"All literature is consolation," someone wise once wrote.
But he wrote it down anyway.
The days pass, we follow our desires.
More days pass - our old desires, having been slaked, replace themselves with new ones.
At some point we think we have found wisdom, and we turn to desiring nothing.
When we are done with wisdom - and still have not ended our own lives - we immerse ourselves, once again, in the world of wanting.
Alternating between wanting and abstaining, chasing and being still, we flail through our lives as best as we know how. On our deathbeds, the more reflective amongst us wonder about it all.
It is a privilege to want, for that gives us a reason to feel alive. The man who could care less about achieving is a dead man. The 78 year old man who anticipates his grandson's next carefree smile, for example, is filled with more life than the directionless twentysomething layabout.
It is also a privilege not to want, however, for that allows us to break out of the cycle of endless and pointless desire. This assurance gives us room to appreciate aspects of life - like watching clouds - that are often lost to the din of pursuit.
These two are not incompatible. Harbour your desires and goals, but also bear in mind that we are each of us really only living from unfulfilled want to unfulfilled want. There is no end point, no such thing as "when I achieve XXX, I will be truly happy". People who say these things probably also think that true happiness can exist in a coma, where life is similarly suspended.
Happiness, then, is living in a state of constant wanting and knowing that, precisely because of that, we want for nothing.