Health is the most important factor of happiness
For, after all, the foundation of our whole nature, and, therefore, of our happiness, is our physique, and the most essential factor in happiness is health, and, next in importance after health, the ability to maintain ourselves in independence and freedom from care. There can be no competition or compensation between these essential factors on the one side, and honor, pomp, rank and reputation on the other, however much value we may set upon the latter. No one would hesitate to sacrifice the latter for the former, if it were necessary. We should add very much to our happiness by a timely recognition of the simple truth that every man’s chief and real existence is in his own skin, and not in other people’s opinions; and, consequently, that the actual conditions of our personal life,—health, temperament, capacity, income, wife, children, friends, home, are a hundred times more important for our happiness than what other people are pleased to think of us: otherwise we shall be miserable.
Undoubtedly true. Modern productivity culture tends to shame the idea of prioritizing basic self-care i.e. sleeping well, eating timely meals, taking time out to walk, stroll through nature etc. as self-indulgent. Never have I realized the essential vitality of health more than when I was admitted to an ER for emergency surgery. Lesson: it is NOT either/or. Achievement should not involve a mindset whereby excessive Spartan living and gross disregard for health become laudable. The 'tortured artist' is not a stage to aspire to. Discipline should be geared towards balance - both health AND whatever progress one is aiming for.
I wish you endless dreams and the furious desire to make some of them come true.
I wish you to love what you need to love and forget what you need to forget.
I wish you passions, I wish you silences. I wish you bird songs on waking up and children's laughter.
I wish you to respect the differences of others, because the merit and value of each one is often to be discovered. I wish you to resist the bogging down, the indifference and the negative virtues of our times.
Finally, I wish you never to give up research, adventure, life, love, because life is a magnificent adventure and no reasonable person should give it up without fighting a hard battle.
Above all, I wish you to be you, proud and happy, because happiness is our true destiny.
- 1968 -
Happiness consists in frequent repetition of pleasure.
To be happy is to learn to choose. Not only the appropriate pleasures, but also his way, his job, his way of living and loving. Choose your hobbies, your friends, the values on which to base your life. Living well is learning not to respond to all the requests, to prioritize your preferences. The exercise of reason allows a coherence of our life according to the values and goals that we pursue. We choose to satisfy one pleasure or give up another because we give meaning to our life - in both senses of the word: we give it both direction ...
To be happy we need something to solve. Happiness is therefore a form of action; it’s an activity, not something that is passively bestowed upon you, not something that you magically discover in a top-ten article on the Huffington Post or from any specific guru or teacher. It doesn’t magically appear when you finally make enough money to add on that extra room to the house. You don’t find it waiting for you in a place, an idea, a job—or even a book, for that matter.
Happiness is a constant work-in-progress, because solving problems is a constant work-in-progress—the solutions problems ...