Happiness is a choice, not an outcome. It is a conscious decision that one makes every minute of every hour of every day. It is not selfish to be happy; rather, it is venal to be miserable.
Delight is infectious. It empowers others. It brings light, optimism, strength and joy. To seek happiness and to find joy in your life is an enriching experience, for oneself and everyone who surrounds you. Contrarily, to sacrifice one’s happiness for the “greater good,” actually works in the reverse, except in rare cases. To avoid cheer, deny pleasure – is to taint the world with a level of misery that spreads like a plague. While a certain level of balance is needed in all things, too much towards either end of the spectrum is unhealthy. Self-sacrifice for a worthy cause is one thing; but what is worthy about being despondent to the world?
What does it mean to seek contentment? To strive to be glad, to be grateful for the sun to rise every day? It means to accept the path that your life takes, to take the steps you can to improve it, and to help others improve their lives, as well. For the things you cannot change, find joy in their consistency! For the things you are able to alter and overcome? Celebrate your success! And, if you should be so lucky that you can help others, revel in their triumphs as deeply as you would your own.
Happiness is not delivered, it is made. Like Sisyphus, you must endure the journey to happiness daily. Push that rock of hatred, despair, and dissatisfaction up the mountain of your life, rid yourself of it. Yes, it will return tomorrow. Yes, it may even feel heavier. But will you just allow it to crush you? Will you rob yourself of the opportunity to this time, just maybe, rid yourself of the burden?
To be miserable, subservient, or otherwise morose is selfish. You rob others of the right to be happy while celebrating in your own melancholy! You do not have to be unhappy to be an artist. You do not have to suffer daily to understand suffering. In fact, your work is strengthened by balance, by an understanding of both emotions. How can one truly describe ecstasy if they swim in a pool of desolation and self-mourning? You’ll drown in your own self-righteousness. If you have no comparison point, you cannot truly do justice to the explanation of misery. Without knowing joy, you cannot truly know pain.
Deliver yourself from malice, from sadness, from self-inflicted pain and find joy in the every day minutia, and you will know true hope, true inspiration. Take ownership of your happiness! Find freedom from the manifestations of unnecessary sorrow! The greatest hero’s journey you can ever take is saving yourself from yourself.