"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" are so fundamental to our well-being that our forefathers included these values in the Declaration of Independence. So, shouldn't it be obvious how to achieve that third value, happiness? Not in my experience.
The key to being happy is realizing that you decide what everything means kindling emotions that are in line with the story you have been telling yourself. With that awareness you have a choice -- the choice to be happy, no matter what.
I emerged from the subway to a crisp Sunday afternoon with clear skies and snowflakes on the sidewalk and as I was thinking about what chores I had to do that evening I heard a woman say, "Excuse me, do you have the time?"
We all know that love is important, yet we often don't spend time thinking about why we should and how we can bring more love into our lives. In fact, it is love -- and all of its inherent qualities -- that can help us lead even more extraordinary, meaningful, and successful lives.
This model of a kind of happiness that no one can take away from you remains as radical today as it was centuries ago, perhaps more so given the hold that materialism has over us. But appearances are deceiving, I think.
In the midst of all the busyness, we often forget to eat well, exercise, sleep enough, and do the self-care routine that we usually do. Our body, mental state and emotions are going to suffer when we neglect ourselves.
I cannot point to one thing and say, "It is that right there that brings me effortless joy!" any more than I can say, "Oh, the sky starts right over here." It is these series of breaths we take and the beautiful things that happen in between them that provide weight to our existence.