I have long believed that the concept of “happiness” is a false god like Baal – fools gold in realty. Happiness or the good life is the goal of us all, usually in the original Greek sense of the word, “eudaemonia,” which stressed the importance of external goods such as health, wealth, and beauty. Rather, it it should represent the highest human good, virtue, personal excellence and ethics. Happiness, is fickle, a state of well being that is subject to events outside of your control. Cheerfulness, on the other hand it is a way of life that recognizes the good in your life and spurs you on to sharing it. You can will it, merely by your attitude toward yourself and others.
Thackeray, summed it up nicely in his novel, “Vanity Fair.”
Ah! Vanitas, Vanitatum,
which of us is happy in this world?
Which of us has his desire,
or, having it, is satisfied? –BHsr ‘10