HappinessFor citizens of the United States, there are few more profound certainties than thathappiness is good, possible, ...
Perhaps the most vital error we humans make regarding happiness is the mistake ofthinking it is caused by things outside o...
psychoanalyst, he chose to provide witness through his work with his patients andhis writings that happiness was not seate...
on the goal of helping individuals find the meaningful elements of their lives andthe meaning of their own existence as th...
heart into an alignment with the world where, regardless of conditions, the personfeels in harmony with themselves, their ...
cooking for a family. It may be singing in a choir, or saying daily prayers. Forsome people, it is texting friends.Think a...
avoided so long. No cure for it but to sign up at the local community college andfinally, finally learn math properly.This...
yet, there is a difference between becoming a cold zombie and learning to hold acentral calm and assurance in life.Let us ...
future. While that particular meaning can lead to pleasures, it seldom leads tosustained happiness. Why? Because it denies...
of expertise. Taking classes, developing related skills, and even giving classes toothers – each may extend your involveme...
a power sense of time coming and going, while getting you out of any ruts youhave settled in and keeping you alert and lea...
dross of your life, and it still seems to come up short, it may be time to start askingyourself what you are not doing tha...
can, in our own way, at least serve as small lights, spreading happiness through theworld and receiving some of the shine ...
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  1. 1. HappinessFor citizens of the United States, there are few more profound certainties than thathappiness is good, possible, and to be pursued. The very right to the pursuit ofhappiness is immortalized in the Declaration of Independence, after all: Soimportant a right as to serve as a cornerstone of an entire government and systemof social thought. Growing out of the philosophy of the Enlightenment, inparticular the Utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham and John Stewart Mill, theDeclaration of Independence holds out a vision of human existence in whichhappiness and the effort to achieve it are integral to human nature, and have aninescapable effect on human life and government.That is a mighty concept, and one that is becoming integral to the outlook of mostmodern-aligned societies and individuals. The hunt for happiness is central tomany of us. And, yet it often seems that very few achieve happiness, even in “freenations.” Happiness, far from being easy to identify, or easy to pursue in a logicalfashion, remains elusive, complex. Sometimes stunningly durable and strong,surviving in the face of war, famine, disease, and devastation; other times seemingas fragile as frost-blossoms on a windowpane, melted with a warm breath.The sensible, practical idea of happiness as a concrete, obtainable something oftenfails when put to the test of life. And, yet, there are few of us who do not desirehappiness. We struggle and yearn for happiness; we rate our success and failure interms of how happy we are. We rate our success as parents with how happy ourchildren are, and our value in our professions with the happiness of our clients. Ourdesire to be happy, and to give happiness to others, is so intense that people plantheir entire lives around it. Booksellers make much of their annual profit sellingself-help books intended to allow people to increase their happiness in one way oranother: make more money, lose more weight, enjoy better marriages, get betterjobs, and more.The conflicting versions of advice regarding the best route to happiness make atangle few can easily navigate. What one person recommends, another shuns.There are, however, old traditions and new wisdom that, together, do point to someobvious – and not so obvious – truths about happiness, what it is worth, and how tog et i t . The Choice for Happiness
  2. 2. Perhaps the most vital error we humans make regarding happiness is the mistake ofthinking it is caused by things outside ourselves, rather than generated insideourselves. That mistake is critical, leading us to apply the least effective methodsfor “pursuit of happiness” to our lives, rather than using the best practices knownto humans over all our history.It is an easy mistake to make. First, we tend to confuse happiness with pleasure:These are not the same thing, precisely. Pleasure is responsive: One takes pleasurein a good book, a delicious meal, good companionship, bright mornings, crisp fallweather, great basketball games, and more. We can also take pleasure inaccomplishments, realizations, and other abstracts. The point, though, is thatpleasure is dependent on external elements.Further, pleasure tends to be fleeting. Try to enjoy a dinner for hours and hours onend – it will not work even if it is a feast. By the end of the hours either you havebeen stretching a single cup of soup out until it is cold and flat, or you are stuffedas a result of gorging all that time on dish after dish. In either case, you are notpleased, and you are certainly not happy.Pleasure in music lasts the time the music is made, and flickers through the mindagain associated with memory; but when the music becomes an earworm, playinground and round and round your brain, it stops being pleasure-filled. A perfectperfume either dies to your sense of scent, or becomes penetrating and tooinvasive. A new job may please you for years, but the pleasure does not extend tothe times you are not at work – and even the best job has times when it isfrustrating, or boring, or stressful, or just plain not what you want to be doing atany given moment.Pleasure is not happiness. External experiences, outside forces – they can supportor challenge one’s ability to be happy, but they do not control happiness.Because pleasure is not the same thing as happiness, and is created by outsideforces that do not necessarily fuel happiness, any attempt to be happy that is drivenby the pursuit of externals is about as futile as trying to fill your car’s gas tank withham sandwiches. Your own mouth would like them – take pleasure in them. Butthe car would not – nor would those sandwiches allow the car to carry you one stepcloser to happiness.Victor Frankl was one of the greatest and most powerful voices discussinghappiness and its internal nature in our lifetimes. A Holocaust survivor and
  3. 3. psychoanalyst, he chose to provide witness through his work with his patients andhis writings that happiness was not seated in external sources, or powered by merepleasure.Dr. Frankl, his wife, and his parents were taken prisoner and incarcerated inTheresienstadt in 1942. In 1944, Dr. Frankl was transferred to Auschwitz and fromthere to Turkheim. During his time in various camps he served as a doctor, apsychiatrist, and as slave-labor. He experienced the broad range of miseries, terrorsand fears offered by the camps, and dealt daily with the effects of those fears andtorments on others. His wife and parents died in various concentration campsduring the period of the war, and when he was eventually freed, he was freed into aworld forever altered, both in the broadest of terms and in the most minute levelsof his personal life.Dr. Frankl continued to serve as a psychoanalyst after the war, and becameincreasingly interested in the nature of human happiness. In his time in the camps,he had seen the many ways individuals responded to their imprisonment and to thebarbarities they suffered, and he had seen that there were those who, even insituations as dire as the camps, seemed able to find happiness.In his own practice, also, he found people drew their happiness not from externalpleasure, but from the relations between the inner and outer world, with the outerproviding goals, dreams, relationships, and the inner providing the ability toresolve and commit to the external world. Not pleasure, but understanding andmeaning created “happiness.” In time he came to believe that happiness grew fromthe way people perceived their own existence – an internal understanding of theirrelationship to an external world – rather than being “made happy” by externals.Frankl did not disdain pleasure, as some traditions would, nor did he espouse anyforms of asceticism as such. He understood that the pleasure of engagement withthe world – fleeting though it might be – enriched and embroidered the experienceof life, and that each tiny pleasure could enhance happiness. However, he did notconfuse those pleasures with happiness itself; they contributed and supported, butdid not cause happiness. Modern Existentialism Meets Buddhism: Happiness as EnlightenmentFrankl ultimately founded what is called the “Third Viennese School ofPsychotherapy,” logotherapy or Existential Analysis. Existential Analysis focuses
  4. 4. on the goal of helping individuals find the meaningful elements of their lives andthe meaning of their own existence as they understand it. Frankl’s assumption isthat this meaning will be an integration of inner and outer realities, in which aperson invests himself in the very actions of life aimed at constructive work onrelationships, ideals, causes, and other externals – in essence, Frankl’s schooldefines meaning as relationship between the inner and outer, and happiness as whatoccurs when that relationship is recognized, supported, and expressed. Franklperceived this as possible in any context or situation; for all that the mind and heartaimed outward, the force and the dream welled up from an internal source, andcould be projected beyond immediate circumstances.This philosophy of happiness is both similar and different from the understandingof happiness in older traditions. Buddhism, for example, came in time to considerhappiness to only come from letting go of the outer world, and of connections tothat world. The Buddha, recognizing that all beings suffered, and that the sufferingwas caused by attachment and emotional investment in other things, argued thathappiness could only be achieved when suffering was ended as a result of givingup attachment. In some schools of Buddhism, this evolved into strict religiousasceticism, which dedicates making huge efforts to sever their commitment andinvestment in all the illusory things of the external world.Yet even this ascetic version of Buddhism involved a slow, steady arc towardFrankl’s position – for the goal of Buddhism was to pass beyond an illusion to thetrue meaning of a world that was far greater than any one mind, but whichcontained all minds. Happiness – true happiness – came when the meaning of innerand outer worlds was understood and resolved in “nirvana,” and the individualbecame part of the world’s greater meaning, rather than having his or her ownsmall meaning. In short, the ideal of Buddhism was to reintegrate inner and outerworlds, ultimately. The phrasing and the discipline was quite different, but theunderlying recognition of happiness being based in how the inner self stood inrelation to a vastly greater whole.A classic Zen Buddhist saying touches on the central core of Buddhistunderstanding of enlightenment and happiness: “Before enlightenment; chopwood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.” The outerconditions for happiness do not change; what changes is the enlightened person’srelationship to the world around.This is, in truth, not so different from Dr. Frankl’s position, though it approachesfrom a very different angle. Both traditions are working to bring a human mind and
  5. 5. heart into an alignment with the world where, regardless of conditions, the personfeels in harmony with themselves, their role, and their integrity with the worldaround them.It would be wrong to say they are “the same.” These two approaches to happinessrise out of different men’s minds, different cultures, and radically differenttraditions. What unifies them is the underlying topic: Happiness and how to obtainit. The Nature of Happiness: Being in the MomentIf happiness depends on finding some meshing of inner and outer lives, and innerand outer meaning, how does it work? It sounds very insightful and profound whenwritten up in stately prose, but what is the trick? How do you live a life in whichhappiness is just what you are, not what you are racing around trying to become?Do you have to climb a Tibetan mountain, find a guru, and ask for the TrueMeaning of Life or a special mantra that will zoom you into the happiness zonewhen you start to chant? Do you have to spend a fortune on therapy to work outwhat your own, true, hidden inner “meaning” is?Well, maybe – if that is how you work best. But most consistently happy peoplemanaged to find their way to happiness without shaving their heads and putting ona monk’s habit, or flying to Vienna to find the next Frankl, or entering aBenedictine monastery and following the steps of Thomas Merton up his sevenstory mountain. Happiness is a human thing, one we all feel in fleeting moments,and the capacity to reside with one’s roots deeply sunk into happiness is acommonplace human capacity. Though few become perfect saints of happiness,radiating perfected joy, most of us can come close without resorting to extremes.The first aspect of finding happiness, though, is to stop looking for it. As I havewritten, happiness is not found outside you – or even inside you. It is not a thingyou find. It is a way of living, and of relating to the world around you. You do notfind that, you live it, day by day.The first place to start in learning to be happy – consistently, reliably happy – iswith your own “sweet-spot.” Any aspect of your life, at all, in which you can actand feel centered and “right with the world.” It may be as simple as knitting, or
  6. 6. cooking for a family. It may be singing in a choir, or saying daily prayers. Forsome people, it is texting friends.Think about that one thing that is or was a safe, happy retreat in your life. In mostcases, you would find that on some level it is not about “pursuing happiness.” It isabout doing things – living things. A singer, in frustrated concentration, reaches tohit a difficult note in a complexly patterned piece of music; at that moment,frustrated and groping, she is still happy, doing something which she feels holds inher proper place with the world. A knitter, turning a sock heel, scowls and focuseson his stitches – and is still content, looking no farther than the next stitch for hishappiness.The beginning of constant happiness comes with living each moment in the samefocused, interested, aware way that the singer or knitter is living. If, in time, youcan learn to let go of “I like,” and “I don’t like,” and all the other “I” thoughts weall think, and instead learn to let go and simply do with attention and energy,happiness follows.As a child I was bad at mathematics. Terrible. I hated it. The language ofmathematics teachers was not the language I understood at all. Further, like manychildren, I was just plain grumpy about having to do what I did not easily like.Children do not realize how many things stop being irritating when you let go ofthe entire issue of whether you like them or not. I certainly did not realize it.So every time I had to do mathematics, I was mostly busy not-liking. I was notmultiplying, or dividing, or trying to add fractions, I was far too busy; the not-liking chore was taking up all my mind and energy. Worse, the not-liking was notreally much fun. Being sulky and sullen tends to make us feel more sulky andsullen.For years I kept on being not-good at math. Then I was old enough to just avoid itentirely unless balancing my check-book or figuring out a length of time passed inan article on history. You would think I would be happier now that I did not haveto do that horrible math. But you know what? I cannot say I was remarkablyhappier. There were still plenty of other things to be sulky about.Then there came a time in my early 30s when I realized I needed to be able to dosome forms of programming – I cared about using mathematics. Poor me! I hadbeen slacking in math my whole life, and now I wanted that set of math skills I had
  7. 7. avoided so long. No cure for it but to sign up at the local community college andfinally, finally learn math properly.This time around, though, I was an adult, and I had learned a few things. I had a bitmore discipline and a lot more experience, and at the very least I knew I could notafford to spend all my time sulking and making myself grouchy rather thanlearning the lessons. So I decided to work at it without the emotional baggage. Noroom for happy or sad, I thought: No “I don’t like.” It was going to just be a job,and I would do it, and no wasted anguish. I would focus on the work itself and thatis all. No matter how muddled I got, I would treat it like I treated knots in myknitting: A problem I could solve with patience and without much emotional fuss.Now, here is the thing: Like magic, when I just started doing math, I started likingmath. Each little step added to the next, each new skill carried me a bit farther, andI found that just as I enjoyed the focus of unpicking knots in yarn, I also liked thefocus of doing algebra and trigonometry and eventually calculus. Indeed, thefurther I went, the more I liked it. One day I woke up and realized I actually lovedcalculus. I loved the way entire complicated problems seemed to zip up in a singleelegant move; I liked the way I could make the numbers describe things as surelyand gracefully as I could make my pencil describe the shape of a flower petal whenI drew.When I did calculus without all that sulk and grouch, I found I was happy. Thecore skill was in my focus – on simply setting aside the emotional baggage anddoing the work in the moment, as though nothing else mattered. When I honoredthe math with my proper attention, the math and I came to terms with each other,and I lived my moments of calculus being nothing more or less than just a person-doing-math. For Better or WorseIt is all well and good, you may think, to set aside the emotional baggage whendealing with mathematics – or with daily chores like dishes or taking out the trash.We may learn to hover in an enlightened state while chopping wood and carryingwater. But there are plenty of things we cannot experience without baggage.That is, and is not true. As humans, we are involved in our reactions – as involvedin pain as in pleasure. We experience things very intensely, and we do not alwayseven think it is healthy not to experience the full spectrum of human feeling. And,
  8. 8. yet, there is a difference between becoming a cold zombie and learning to hold acentral calm and assurance in life.Let us consider Dr. Frankl again. He was given a chance to both study andexperience the intense range of human fear, anger, despair, and grief present in theconcentration camps of WWII. He went on, as a psychoanalyst, to also deal withthe profound pain and suffering of ordinary people experiencing other intense andpainful crises. He found that people could, in the face of that emotional maelstrom,still find “happiness.” Not ha-ha happiness: Frankl believed in far too high adegree of compassion and connection to have approved of such a separationbetween painful truth and internal response.Instead, he recognized a form of ability to continue to remain in aware, involvedconnection with life and with the vital things valued by individuals. Asking manyin therapy why they did not commit suicide, he found that each had things that keptthem in alignment with life itself; things of such worth and meaning that in the faceof brutality, fear, grief, pain, disease, and loss, they could not only continue, butfully engage. This would not be many people’s immediate definition of happiness,and yet it often did involve a form of joy. Learning the Skills of HappinessWe have discussed that happiness does not come from trying to gain externalthings, and that its core element is balancing inner and out worlds and infusingthem with meaning. We have moved on to talk about developing a practical,everyday approach to this apparently monumental and mystic task.We have considered that on a daily basis this involves focusing on actions andsetting aside emotional baggage we might otherwise wrap around those actions: Nomoping over math lessons, for example. And we have discussed that the samefocus and clear-headed approach to living can at least help even in extremes ofpain and crisis.In spite of that, the road to becoming a happiness-saint is not one many of usmanage to travel very far. If we want to we have to start pursuing skills – nothappiness itself, but skill in dealing with daily life.The first skill is the skill of commitment to living in the moment. That is a termyou see rather often in certain circles; it too often means becoming obsessed withthe feelings and impulses of the moment, and denying the importance of the past or
  9. 9. future. While that particular meaning can lead to pleasures, it seldom leads tosustained happiness. Why? Because it denies the possibility of living in thepresent, learning from the past, and aiming for the future, rather than justdeveloping tunnel vision and huddling in the right-now alone.It is a simple truth: The only moment we can live in is the present. We canremember the past, but it is gone – we can only learn from it and savor thememories it offers. But we can only remember in the present. Likewise, we canonly prepare for the future, and that can only happen in the right-here-and-now.Now is all we have.It is getting now right that is so very hard.Happy living depends on structuring your life so that you can, and do grow beyondpast mistakes, do devote enough time to preparing for possible futures, but mainlydo so in the framework of your present life – a life which should be full ofconcrete, clear actions you find meaningful and worthwhile.Many of us cannot manage any one of those goals, much less all of them. Toimprove we have to develop strategies for better living. The best place to begin isto focus our lives first on those things we already believe are meaningful.Remember the suggestion that you figure out what things already make youhappy? Knitting or gardening or singing in choir? Keep those, and go one further:Ask yourself which activities you face daily are things you, personally, trulyconsider important. Be tough about this, do not allow yourself to start out by listingthe stuff that is merely practical There is room for you to get to that, but begin withthe activities that you really feel add a sense of value and service to your life.Do you docent for a local museum, and feel that is one part of every week you lookforward to with a thrill? Do you play with your child, planning with interest thetrips to the zoo, or the walks by the beach, or the quiet afternoons with constructionblocks? Maybe Friday night’s start of Shabbat or Sunday Morning Mass is the true,shining center of your week. Maybe your daily prayers matter, or the hour youspend in meditation.The happy man or woman makes these things the anchor of their daily life. Yes,you may need to wait until Sunday for Mass – but as Sunday approaches, you canprepare for it and usher it in with joy. Further, you can expand your involvement,when you know what adds meaning to your life. If your docenting is what thrillsyou, you can choose to devote time every week to learning more about your areas
  10. 10. of expertise. Taking classes, developing related skills, and even giving classes toothers – each may extend your involvement in your center of happiness.Daily life must still proceed around these anchoring activities, but the positivefocus you gain from regularly doing those things that either make you happy orgive your life meaning will begin to have an effect on even the small and boringactions. Consider that brushing your teeth, washing the dishes, and taking out thetrash all become behaviors that help support your “great and good” activities; theyare the foundation on which all the rewarding actions rest. They become importantin their own right, for that reason – if you encourage yourself to realize the servicethey provide you.You then have to develop a structure in time.The Catholic Church year provides many Catholics with a time structure that itselfgives meaning to their daily lives. Cycling around over and over, the ecclesiasticalyear moves from Advent to Christmastide, from Lent to Easter, through the longmonths of Ordinary Time marked only by saint’s days and seasonal reminders –the progress informs the devout, giving a shape and mood and tone to each portionof the year. Within that meaningful cycle, the acts of the day and the plans fortomorrow are held. Memories of the past are marked off by the landmarks of theyear: The baby was born on Easter Day; Dad got that job just as Advent wasbeginning.Secular lives, too, have structures in time, symbolic and ritual patterns that definethe shape of our lives. Labor Day, school starts; Fourth of July, we picnic.Teachers become entirely conditioned to the first day of school, winter pageants,mid-winter doldrums, early spring testing, spring break, prom, and graduation – thelandmarks of an academic year. Unfortunately, many of us are cut off from thatsort of stately, meaningful sense of time.For happiness, our human minds and hearts need the rhythm and ritual of markedtime. To live in an unmarked tunnel makes most of us feel cast adrift, cut off fromlife and meaning. It is important to actually make an effort to return that sense ofpattern to your life, if you are lacking it.There are many ways to replace that time marker. Even the act of always taking aclass or two can add so much sense of punctuation in time to your life. Localcommunity centers and community colleges offer courses, and these can bring you
  11. 11. a power sense of time coming and going, while getting you out of any ruts youhave settled in and keeping you alert and learning.Set up landmarks in your year and commit to them. Mark them on your Outlookcalendar with reminders. Make dates ahead of time to celebrate your ownscheduled holidays with friends and family. Plan events – they can be small, butthey should be honored.Why will this help ensure your happiness? For many reasons, actually. First,humans simply function better with a framework to mark out time, on a scale ahuman can easily comprehend. Days, weeks, months and years have proven to bevery effective blocks for human time-processing. Just as humans work better witha language to speak, or a culture, we work best with a way of marking and thinkingabout time. Second, the technique of marking and celebrating our preferred“holidays” is a way to reinforce and support the meaningful elements of our ownlives. More still? It is fun. It keeps us socially active. It allows us to both honorand occasionally laugh at our own mental and cultural landmarks. Whether we arecelebrating common Christmas or Purim or Nowruz festivals, or are creating ourown – “First Summer Movie of the Year,” “Beach Day,” or “The AnnualCampout” – we add a special sense of importance to our own reality.What we do is worth marking, worth planning for, worth sharing with friends, andworth celebrating. It is possible that to be able to believe that completely andutterly is itself happiness. For most people, unhappiness lies in a feeling ofworthlessness, pointlessness and lack of meaning. The determination to mark one’stime and actions and rejoice in them is a powerful attack on that sort of apathy anddespair.Within the skeletal framework of a calendar it becomes possible to weave acomplex web of actions. All the activities we have already discussed becomeshining facets within the larger structure. A year becomes not just an unmarkedexpanse of undifferentiated days. Instead, a year becomes a clear arc of specificactions, some daily, some weekly, some monthly, and some rare yearly events.You and your actions have content and perspective. Added Value, Added MeaningIf you have accepted that happiness is not found in pursuit, but in livingmeaningfully, and have already done the basic chores to sort the meaning from the
  12. 12. dross of your life, and it still seems to come up short, it may be time to start askingyourself what you are not doing that your heart and mind know you should bedoing. The truth is most of us believe in valid, vital and important ideals, goals andstandards which we then ignore. We believe in charity, but fail to practice it. Webelieve that the sick should be visited, but we do not happen to be the ones whovisit. The entire world calls out with things that should be done, and we post agood solid rant about it – and proceed to take a nap in the recliner.Sometimes the best way to add meaning to your life is to get up out of that reclinerand do something meaningful. Thinking about it is not enough. For that matter,ranting about it is not enough. Words are cheap. In this day of online posting andblogs and emails, words are almost free. Better to actually invest in something ofvalue: Right action. Only you can determine what form of right action is yours toperform. Your choice should match your abilities, resources and values, butbeyond that the sky is the limit.When you are suspicious your life is not happy enough, one solution may be to seeif you think you truly give enough. The effort you make can not only improve theworld, but bring your life into alignment with your inner ideals. While happinessis not always a matter of achieving moral harmony, unhappiness is frequently amatter of feeling out of harmony with your own standards.None of us want to be the people we ourselves despise. Doing what you thinkwrong and failing to do what you think right is perhaps the most direct path tounhappiness possible. The end result is shame, low-self-esteem, and worse.What areas of your life do you feel are lacking. Pick one. Yes, only one to start;the idea is not to overload yourself with Virtue Tasks. It is to simply find one areaof reality in which you wish you did more good. Have you had it with meatproduction in our culture? This may be the time to put your money and yourvolunteer time to good use. Do you believe in people helping people? You can startgiving micro-loans, watching and supporting others around the world. (Do not besurprised when their efforts put you to shame and encourage you to make more ofyour own life!) There are literally millions of ways to contribute to the worldaround you: Hospital visits; helping handle dogs in shelters to maintain their healthand socialization; volunteering at your local library.The joy to be found in giving is very real, for all it is often seen as a saccharinecliché. It is not so much a cliché in truth, as a revelation that is never old. Few ofus can or should attempt to be the next Mother Theresa or Dalai Lama – but we
  13. 13. can, in our own way, at least serve as small lights, spreading happiness through theworld and receiving some of the shine back into our own lives – with interest. Bringing it TogetherHappiness is intrinsic to our idea of a good life: So intrinsic we have built the ideaof happiness into our religions, our governments, our philosophies, and all levels ofour art and literature. But because so many of us see happiness as a commodity tobe obtained, rather than a way of living and seeing, far too few ever enjoy thehappiness they desire. In the race for more toys, more success, more money, moreprestige, we lose sight of the fact that none of these things offers happiness.Do not allow yourself to be one of the many who live without real happiness. Withdiscipline, and honesty you can shift your approach to happiness, working to makeyourself focus on meanings, actions, and integrity rather than pleasure and instantgratification. As you move your life toward a more meaningful, focused, effectivestandard, and learn to live the ideals you most believe in, you are likely to findhappiness far easier and more common in your life than it may have beenpreviously. A life of integrity and grace is, indeed, “something special.” As JimVolvano indicates, the happy life is the life fully experienced, and filled withengagement with the world. There is only one way to happiness and that is to ceaseworrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.