I was talking with someone on LinkedIn recently, about happiness. He asked what makes you really, truly happy deep down.
The question implies my happiness is controlled by external sources. To answer the question constrains you to believing that other things or events can make you happy.
If I say
some external thing or event can make me happy, then another thing or event could make me unhappy.
It brings to mind the saying "Live by the sword, die by the sword" or perhaps I could phrase it as "The external event giveth, and the external event taketh away." :)
Do I not have free will to be happy, regardless of the circumstances? Or am I a slave to however the wind blows and what it may bring each day?
I'd like to think I have some say in the matter. Between the event and the time where you react, you can take a time out and make a conscious decision to be happy regardless of what is going on around you. You can disconnect the trigger, and not automatically respond to a situation.
Perhaps you have heard the expression "Animals react, people can think before acting." I would like to give us more credit than being mere animals.
Sure I agree that some events
give you reason to choose to be even more happy. There are many legitimate situations that should have a certain response.
Aristotle, believed that the pursuit of happiness was the Highest Good. But, kind of like the acres of diamonds story, you can choose to be happy rather than hunt for it elsewhere than where it really is.
One of my favorite books on joy and happiness is Talking to Ducks. You might like it for further reading. What are your thought on this topic?