The idea that we have been put on Earth in order to find "happiness" is a quaint notion. I think that a state of equanimity, mixed with mild contentment, combined with a lively curiosity, is the best that one can hope for. But how does one arrive there? Good question. Perhaps chance (or, better, putting oneself in the way of chance) has something to do with it.
The Coming of Good Luck
So good luck came, and on my roof did light,
Like noiseless snow, or as the dew of night:
Not all at once, but gently, as the trees
Are by the sunbeams tickled by degrees.
Robert Herrick, Hesperides (1648).
Herrick also cautions us:
Many we are, and yet but few possess
Those fields of everlasting happiness.
Robert Herrick, Ibid.
On the subject of good luck, I had a small bit of it yesterday. I went to a teriyaki restaurant to have lunch. As I paid for my meal, I noticed a plastic tray on the counter on which various condiments had been placed. The tray was white, and was decorated with painted roses. I noticed some writing in its upper right-hand corner. I leaned over, and read this:
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.
Wouldn't Robert Herrick be pleased to know that his poetry can still be found (in a teriyaki shop in Seattle, in the State of Washington, in the United States of America!) 363 years later?