There are two ways of being happy: We may either diminish our wants or augment our means- either will do- the result in the same; and it is for each man to decide for himself, and do that which happens to be the easiest. If you are idle or sick or poor, however hard it may be to diminish your wants, it will be harder to augment your means. If you are active and prosperous or young and in good health, it may be easier for you to augment your means than to diminish your wants. But if you are wise, you will do both at the same time, young or old, rich or poor, sick or well; and if you are very wise you will do both in such a way as to augment the general happiness of society.
THE BODYofBENJAMIN FRANKLINPrinterlike the cover of an old book,its contents torn out,and stripped of its lettering and gilding lies here, food for worms;Yet the work itself shall not be lost,For it will (as he believed) appear once more,in a new,and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended By The AUTHOR
This gave me occasion to observe, that when Men are employ’d they are best contented. For on the Days they work’d they were good-natur’d and chearful; and with the consciousness of having done a good Days work they spent the Evenings jollily; but on the idle Days they were mutinous and quarrelsome, finding fault with their Pork, the Bread, and in continual ill-humour. (Autobiography, 1771)