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In search of happiness

by Craig Emanuel

Yesterday afternoon I was fortunate to be able to see an early screening of a truly wonderful new movie entitled Hector and the Search of Happiness, a movie directed by my friend and client Peter Chelsom. The film is based on the book of the same name written by Francois Lelord and is the story of a psychiatrist named Hector who goes on a journey to try and understand what it is that makes people happy. His motivation for this journey is, in part, to try and address various shortcomings in his own life.

In the course of Hector’s journey he travels through China, Africa and finally to Los Angeles with each adventures helping him fulfill the goal of his journey. Hector constantly asks people what it is that makes them happy and are they happy in their own lives and then writes down their answers or his revelations in a journal given to him by his significant other.

One such revelation which stuck in my mind was the notion that you cannot find happiness by avoiding unhappiness. An interesting concept which I have thought quite a lot about over the last 24 hours which has led me to explore this a little further today.

The simple truth is that “happiness” is not something that is just bestowed upon us. It is a state of mind that we have to work towards achieving in a proactive way.

It is not sufficient nor feasible that we continue to avoid placing ourselves in situations that could lead to unhappiness as this negative approach in life could result in us existing in a world of constantly avoiding vulnerability, a state that we have to be willing to accept if we want to find true love and happiness. If you always take the safe road and are never willing to allow yourself to become emotionally at risk, you may miss out on what could be some of the best moments of your life.

We live in a world full of challenges. Each day we read or hear of a person whose life was cut short for no good reason. Having experienced this with members of my own family and friends, I perhaps try and live my life with the attitude that we should live each day to it’s fullest and enjoy life in the best way we can. If there is an opportunity to do something that will make you happy then I say “go for it.” Don’t be afraid to occasionally put yourself out there. Don’t wait for the world to come to you because if you do, it may be a long or endless wait.

Go out and seize each day and try and make a difference. It is amazing what comes back to you even with the simple act of smiling at someone on the street or asking someone how they are doing! Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Focus on what you do have and what you can achieve if you just give it a go!

People look to time in expectation that it will eventually make them happy, but you cannot find true happiness by looking toward the future.”

Craig Emanuel

About Craig Emanuel

Craig Emanuel is a partner at Loeb & Loeb LLP and heads the firm’s Entertainment Department and Talent Group. His practice includes representation of high level writers, directors, actors, producers and production companies in all aspects of motion picture and television transactions, both at the studio and independent level. Craig is also involved in the negotiation of strategic distribution relationships with the major studios including licensing of digital media content. To read more of Craig's writing, please check out MY DAILY THOUGHT.

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