Advice on how to live a satisfying and fulfilled life is the same, from the Buddha, from Epictetus, from Lao Tzu, from Bertrand Russell and Marianne Williamson, from ancient and modern Christians. They all tell us not to pursue happiness as though it were something we could win, or buy, or own. We can only appreciate what comes to us, while focusing our intent and our action on giving happiness to others.
Remember that you must behave as at a banquet. Is anything brought round to you? Put out your hand and take a moderate share. Does it pass by you? Do not stop it. Is it not yet come? Do not yearn in desire toward it, but wait till it reaches you. So with regard to children, wife, office, riches; and you will some time or other be worthy to feast with the gods.
This well of peace and deep satisfaction is never found by those who pursue it, but may be granted by grace to the self-forgetful soul.
— Evelyn Underhill
Sharing our gifts is what makes us happy.
— Marianne Williamson
To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.
— Bertrand Russell
Conventional people hoard more than they need; but I possess nothing at all.
— Lao Tzu (Brian Browne Walker)
If one speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows one like a shadow that never leaves.
— from the Dammapada
Pure, holy simplicity confounds all the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of the flesh.
— St Francis
It was only when I gave up on my own desires and devoted myself to the service of others that I left my former misery behind and found an unexpected wellspring of joy.
— St Augustine
Those only are happy who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness; on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit, followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way.
— John Stuart Mill