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What drives happiness?

John Stuart Mill once said, “I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.” This begs the question, what drives happiness? At first glance it would seem that our desires drive happiness, as long as our desires are in moderation.

However, happiness will never be reached if we are constantly looking to fulfill our desires. Instead, we should limit the amount of things we yearn for in order to find happiness. To be truly happy you have to love where you are and enjoy the here and now.

If your idea of happiness is satisfying your every desire, you will spend your whole life chasing happiness, rather than ever having it at all. On the other hand, our desires do drive happiness, but what we desire is the most important piece. We all want and need the basics; food, shelter, water and love. However, the key to true happiness is understanding that you have all you want and need, so searching for more will only lead you to less happiness.

If you want to be happy, you have to be content. You have to love yourself enough to let go of expectations and judgements that society puts on you and embrace where you are. Happiness is not about more stuff and things, but instead about enjoying what is right in front of you.

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