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“Many of us experience time periods in which we are unhappy with ourselves, or unhappy with the situation we are in, or perhaps even feel unhappy with life in general. We may imagine that the only solution is changing things around us or even those around us. Sometimes in wishing to change everything around us, we realize the unhappiness is something in our own hearts and minds – it is a choice we make whatever situation we are in. Changing the externals, won’t always change what is in our hearts. Almost 50 years ago, I penned the following words, perhaps in a moment of teen angst: I once thought to escape reality, but discovered reality is in me.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“…happiness is a by-product of meaningful ends other than the pursuit of happiness itself. The research even suggests that a life of ease—a life in which everything goes well for us in the external world—often blocks a person from achieving an inner sense of well-being…“The research overwhelmingly shows that genuinely happy people are those who have given up the pursuit of happiness and have learned to be content in all circumstances, including the circumstance of not feeling happy.” (Robin Phillips)

“The will to meaning is simply the pursuit of meaningful goals beyond a person’s own subjective happiness. Paradoxically, however, by living a life of meaning, especially when that meaning is directed toward serving others, we increase our opportunities for happiness more than if happiness had been our direct goal…It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness. The more one makes happiness an aim, the more he misses the aim.” (Robin Phillips, Viktor Frankl)

“No worse or frightening pain is possible for us than to realize that our capacity for love or beauty or happiness is limited. No further outward effort is possible if our inward capacity is wounded…“Looking for happiness in all the wrong places, as if happiness was a thing ‘out there’ I have to possess, rather than a state of heart or mind which I choose to live by. As the Lord Jesus taught: “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Lo, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21) Of course, sometimes we need to change our environment or friends in order to bring about a change in our hearts and minds. But it is also true that it can be our heart or mind which needs to change to adapt to life and to cope with reality for happiness is within us and does not come from the outside.” (Robert A. Johnson, Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“Happiness can only be achieved by looking inward and learning to enjoy whatever life has, and this requires transforming greed into gratitude…On a deeper level than the economic, avarice is a great unwisdom, a philosophical foolishness, for it assumes that happiness comes from possessing, from having things. That is a lie. Happiness can come only from being, not having.” (St. John Chrysostom, Peter Kreeft)


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