By-the-way happiness

“Those only are happy who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness; on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit, followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way.” –John Stuart Mill

What if your happiness is to be found only incidentally—by the way—as you focus instead on the happiness of others, on something beyond yourself, on some pursuit that is an end in itself rather than a means to some hoped for end?

What if instead of looking for what you want or what you can get, you instead put your greatest and highest effort toward maximizing what you can uniquely give, what you can contribute?

You might just find yourself surprised by the kind of meaningfulness and happiness that you could never find by direct intent.