After decades of attempting to find happiness though career success and personal relationships but never managing to attain any of these things, Casey Chapman of Nashville, Tennessee, reluctantly accepted unconditional happiness.
"It wasn't my first choice," said Chapman of his new variety of happiness, which is not contingent on external circumstances like sensory pleasures, professional fulfillment, or emotionally satisfying relationships. "But I've learned not to make my happiness conditional on getting my first choice. Second choice is A.O.K. by me."
Chapman pointed out, too, that second-choice happiness unquestionably beats out third- and fourth-choice. "When you think about it, it's better than literally every choice other than first," he said. "Not too shabby."
And according to Chapman, his decision to accept unconditional happiness is working out quite well. His unconditional happiness, while not flashy or glamorous like the ego-driven happiness he'd always longed for, is durable, reliable, and holds up under any and all conditions.
"It's very versatile," he said. "I get to be happy about virtually everything - even about being lonely or disappointed or sad. It's pretty cool."
Even so, in the unlikely event that, for some reason, his unconditional happiness doesn't pan out, Chapman's got a backup plan: in such case, he plans to become a Stoic, unflappably accepting whatever happens, pleasant or unpleasant.
"But I like the idea of being happy about everything that happens instead of just cool with it. So for now, I'm sticking with unconditional happiness," said Chapman. "Still, Stoicism makes a pretty sweet failsafe. It's my third choice - still pretty up there in the grand scheme."
He smiled and shook his head. "Lotta good options," he said. "Life is good."