The Task of Happiness
"Be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be... keep peace in your soul... With all its broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."
~ Poet, Max Ehrmann
A few things in our nature I believe we all crave: Laughter, Contribution, Peace of Mind, and Love.
We want to laugh so hard our bellies hurt, just as we did when we were kids. We want to feel our contribution makes a difference where we work. We want peace of mind; as the proverb goes, "a clear conscience is the softest pillow." And we want love, the kind of love that elevates our own sense of self worth; the kind of love that rocks our world.
Hardship, failure, disappointment and misfortune lurk in the shadows as if they want to prevent our happiness, or lessen it - all things we eventually face at some point in our lives.
Our best defense is nurturing our strength of spirit.
We can do this through education, prayer, meditation, reading inspiring books, engaging with stand-up people, volunteering our time for a relevant cause, and experiencing nature (hiking in a forest, listening to a waterfall... traveling the coast of Big Sur, CA etc.).
Happiness is a choice. But happiness takes effort. It won't chase you down, just as a lighthouse won't look for a boat lost at sea.
"Whatever else you do or forbear, impose upon yourself the task of happiness; and now and then abandon yourself to the joy of laughter."
~ Max Ehrmann