"When Happiness Is Absent, We Do Everything to Possess It"

"When Happiness Is Absent, We Do Everything to Possess It"

"When Happiness Is Absent, We Do Everything to Possess It"

How to be happier.
Oct. 25 2009 8:03 AM

"When Happiness Is Absent, We Do Everything to Possess It"

"We must, therefore, pursue the things that make for happiness, seeing that when happiness is present, we have everything; but when it is absent, we do everything to possess it."—Epicurus

This statement is much more challenging and mysterious than it appears at first glance. What things really bring happiness? How do we pursue those things?

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* My friend Abigail Pogrebin's book, One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I've Learned About Everyone's Struggle To Be Singular , just came out. Her book trailer is terrific; the book sounds fascinating, even to a person like me who is not a twin, let alone an identical twin, and I've ordered my copy—but also, I must admit that I could look at photos of identical twins for hours.

* Interested in starting your own happiness project? If you’d like to take a look at my personal Resolutions Chart, for inspiration, just e-mail me at grubin, then the "at" sign, then gretchenrubin dot com . (Sorry about writing it in that roundabout way; I’m trying to thwart spammers.) Just write "Resolutions Chart" in the subject line.