Feet in Grass

“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.”

Not to be confused with Robert Oppenheimer from the Manhattan Project, James Oppenheim was an American poet and author who is best known for his short stories and novels. Much of his work discusses “social and democratic aspects of life,” commenting on the circumstances of the labor market of the day.

The lesson from the above quote is a common one, but it is always one that is worth revisiting. Far too many of us seek happiness from some external source. We think that happiness is something “out there” that must be found and attained, but that’s like chasing a dangling carrot. At the end of the day, happiness has to come from within, not without.

We have to realize that happiness is not an end goal or destination. It is not some tangible object that is located in one specific location in one particular configuration. Instead, just as Dale Carnegie taught us, the key is to enjoy “the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”

If you think that there is a magical pot of gold out there somewhere that will make you happy, you’ll never find it. It doesn’t exist. It’s not about the grass that appears to be greener on the other side. Instead, it’s about the grass that is directly under your feet. It is about nurturing that grass and finding happiness within yourself. It’s about making the best out of what you have and figuring out how you can make it even better.

Above all else, realize that life is a journey and every step you take, regardless of direction, is a gift of immeasurable value.