This book based on the works of great philosophers, deals with how to identify and develop the state of mind that leads on the path of lasting happiness and well-being. Here is an excerpt from this book:
We must determine what makes us really happy, then look for how to reach it. Happiness seems difficult to achieve because there is no universal recipe to be happy. What some are looking for to be happy, others have already found it but they are still not happy. This is shown by the following quote: "I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet”. This man, who could not afford shoes, had reason to complain and not be happy: he had to walk barefoot, everyday, everywhere, on burning ground, rocky and thorny, or in the cold. Those who have already walked barefoot in the warm sand, know how much the soles of the feet suffer from it, and they could confirm how nice it is to have shoes. Yes, this man was right to think that he would be happier if he had shoes. However, he realized the privilege of having feet to walk when he met that disabled man for whom, having shoes was far from being his first concern. He would have been happy if only he could at least walk barefoot. Since that day he stopped complaining, and decided to appreciate his chance, this happiness of having feet to walk. He realized that others are more misfortuned. Many things that we have, and to which we no longer pay attention, would make someone happy. Yes, the conditions of happiness are not the same for everyone. We always think we could not be happy without certain conditions. Someone would say: I’d be so happy if I had a little more money. And he would remain in the unfortunate expectation of that day he would have enough money to be happy. Another would say: I’d be happy if I could find the love of my life. And life would be morose to him if ever the dreamed love was found. I would be so happy if I found work, would say another one. And during the period of unemployment he could not perceive all the other sources of happiness he has around him; his sadness would be so great.
We also hear others say: how to be happy with this gloomy weather? Ah, I would be happy if I could live in a sunnier region! And they are waiting for the good weather to be happy.
However, we have already seen richer people who are not really happy. They seem to have everything we need, but they didn’t find happiness. Or people who live with the woman or the man of their life, who are not happy. They still miss something. Thus, the right question to ask oneself is this: have I really decided to be happy?
It is a wrong conception of happiness that prevents men from being able to reach it. We are often persuaded, consciously or unconsciously, that happiness depends on what we have, who we are, or on satisfactory external factors. Studies have shown in recent years that those who are truly happy draw their joy and happiness from a state of mind that they have been able to cultivate over the years, transcending external factors and living conditions. It is the culmination of a construction that requires the will to achieve it.
Yes, happiness comes from other things than what we have or who we are...