Are You Looking for Authentic Happiness in the Right Place?



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

Why is it you always find something in the last place you look?

Because once you find it, there’s no reason to keep looking.

Authentic happiness is a little different.

We can find it.  We can lose it.  We can confuse it.

The most surprising thing about authentic happiness might be that the more we chase it, the more elusive it gets.  The other surprise is how we don’t have to chase it at all.  We can grow authentic happiness right under our feet.

In the book, The Compass of Now, DDnard shares the story of the wise grandma.  The wise grandma helped her grandsons to realize they were looking for happiness where it was easy to look, but not easy to find.

The Wise Grandma

There once lived an old lady.  No, she did not live in a shoe.

Via The Compass of Now:

“There once lived an old lady whose two grandsons had recently moved in with her.  Every night after work, the two young me went out to enjoy themselves at the mall, the bar, or the movie theater — leaving their grandmother alone at home. 

When the grandmother told them they should stop going out so much, both grandsons retorted that they worked hard every day and deserved to go out and enjoy themselves.”

Where Do You Look for What You Lost?

Do you look where it’s easier to look?

Via The Compass of Now:

“Late one night, the two grandsons returned from a pleasurable evening to find their grandmother walking around in front of the house, stopping now and then to bend over and look closely at the ground.  She had lost her sewing needle, she told them.
‘Where exactly do you think you dropped it, Grandma? We’ll help you find it right away!’

‘I dropped it somewhere around my bed, Grandma quickly answered.
‘Huh? And then you came here in front of the house to find your needle, Grandma?’ they asked, incredulous.

‘Well, this area is well-lit by the street light.  It’s the easiest place to find my needle,’ Grandma explained.

At that, both grandsons fell to the ground and rolled in laughter.”

Will You Find It Where You Look?

Do you look where you might actually find it?

Via The Compass of Now:

”’Grandma, dear, how did you become so confused? You dropped your needle in your bedroom, yet you come to look for it out here, under this street light!’

Grandma straightaway replied,’My dear boys, and why won’t I find it? It’s just like you two.  You lose your happiness in your heart and then you go looking for it at the bar, the theater, and the mall.  Did you find yours?’”

Now, where did I put that authentic happiness?  I thought I left it right around here somewhere.

Hmmm … Oh well, maybe I’ll just pick some more up at the store.

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Image by Montse PB.


  1. Hmmm. Would it have made a difference if Grandma had said, “You lost it at work and look for it at the theatre etc”?

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