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"I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good and who are not accustomed to having it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor — such is my idea of happiness"
According to Tolstoy, “The most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to the men of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.” Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) was a Russian writer who is considered one of the greatest writers of all time.
What if finding happiness is more accessible than we realize? What if the path to a happy life isn’t a path at all?
Although Tolstoy writes, a common and generally accepted delusion is that everyone can be qualified in some particular way — said to be kind, wicked, stupid, energetic, apathetic, and so on. “People are not like that,” explained Tolstoy, “we may say of a man that he is more often kind than cruel, more often wise than stupid, more often energetic than apathetic, or vice versa.” But it could never be accurate to say that one man is kind or wise and another is wicked or stupid. Yet we are always classifying people in this way
"Human beings are like rivers; the water is one and the same in all of them but every river is narrow in some places, flows swifter in others; here it is broad, there still, or clear, or cold, or muddy or warm."
Every person bears the germs of every human quality, and now manifests one, now another, and frequently is quite unlike themselves while remaining the same person.
What if happiness has much more to do with others than ourselves?
Tolstoy wrote in The Emperor’s Three Questions,
"Remember that there is only one important time, and it is Now. The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion. The most important person is always the person with whom you are, who is right before you, for who knows if you will have dealings with any other person in the future? The most important pursuit is making that person, the one standing at your side, happy, for that alone is the pursuit of life."
To quote Tolstoy “If you want to be happy, be.”
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