“We do not choose virtue because it gives us pleasure but it also gives us pleasure if we choose it.” – Seneca
There is a lot of joy and plenty of pleasure to be had in living a life that focuses on developing as individuals and recognizing that the things we can control are the things that relate directly to us, our thoughts, our actions, our response to the world around us.
The peace that comes with understanding the things we do and do not control and then focusing on only that is pleasurable in itself. The freedom that comes with disciplining our reaction to the external world, our actions, and our end of relationships is very pleasurable.
This is not why we have chosen to focus on developing ourselves into better people or why we have decided to withhold the base pleasures of life for a chance at a higher realization of life. But the pleasures that come along with that decision do help to soften the blow of the difficulty we have to endure to keep moving along this path. They help a lot.
Recognizing that we control our response to the world around us and that we choose our own emotional response to things gives us power over our own happiness, in any situation. This in turn gives us the opportunity to be grateful for even the smallest pleasures we might encounter along our path.
It is up to us.
virtus fortis vocat