Aristotle boldly claimed that that all human action is aimed at achieving happiness. That happiness is a universal desire. It doesn’t matter who you are or from where you hail; living a life full of happiness drives all of us. Every decision and action is either a step towards or away from happiness. In fact, happiness is the ultimate barometer of a life well lived.
I’m not talking about happiness as an emotional state of giddiness or exuberance. I’m talking about the happiness of a content heart, a sense of peace and joy, a belief in something bigger of which we are a part, and a desire to live a virtuous, meaningful life. Are pure joy & enthusiasm part of the equation? Sure. But they are feelings we flow in and out of- not a state of being. The difference? We can sustain a state of being deep within regardless of our external circumstances by making a conscious choice to do so, and then filling our lives with the thoughts, actions, and habits that support that choice.
Here is an awesome parable from www.simpletruths.com about our ability to draw more happiness into our lives through an intentional choice to do so.
“The Road To Happiness”
A native American elder walks slowly down the path. The leaves of the trees and the soft breeze protect him from the heat of the noonday sun. In his worn, calloused hand is the small, soft hand of his young grandson. The two walk in silence. After a time the grandfather interrupts the silence. “Grandson,” he begins, “there are two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is angry, vengeful, jealous and violent. The other wolf is peaceful, loving, compassionate and joyful.”
The boy looks up at his grandfather and asks, “Which wolf will win the battle of your heart?”
The wise elder replies, “The one I feed.”