Long term happiness isn’t always fun

My trumpet happiness project will hopefully help me on my long-term happiness as a trumpeter and human being. A big part of happiness, as I consider my trumpet playing, is being able to play at better levels the longer I play the trumpet. But the rigorous kind of practice that alone can help me really improve is not “fun” when experienced. So, I wonder if there is a point in which happy trumpet playing is no longer possible.

Right now, to me, the answer seems to be that long-term happiness is fundamentally different than having fun. Fun seems like happiness, because fun and happiness are (seemingly) the opposite of sadness, anger, contempt or fear. Yet, fun is a temporary state that seems to have left me puzzled in the past. And certainly when I tried to pursue fun, I have often been disappointed. Fun often leads to frustration and even sadness or anger. However, when I have pursued happiness, I usually go through a growing phase with a deeper understanding of life and of myself.

I think we trumpeters will just have to get used to the difficult feeling of deliberate practice that actually improves us. We have to embrace it and its lack of fun. In doing so, we will find a deep happiness.


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