I sometimes wonder how much of what I experience is a result of how I truly feel or how I think I should feel.

Do I actually love sitting next to a fireplace in a chunky sweater and cozy slippers drinking hot chocolate while snow falls outside? Or have I just seen that scene played out aspirationally in one-too-many perfectly set-designed photos and films?

Does that picture-perfect moment really equate to true bliss? I’m not so sure. This may just be what I think happiness feels likes because that’s how I so often see happiness portrayed.

When was the last time you experienced true, ear-to-ear bliss? That fleeting moment of intense focus, boundless love, and exhilaration, all combined?

These moments are so rare, so short-lived, and so all-consuming that we rarely have recorded memories of them. Stopping to take a photo or video means leaving that ephemeral moment.

If I am thinking about how the sun creates a lens flare behind my piña colada umbrella, or how my sunglasses look adjacent to my open journal, I am only scratching the surface of happiness, while the other part of my egoic mind thinks about how my “moment of happiness” will be perceived.

Looking at the last few months, my happiest moments were brief. A moment sitting with my eyes closed, listening to and feeling the power of the wind. The half-second I was actually able to stand up on a surfboard before face-planting into the water. Seeing my grandmother laugh while we FaceTimed. The time I skipped down the side of an active volcano, slipping and sliding on the lava rocks.

The only documentation I have of any of these moments is a blurry, shaky video of sand taken while running down that volcano. It’s not a photo I have any reason to share. It's not a photo you would see and think “happiness.” But if you could see my face, you would know it was one of my happiest moments.

I’m coming to realize that happiness is not about the photo. It’s not about how it looks, or how I think it should look. It’s elusive and camera-shy. It’s unpredictable and out-of-focus. And the more I allow myself to get lost in it, the longer it lasts.



Each month, either Mike or I (and often both of us together) write a note to the Holstee community. They might be personal updates, business updates or sometimes musings from our journals. This article is one such musing, a personal reflection I wrote a few days ago. I shared it with Mike and he encouraged me to share it with you. I hope you enjoy! - Dave

Did this resonate? Or do you have another perspective? I’d love to hear your thoughts

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