"...the most insignificant thing can accidentally become worth more than all the well-prepared joys put together." ~ Soren Kierkegaard, Either/Or : Part 1 Kierkegaard's Writings
If happiness "happens," what does that say about all the time and money we put forth for the purpose of manufacturing it?
In addition, the energy spent on the acquisition of more money for the ultimate purpose of pursuing happiness has a non-financial cost that you must consider for yourself.
The tragedy is that money can buy pleasure (e.g. chocolate cake, a vacation, the acquisition of material objects) but pleasure is quickly consumed and leaves us hungry for more. Paradoxically, we seek to fill the empty spaces but instead we make the spaces larger and increasingly difficult to fill. We continue, then, to seek happiness but never fully realize that happiness can not be found -- it happens to us, it is accidental.
Here are a few more timeless thoughts, followed by some links to related posts, for more perspective on life and the awareness of the perils and pitfalls of chasing happiness:
"Don’t seek happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness." ~ Ekhart Tolle
"Wealth and rank are what people desire, but unless they are obtained in the right way they may not be possessed." ~ Confucius
"We often say of others who claim to be happy despite circumstances that we believe should preclude it that 'they only think they're happy because they don't know what they're missing.' Okay, sure, but that's the point. Not knowing what we're missing can mean that we are truly happy under circumstances that would not allow us to be happy once we have experienced the missing thing. It does not mean that those who don't know what they're missing are less happy than those who have it..." ~ Daniel Gilbert
"The most exquisite paradox… as soon as you give it all up, you can have it all. As long as you want power, you can't have it. The minute you don't want power, you'll have more than you ever dreamed possible." ~ Ram Dass
"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for." ~ Epicurus
"He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money." ~ Benjamin Franklin
"Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver." ~ Ayn Rand
"Happiness is not best achieved by those who seek it directly." ~ Bertrand Russell
"The trouble is not that we are never happy—it is that happiness is so episodical." ~ Ruth Benedict
"If only we’d stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time." ~ Edith Wharton
What is the price of pursuing happiness? Perhaps a better question to ask is What might you gain if you stop pursuing it?