If you were told, “Today is the last day of your life; make a list of all the things that you feel you have accomplished; all the things that have made you feel truly happy,” what are the things you would put down in that list, knowing that you have only hours left to live?

 

I’m certain that your car, bungalow and bank account will find no place in the list. What you are sure to put on it would be the most fundamental elements of a truly happy life — your love for God, the love and respect you have earned from your near and dear ones, the sunshine you brought into people’s lives by your warmth and affection, the compassion you have received from your friends, the love and kindness you have shown to people. Happiness is in the little things that make life significant.

 

Many of us are apt to equate happiness and success with money, material wealth and possessions. The wise one’s remark, this is sheer ignorance.

 

There are so many things which money cannot buy and those are the things that contribute to true happiness.

 

Money can buy for us the softest bed, but it cannot buy sleep for us.

 

Money can buy for us medicines, but money cannot buy for us health.

 

Money can buy for us the best cosmetics,
but money cannot buy for us that natural rosy tint in the cheeks.

 

Money can buy for us the best of foods, but it cannot buy for us appetite.

 

Money can buy for us social prestige, but money cannot buy for us a clear conscience.

 

 

William Lyon Phelps, a distinguished writer, has asserted: “The principle of happiness is like the principle of virtue: it should not be dependent on things, but be a part of your personality.”

 

Phelps had drawn inspiration from President Timothy Dwight’s words: “The happiest person is the person who thinks the most interesting thoughts.” The only lasting happiness that you will experience is that which springs from your inner thoughts and emotions. Therefore, he says, cultivate your mind. An empty mind seeks mere pleasure as a substitute for happiness. The happiest people are not the ones who make money, buy property and own stocks. The happiest people are those who cultivate their minds with interesting and invigorating thoughts.