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The Road To Happiness


  It is a commonplace among moralists that you cannot get happiness by pursuing it. This is only true if you pursue it unwisely. Gamblers at Monte Carlo are pursuing money, and most of them lose it instead, but there are other ways of pursuing money, which often succeed. So it is with happiness. If you pursue it by means of drink, you are forgetting the hang-over. Epicurus pursued it by living only in congenial society and eating only dry bread, supplemented by a little cheese on feast days. His method proved successful in his case, but he was a valetudinarian, and most people would need something more vigorous. For most people, the pursuit of happiness, unless supplemented in various ways, is too abstract and theoretical to be adequate as a personal rule of life. But I think that whatever personal rule of life you may choose it should not, except in rare and heroic cases, be incompatible with happiness.

  There are a GREat many people who have all the material conditions of happiness, i.e. health and a sufficient income, and who, nevertheless, are profoundly unhappy. In such cases it would seem as if the fault must lie with a wrong theory as to how to live. In one sense, we may say that any theory as to how to live is wrong. We imagine ourselves more different from the animals than we are. Animals live on impulse, and are happy as long as external conditions are favorable. If you have a cat it will enjoy life if it has food and warmth and opportunities for an occasional night on the tiles. Your needs are more complex than those of your cat, but they still have their basis in instinct. In civilized societies, especially in English-speaking societies, this is too apt to be forgotten. People propose to themselves some one paramount objective, and restrain all impulses that do not minister to it. A businessman may be so anxious to grow rich that to this end he sacrifices health and private affections. When at last he has become rich, no pleasure remains to him except harrying other people by exhortations to imitate his noble example. Many rich ladies, although nature has not endowed them with any spontaneous pleasure in literature or art, decide to be thought cultured, and spend boring hours learning the right thing to say about fashionable new books that are written to give delight, not to afford opportunities for dusty snobbism.

  If you look around at the men and women whom you can call happy, you will see that they all have certain things in common. The most important of these things is an activity which at most gradually builds up something that you are glad to see coming into existence. Women who take an instinctive pleasure in their children can get this kind of satisfaction out of bringing up a family. Artists and authors and men of science get happiness in this way if their own work seems good to them. But there are many humbler forms of the same kind of pleasure. Many men who spend their working life in the city devote their weekends to voluntary and unremunerated toil in their gardens, and when the spring comes, they experience all the joys of having created beauty.

  The whole subject of happiness has, in my opinion, been treated too solemnly. It had been thought that man cannot be happy without a theory of life or a religion. Perhaps those who have been rendered unhappy by a bad theory may need a better theory to help them to recovery, just as you may need a tonic when you have been ill. But when things are normal a man should be healthy without a tonic and happy without a theory. It is the simple things that really matter. If a man delights in his wife and children, has success in work, and finds pleasure in the alternation of day and night, spring and autumn, he will be happy whatever his philosophy may be. If, on the other hand, he finds his wife fateful, his children's noise unendurable, and the office a nightmare; if in the daytime he longs for night, and at night sighs for the light of day, then what he needs is not a new philosophy but a new regimen----a different diet, or more exercise, or what not.

  Man is an animal, and his happiness depends on his physiology more than he likes to think. This is a humble conclusion, but I cannot make myself disbelieve it. Unhappy businessmen, I am convinced, would increase their happiness more by walking six miles every day than by any conceivable change of philosophy.







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Being humble
The Pride Of Youth
Feed Your Mind 充实
Don't Let Weakness
  • If I were a boy again
  • I am nature's greatest mirac
  • Try to Remember the Good Thi
  • Ten Ways to Cheer Up 十种为
  • A Plate of Peas 一盘豌豆
  • Think more about what you ha
  • Hanover Square 追忆似水年华
  • All I Want Is To Love You Fo
  • The rough hands 那双布满老茧
  • One glass of milk
  • 与海牛的一次邂逅
  • If I Had My Life to Live Ove
  • 最好的遗产是爱
  • 英语美文:Rush 匆匆--朱自清
  • Never give up hope 永远别放
  • 旅途乐趣:生命重在过程
  • Wind of forgiveness 宽恕的风
  • 另一种爱
  • Salty Coffee 咸咖啡
  • 生活的忠告
  • Make Use of Work Pressure 如
  • The Fishermen 垂钓者
  • The Fishermen
  • Quote of the week 忙也要留点
  • 英语美文 A Psalm of Life《人
  • 道德与投资
  • 美丽的英文
  • Push Back
  • 做人的十条规则
  • 何谓“真爱”:为爱舍身
  • Cherish rest of your life
  • Life is about choices 幸福可
  • 名言警句中英文对照--悲伤篇
  • The hardest thing
  • 爱你的妈咪,爱她,要甚于爱你自己
  • Growth
  • A Greek to Remember一位值得
  • Wealth, success and love
  • 心灵之爱
  • 大声说出我爱你
  • 发生在圣诞节的一个感人故事
  • Beauty 美丽人生 记住美妙的时
  • Live your Life
  • Work with the Now
  • 世间最美的心灵
  • 英语美文 犹太女孩谱写别样《
  • 美国旅游风尚
  • 美丽人生的七大秘诀
  • 自由与约束-在平衡中攀升
  • 人生领悟随感―1
  • 情迷锡耶纳
  • 水罐的故事
  • 校园爱情
  • 爱情像断臂要敢于再次尝试
  • A moving story--about FAMILY
  • 何谓“真爱”:为爱舍身
  • Are men romantic? 谁说男人不
  • 你可以选择……
  • Do not wait... 爱,永远禁不起
  • What I have lived for 我为什