To Make Happiness the Goal
But it is not emancipation that the great majority seeks. When pressed, most men will admit that it takes but little to be happy. (Not that they practice this wisdom!) Man craves happiness here on earth, not fulfillment, not emancipation. Are they utterly deluded, then, in seeking happiness? No, happiness is desirable, but it is a by-product, the result of a way of life, not a goal which is forever beyond one's grasp.
Happiness is achieved en route. And if it be ephemeral, as most men believe, it can also give way, not to anxiety of despair, but to a joyousness which is serene and lasting. To make happiness the goal is to kill it in advance. If one must have a goal, which is questionable, why not self-realization? The unique and healing quality in this attitude toward life is that in the process goal an seeker become one.
Henry Miller, in 'Stand Still Like the Hummingbird'