Nov 05 2011
“…people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you’re fortunate enough. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don’t, you will eat away your innate contentment.”
- Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
Wow, that sounds about right. I think I’ve been downright negligent about my own happiness, after reading that. I am unbelievably guilty of having waited for happiness to fall out of the sky. The hilarious irony of that sort of illogic is that, well, are we ever really prepared for something to fall out of the sky? Besides, how big is happiness, and is it heavy? I don’t know if I could catch it if I was standing in precisely the right spot at the exact moment that it fell. For that matter, it might not even be mine. For all I know, I could be catching someone else’s happiness by mistake; someone who just happened to have their back turned for a second to tie their shoe. Seriously, should all the unhappy people just stand in an open field, with binoculars and catchers’ mitts? If there were a designated field where this were to take place, Starbuck’s would be there making a killing. Unfortunately, some of us wouldn’t even show up.