I've covered this ground before, not too awful long ago, while quoting Fr. Robert Barron (who's coming to my local area next month):
What makes us truly happy? Forgetting our ego and its needs and desires, opening our eyes, minds, and hearts, and letting reality in. What makes us happy is always right in front of us, because what makes us happy is love, willing the good of the other.
Next time you're unhappy, here's what you do: you love. When you're feeling miserable, write a note to someone who is lonely; make cookies for your kids; visit thenursing home; donate some money to a charity; sign up to help with an after-school program; say a prayer for someone who's in trouble.
Love is not a feeling. It's an act of the will, and it's a great act of dispossession.
“If you will whatever God wills, you will always have exactly what you want. When you want anything else, you are not happy before you get it, and when you do get it, you do not want it. That is why you are ‘up’ today and ‘down’ tomorrow. You will never be happy if your happiness depends on getting solely what you want. Change the focus. Get a new center. Will what God wills, and your joy no man shall take from you.”
On Saturday, Pope Francis touched on this theme:
“Youth is a time of high ideals,” he said July 11 at Leon Condou stadium in Asuncion. “It is important that you, the young, realize that genuine happiness comes from working to make a more fraternal world!”
“It comes from realizing that happiness and pleasure are not synonymous. Happiness is demanding, it requires commitment and effort. You are too important to be satisfied with living life under a kind of anasthesia!”
While pleasure is fleeting, he said, “happiness is a dream that builds, that constructs.”
Dear reader, look in the mirror, look hard, and ask yourself if you're happy. The answer is honestly self-evident and I mean that quite literally.
If you're focused on self, you're likely not happy.
Do something about it.
And carry on.