The formula for unhappiness is not accepting reality; this impulse must be overcome in order to find happiness.
Most people are about as happy as they decide to be.
—- Abraham Lincoln
It can’t be known whether Licholn actually said that. Many things are attributed to Lincoln that he probably never said. But we do know that Lincoln battled depression, called melancholia in those days, all of his life. He did have a few things to be sad about, the death of his son at a young age, his wife was close to insanity during most of their marriage, and oh yeah, the minute he became president the South seceded. In his younger days he was often spurned by women because of his homely looks. There’s one thing we know Lincoln was very good at. He had no illusions about himself or the reality of his life. We also know he really did say the way out of “melancholia” was to “go at something else.” Lincoln was a student of Shakespeare and clearly knew the lines of Polonius in Hamlet, one of which is, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”