03 Jul Happiness & A Happy Home | Motivational Podcasts
Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Coming up this Sunday on our new weekly podcast series, we’ll be exploring the subject of immortality from the perspective of Vedanta philosophy and the great Hindu mystics. To unlock access to Our Sunday Talks, become a member of our patron community at Patreon.com. Learn more at LivingHour.org/sunday.
Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Marriage: a Lifelong Honeymoon by Bernarr Macfadden, published in 1903.
Life, from birth to death, represents an almost continuous struggle for happiness. When the new-born babe first becomes conscious of their surroundings, appropriate food and warmth are about all that are essential to happiness. But as the little one increases in size, their necessities multiply vastly. Happiness begins to mean something more than the satisfying of the appetite and the maintenance of warmth.
The child craves association with other children and longs for parental affection. But the moment school is brought into the child’s life, the really serious pursuit of happiness begins. The educational methods of school life are supposed to prepare one to cope with the world. They are supposed to develop the intelligence that is essential to life’s greatest happiness.
I admit that this is largely a supposition, and that the educational methods of to-day are grossly inadequate. Nevertheless, this entire preparatory process is (in practical terms) for the purpose of adding happiness to adult life. It is supposed to be a preparation for life’s duties and pleasures.
When school is left behind, the selecting of a profession or of some other occupation is the next serious step in life. Many make very grievous mistakes in their choice. The majority of newly-fledged adults consider life to be very commonplace, and the occupation one finally selects is often one that is not congenial or even interesting.
At every step along life’s pathway, the single object of every human is to add to their own happiness and to that of others. It matters not what may be your position or business, you are struggling for happiness. You desire to be as comfortable as you can while still accomplishing your object. Yet even your object itself, if clearly defined in every case, will be found to be that which you believe will add to the happiness of yourself or of those you love.
There are, of course, a few unselfish persons who are willing to sacrifice (and who do sacrifice) their happiness for others, but they are interested in thus sacrificing their own comfort in order that others may be made more happy. So, after all, even these unselfish persons are struggling for happiness — not, it may be, for their own, but for that of others.
Happiness is a will-o’-the-wisp. It is largely an imaginary thing. To define all the conditions essential to happiness would be very difficult. What would mean happiness to one person might mean almost the opposite to another. Happiness, therefore, may mean something peculiar to each individual. Generally speaking, it probably means the bringing about of the conditions that enable us to satisfy all our normal desires.
The satisfying of an abnormal desire may bring us so-called happiness for a short time. But happiness that is satisfying, complete, and lasting cannot be secured through any abnormal influences or conditions.
READ THE ENTIRE ESSAY IN EVEREST: 50 MOTIVATIONAL LIFE LESSONS