What do you think is the secret to happiness?
One of my favorite sites on the web is Farnam Street Blog…favorite enough that it is among the few links I share on my “Links of Note.” My Sunday mornings include a review of the weekly digest e-mail that the author, Shane Parrish, sends out.
One of the articles highlighted this week is about the secret of happiness,
There are so many people who don’t know what they want. And I think that, in this world, that’s the only thing you have to know — exactly what you want. … That’s the way to be happy.
So the way to be happy is to know exactly what you want? I disagree. Suggesting that happiness comes from knowing what you want (and pursuing it) strikes me as materialistic. What happens when you don’t get what you want? Knowing what you want is important, but it will not bring happiness.
The secret to happiness is gratitude:
Each of us enjoys countless blessings, more than we can count or even identify. The opposite of gratitude is the sense of entitlement–that somehow we deserve that which we have not earned.
But we do not earn blessings–they are given to us, and there is no quid pro quo with blessings. Even the fruits of our labors–what we have built or earned–ultimately depend on what we have received from others.
It doesn’t matter what you know, so long a you are grateful.