The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things. ~Epictetus
I recently got the following story via email from a friend and it got me to thinking. My conclusion, you must follow your heart to be happy.
Because your heart is all yours. It is always right - it provides you with gut instincts and direction that are guided by who and what you are, and after all, you must first and foremost be yourself. To do otherwise, is to be untrue to oneself, and to everyone you come in contact with.
If you follow your mind, you are following years of external input and influence, which requires constant effort in order to keep up with the beats of all those other drummers..........how stressful is that?
A group of graduates, well established in their
careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go
visit their old university professor, now retired.
During their visit, the conversation turned to
complaints about stress in their work and lives.
Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went
into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot
chocolate and an assortment of cups-porcelain, glass,
crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some
exquisite -- telling them to help themselves to the
When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the
professor said: "Notice that all the nice looking;
expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain
and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want
only the best for yourselves, that is the source of
your problems and stress.
The cup that you're drinking from adds nothing to the
quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just
more expensive and in some cases even hides what we
drink. What all of you really wanted was hot
chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for
the best cups...And then you began eyeing each others
Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your
job, money and position in society are the cups. They
are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you
have does not define, nor change the quality of life
you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup,
we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate we have.
The happiest people don't have the best of everything.
They just make the best of everything that they have.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak
kindly. Be thankful. And enjoy your hot chocolate!
Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want. ~Margaret Young