I found the following words in my stuff and it hit home with me, maybe with you to. It is by Sir Laurens van der Post, an anthropologist and author from South Africa. A movie was made about his life in 1996. The second quote below pertains to happiness and affirms: Meaning is more important than gratification. Think of Nelson Mandela going through that horrible treatment in prison and yet I believe even then he was doing fine because he knew all along his purpose.
“The spirit of man is nomad. His blood bedouin, and love is the aboriginal tracker on the faded desert spoor of his lost self; and so I came to live my life not by conscious plan or prearranged design but as someone following the flight of a bird.”
“The Bushman in the Kalahari Desert talk about two “hungers”. There is the Great Hunger and there is the Little Hunger. The Little Hunger wants food for the belly; But the Great Hunger, The Greatest hunger of all, is the hunger for meaning…
There’s ultimately only one thing that makes Human beings deeply and profoundly bitter, and that is the have thrust upon them
A life without meaning…
There is nothing wrong in searching for happiness….
But of far more comfort to the soul…
Is something greater than happiness
or unhappiness and that is meaning.
Because meaning transfigures all…
Once what you are doing has for you meaning,
It is irrelevant whether you’re happy or unhappy
You are content—you are not alone
In your spirit—you belong”
(Sir Laurens van der Post from Hasten Slowly, a film by Mickey Lemle)