One of the most harmful beliefs of our society today is the idea that we should always be happy. That this is a state of mind that is achievable on a continuous basis. This persistent story, in combination with the fable that life can be made into what you want it to be, causes billions of people to chase an impossible goal.

It is not possible to be happy all the time, nor is it desirable or healthy. Feeling unhappy at times is unavoidable. Without the valleys, there are no peaks, and both states have lessons to teach. This also works the other way around. Even in the worst circumstances, moments of happiness can be found. Appreciating both states – and realizing that both are transitory – is the key to a good life.