiness, well how the hell can anyone do anything, especially be happy, if they aren’t doing anything about it. We control very little of what life throws at us; however, we control 100% of how we react to it and what actions we take. In order to truly pursue happiness, to have a true drive of joy, we need to skip the “pity party” and jump into action.

Make it happen

I’m 33 and my disappointments declined due to life experience and keeping an open mind with each different situation. I no longer focus only on what went wrong, but I look at what went right. I evaluate my actions in order to determine what I could do to better my situation. Everyone has the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”; we just need to look within to make that happen.

Eric is a father of one. He is police officer and former college football player.

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