A rephrasing of this quote might look as follows: “Nothing will make you happy, but you can be happy with anything.” Many of us tell ourselves that we will be happy once we make a lot of money, find a new job, find our true love, or whatever. We have convinced ourselves that our happiness is contingent upon our circumstances.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In order to be happy, we must simply choose to be happy. Now, this may seem rather difficult because we have been conditioned to be affected by the situation we find ourselves in. I am alone, so I cannot be happy. Or a mountain of debt holds me bondage, so I cannot be happy. If you wait to be happy until you reach your ideal circumstance, then you will never be happy.
Honestly, based upon observation and experience, I have come to learn that life will never be perfect. Suffering exists despite our efforts to eliminate it. Life is a journey full of successes and failures. Despite the constant presence of pain and suffering all around us and within us, happiness is fully within our reach. In fact, “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul,” said Democritus, an ancient Greek philosopher. Joy is within us.
No matter what situation you find yourself in, you can choose to be happy. No situation can lead you to happiness. Only you can lead yourself to happiness. Another word to define happiness is “contentment”, or simply being satisfied with where you find yourself.
Do no get me wrong, set goals and strive to meet them, but do not despise where you are. The only way to get where you are going is to begin where you are. Be content with your life and your situation. Use all moments as opportunities to learn and to be completely satisfied.
Your journey towards success and holistic living does not have a destination. Your journey is the destination. Happiness is not the journey’s end; it is the journey itself. Find happiness or contentment within yourself. Though trials will come, they do not have the authority to dominate how you feel. Only you possess that authority.
Take control of your own happiness. It is no one else’s responsibility to make you happy. You are the sole proprietor of your contentment. Walk the path of happiness and invite others to join you, for happiness is best spent in another’s company. As the Dalai Lama said, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”