I slept and dreamt
that life was joy.
I awoke and saw
that life was duty.
I worked – and behold,
duty was joy.
— Rabindranath Tagore
[L]ife is somehow duty, a single huge obligation. And there is certainly joy in life too, but it cannot be pursued… ‘willed into being’… rather… it does arise spontaneously, just as an outcome may arise: happiness should not, must not and can never be a goal, but only an outcome; the outcome of the fulfilment of that Tagore’s poem is called duty…
In any case, all human striving for happiness, in this sense, is doomed to failure as good fortune can only fall into one’s lap, it can never be hunted down. It was Kierkegaard who told the wise parable that the door to happiness always opens ‘outwards’, which means it closes itself precisely against the person who tries to push the door to happiness ‘inwards’, so to speak [to pull it to oneself].
[Note: True Happiness arises naturally from fulfilment of what should be done, that worldly and spiritual, with the first for supporting the latter.]
Viktor E. Frankl
Yes to Life in Spite of Everything