Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

Quote of the Day: Thomas S. Cowan

May 5th, 2013

America is a nation obsessed with finding personal happiness. But the person who sets out to find happiness rarely succeeds. He or she may achieve occasional and temporary satisfaction through financial success or a busy social life, but rarely true happiness. Happiness comes to those people who concentrate on the opposite – who do things for others, who set out to produce beautiful paintings or delicious meals, or who engage in projects that bring beneficial change to the world. Such people not only contribute to a better world as a result but also achieve unexpected happiness. These are the people who move through life with ease, in spite of obstacles and misfortune.

Thomas S Cowan, MD (The Fourfold Path to Healing)

braised duck
I love this quote, so much of it rings true in my life. My happiest moments are when I’m cooking good food for those around me, when I’m cultivating beautiful things in the garden, when I’m doing things that I know bring change in the world. These actions bring happiness and hope to my life, I find much fulfillment in investing my time where I know it truly matters and makes a difference.  (PS: the meal shown is braised duck legs from one of our muscovy ducks).

What things bring you true happiness?

11 Comments to “Quote of the Day: Thomas S. Cowan”
  1. Marina C on May 5, 2013 at 6:26 am

    So true!
    I truly love sharing what makes me happy., and the “random acts of kindness” concept.
    I have taught 3 friends how to knit, started a knitting group, and watching their enjoyment is really rewarding.
    I also teach as a volunteer teacher aide in a local school, and love when the kids have a “got it” moment.
    Gardening in the heart of the village has also been a way to share joy.
    I love to cook and find pastry easy, so I teach people who says “I can’t”, and it never fails to open a new door for them!
    Lastly, raising our now grown kids and watching them develop their own passions, and sharing some of ours, has been very fulfilling.
    I truly hope that the website is as fullfilling to you as it is a delight to us users!

    Reply to Marina C's comment

  2. Jennifer Fisk on May 5, 2013 at 7:15 am

    A lot of things in my life give me pleasure but I think my happiest moments are when one of my dogs does an outstanding job in SAR training. There is nothing like the ride home from training when the dog has done an exceptional job except when the exceptional job is real life not training.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  3. Maybelline on May 5, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Sleeping in and enjoying a Sunday nap.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  4. kathi Cook on May 5, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Spending time in nature, both alone or with friends, brings me deep pleasure and peace.

    Reply to kathi Cook's comment

  5. melissa on May 5, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Those duck legs look amazing! I think you need to share your recipe. I made a duck casserole for a potluck last nite and it was soooo good! Gotta right down the recipe because it’s a keeper!

    Reply to melissa's comment

    • melissa on May 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm


      Reply to melissa's comment

  6. Elyse on May 5, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Family! I’m always the happiest when I’m with my family.

    Reply to Elyse's comment

  7. tj on May 6, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    …Aww, wasn’t it hard to butcher one of your ducks? I could only do that to a farm animal that is a total arse. :o)

    …I would have to say that what makes me happy is spending time outdoors in the yard or garden totally alone with no disruptions or distractions. I’m in my element then.

    …And one other thing makes me happy – visiting here. ;o)

    …Have a lovely rest o’ the day!

    …Peace & blessings. :o)

    Reply to tj's comment

    • Susy on May 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      It actually wasn’t that difficult, it was in the plan all along. This duck (and the two other males) are being totally ridiculous. They’re being aggressive, attacking each other, and one attacked me several times.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Jennifer Fisk on May 6, 2013 at 8:36 pm

        You never attack the lady with the grain bucket. What was he thinking? LOL

        to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  8. Emily on May 9, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I have to disagree with this quote. I’ve seen many, many people (mostly women, but not all) put service to others in front of their own happiness, to the great detriment of their own wholeness.

    There is no one way to happiness. Some find it in serving others. Some find it in creating art or useful objects. Some simply decide to *be* happy, rather than endlessly looking. And some have physical, chemical barriers to happiness (like depression), and no amount of wishing or seeking or service can change that.

    I am glad you have found joy in the work you do at your farm, and in sharing it with all of us. I learn a lot and greatly enjoy your thoughts and images. But if, at some point, this work no longer serves your happiness, I hope you will not require yourself to keep doing it because you feel you have to.


    Reply to Emily's comment

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Reading & Watching

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Read previous post:
Guinea Eggs

When I got my new guineas, we also picked up two for our neighbor.  A few days later, she mentioned...