For humans, the pursuit of happiness is a seemingly innate part of our nature, but for the most part, the needs of many are not fully met. Sometimes, a fleeting sentiment of happiness can be obtained at the expense of material possession but these endeavors are often met with physical or mental suffering. 

It is an inherently known but often ignored fact that only those that feel content with what they have, right here and right now, at any one given moment, can truly gain real happiness. 

If we are always focused on ‘one day’, ‘tomorrow’ or ‘yesterday’ then today is never found and the beauty of the moment we are in is lost.  

The two following accounts from the picturesque streets of Paris might shed some light on what it is to enjoy the moment you are in. 

The curious case of the family Malena

‘Malena’ is a family run business and brand famous within the world of embroidery. Their workshop is one of the two existing sole craft embroidery workshops still in existence in Paris, the other belongs to the world-famous fashion monolith, Chanel. Every year, designers from prestigious French brands such as Louis Vuitton and Dior will send their design drafts to Malena’s workshops for customization.

However, the numerous orders coming into the workshop often fill Ms. Malena, the manager of the workshop, with more worry than joy. She always gives each order a lot of thought before accepting the project. She never expects the family’s embroidery factory to be turned into part of the luxury goods production lines of well-known corporations.

Ms. Malena said, “If I accept all the orders, I will not have time to make wedding dresses or graduation dresses for my daughter, not to mention that I also want to sew a wedding dress for my niece. We don’t want to develop our business so big, because for us it is important that we can always do what we want, that’s enough!”

‘Malena’ apparently could have developed itself into another ‘Chanel’ but it is simply not their wish. For them what they have is enough, so why ruin what they have by pushing for more. 

A cheese shop named ‘Matthew’

There is a famous cheese shop named ‘Matthew’ in Paris which shares a similar story. It has a notable opportunity to grow exponentially further as there is always a long line of customers waiting out of the front of the shop. The demand is high but the shop remains the same…

Matthew, the shop owner simply considers himself “a cheese lover” and regularly declines a lot of sizeable orders from supermarket chains, large enough to expand his business into a national success.

He said, “We are very happy here, I totally feel very satisfied with what I have now. And it is enough!” Mr. Matthew went on to share, “I am not rich! But money for me is like pudding, too much will ruin your teeth!”

Happiness comes from satisfaction, joy comes from spiritual wealth. Life is not about chasing after fame and fortune, nor to show off yourself to others. 

Life is not about how much money you make, but how you keep a stable heart, live a fruitful and joyful life, and care about those people around you.

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