Beginning with this quote:
"Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.- Chuang-Tzu (350 B.C.)" and ending with the following paragraphs, the essay linked below by John Perry Barlow is food for thought.
"Finally, and always, there is love. By this, I don't mean that economic bargain that often passes for love these days. I don't mean that I will love you if you get good grades, or that I will love you if you'll sleep with me, or that I will love you ifŠanything. I mean what I mean when I say, "I love you." Period. Without expectation, condition, term limit, codicil, or obligation. To say that - and to mean it in that way - makes me happy.
What makes me happiest of all is when someone says "I love you" to me - meaning it as unconditionally as I intend to mean it - and I simply accept it. Learning to accept unconditional love has been the most demanding part of my education. It requires me to love myself as much as I am loved, which is not easy, since I like to pretend that my loathsome short-comings are invisible to all but me.
Still, when I love without goal and accept love without doubt, I am happy. In this, I am not pursuing happiness. I am becoming it."
The Pursuit of Happiness