03/15/2013 08:16 am ET Updated May 15, 2013

Day 15: 31 Days of Daily Inspiration From Brilliant Women

Daily Inspiration: Day 15 of 31 Days

"Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties." -- Helen Keller (writer, social reformer, 1880-1968)

No doubt you've read numerous quotations about the source of happiness being internal rather than external. But it's such a profound and significant statement it always bears repeating. I particularly love this quotation because of the personification of joy, the suggestion that it's a thing, a friend, rather than simply a state of mind.

For myself, at least, this notion makes the challenge of choosing happiness under difficult circumstances much easier. When we're suffering, sadness is an automatic reflex. But if left unchecked, it leads swiftly to self-pity, a pit of quicksand that's almost impossible to pull oneself out of without help. Which is where your friend joy comes in. If you imagine that you're not in anything alone, that you don't have to pull yourself together or out of a slump, then you can reach out for the personification of joy. Fortunately, even if you don't know any joyous people personally, you won't have to look far in this world before you find someone.

Inspiration From Brilliant Women

Photo courtesy of Lena Reznikoff

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