All the possessions and pleasures of the world are only valuable to the extent they are accompanied by peace of mind. A person who has tremendous riches and can gratify all of his desires, will nevertheless suffer if he lacks peace of mind.
As a rule, the power-hungry and the status-seekers lack this obvious realization. Why work on obtaining power and status when you have the ability to work on something that is much more precious? A peaceful mental attitude and serenity of the soul are the most important factors for happiness.
It is related that when an ancient emperor was about to sail for Italy, an advisor asked him what his ultimate plans were. "To conquer Rome," he replied. "What will be after that?" "To conquer Carthage, Macedonia, and Greece." "And after you have conquered all that, what are your plans?" Then I will be able to spend my life in peace and comfort." "But," queried the wise advisor, "why not be in peace and comfort right now?"
(see Gateway to Happiness, p.72)