Brand Blanchard, former Sterling professor emeritus of philosophy at Yale University wrote an essay on the subject of happiness. He wrote:
“It is important to happiness not to think too much about it. The person who continually asks himself if he is happy is apt to miss his end. For happiness is, as Aristotle thought, a by-product of healthful and successful activity. Bertrand Russell, who wrote The Conquest of Happiness, remarked scientists are generally happier than artists, since they are commonly lost in objective tasks and not examining their own navels. What is important is to find what one can do best (generally, also the line most useful to others) and then do it with all one’s might. Happiness will come unsought. If one seeks it directly, one will be like the discontented, rich old ladies who haunt Mami hotels.
The main principle of my ethics is: to act as to make the world as much better place as possible. I have not lived up to it; no one has. But trying to live up to it involves constantly looking forward to the consequences of one’s actions, choosing those that are likely to be fruitful, and inhibiting action from impulse. Many people think, of course, that acting on impulse is a requirement of happiness; and I agree that impulse must be there, the stonger the better, provided it is under control. But seeking happiness directly, by blindly following one’s impulses, is too likely to end in hippiedom, drugs and the gutter.”
The most important thing I have learned is the necessity of reasonableness. The person who has the least to regret, who does most for his community, whose judgment carries the most weight and is the most trusted, is the person who is steadfastly and on principle reasonable. I don’t mean the ‘intellectual’ who is often an impractical bore. I mean the person who, in matters of belief and matters of action, takes as his principle: adjust your belief or decision to the evidence..
There is no one ‘meaning of life.’ No two lives have the same value. The richness of a life depends not on the amount of happiness it achieves but on finding out who one is – i.e., about one’s unique combination of powers – and then discovering through experiment and reflection what course of life will fulfill those powers most completely.”
What are your unique powers? There are probably several things you can do especially well…things you enjoy doing that will automatically provide great service to others. If you can figure out a way to use these special talents in service to others and make that your main focus, you have a very good chance leading a life filled with happiness.
For now, Earlynn’s just sayin’