Possession for its own sake or in competition with the rest of the neighborhood would have been Thoreau''s idea of the low levels. The active discipline of heightening one''s perception of what is enduring in nature would have been his idea of the high. What he saved from the low was time and effort he could spend on the high. Thoreau certainly disapproved of starvation, but he would put into feeding himself only as much effort as would keep him functioning for more important efforts.
Effort is the gist of it. There is no happiness except as we take on life-engaging difficulties. Short of the impossible, as Yeats put it, the satisfaction we get from a lifetime depends on how high we choose our difficulties. Robert Frost was thinking in something like the same terms when he spoke of "The pleasure of taking pains". The mortal flaw in the advertised version of happiness is in the fact that it purports to be effortless.
We demand difficulty even in our games. We demand it because without difficulty there can be no game. A game is a way of making something hard for the fun of it. The rules of the game are an arbitrary imposition of difficulty. When someone ruins the fun, he always does so by refusing to play by the rules. It is easier to win at chess if you are free, at your pleasure, to change the wholly arbitrary rules, but the fun is in winning within the rules. No difficulty, no fun.
Dreams and Reality
When we talk about dreams, we are so excited, we have many dreams, such as being a famous person, traveling around the world and so on.
Dreams are what we pursue for a lifetime, with many dreams, we have motivation to fight for our life. The opposite side of dream is reality, we have to face reality everyday, reality is what we perceive in our life.
Reality always frustrates us to be successful. We need to balance them. First, we need to face reality, though it is not ideal, we live in a world, we have to know exactly who we are. Second, to make our dreams come true, we need to adjust our dreams according to the reality。
It is in virtue of his own desires and curiosities that any man continues to exist with even patience, that he is charmed by the look of things and people, and that he wakens every morning with a renewed appetite for work and pleasure. Desire and curiosity are the two eyes through which he sees the world in the most enchanted colours: it is they that make women beautiful or fossils interesting: and the man may squander his estate and come to beggary, but if he keeps these two amulets he is still rich in the possibilities of pleasure.