February 23


Today's Quotation:

One is happy as a result of one's own efforts--once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness--simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and, above all, a clear conscience.

George Sand

Today's Meditation:

The way George Sand puts it, it doesn't seem like the effort it takes to find happiness (or to bring it out of ourselves) is all that difficult.  Is it true that if I stick to these principles, I'll be happy?  Of course, there is no true recipe for happiness, but this does come close, doesn't it?

Simple tastes seem to come up in every definition of happiness that I see.  I think that comes from our tendency to feel dissatisfied when our elegant or complex tastes leave us always wanting more.  And of course, we have to be brave if we are to allow ourselves even to have simple tastes--after all, what will others say when they see how simple our things are?  Besides, to have a clear conscience we must be courageous enough to make some difficult decisions from time to time.

Self-denial is also important, because if we don't practice it we risk becoming self-indulgent, and then nothing will satisfy us.  It's also important for our health, when we look at that last piece of cake and remember the weight we've been gaining, or how high our cholesterol levels or blood pressure have been going.  Self-denial also frees up resources that we can use for other people in our lives--what we don't spend on ourselves can go to the greater good, if we so choose.

Love of work can be the hardest, for many of us end up taking the first job we can get, happy to have work and an income.  It's often hard to love that kind of work.  Not all of us are blessed enough to be doing work we love, and that's where courage comes in again--finding that work and doing what we need to be able to do it.  No matter what our work, though, we can love it if we continue to remind ourselves that we're filling other people's needs by doing it.

Questions to ponder:

1.  What concrete steps can you take today to work your way towards happiness?

2.  Can you think of any other ingredients for happiness that don't depend on other people's actions or feelings?

3.  If these are the ingredients for happiness, what are some of the obstacles that may be keeping us from bringing it out in ourselves?

For further thought:

Happiness cannot come from without.  It must come from within.  It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other person and then for ourselves.

Helen Keller

more thoughts and ideas on happiness



quotations - contents - welcome page - obstacles
our current e-zine - the people behind the words - articles and excerpts
Daily Meditations, Year One - Year Two - Year Three - Year Four

Sign up for your free daily spiritual or general quotation
~ ~ Sign up for your free daily meditation




All contents Living Life Fully, all rights reserved.



We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!