We all strive for one thing: to be happy. However, this seems difficult to achieve, almost impossible. Paradoxically, the more we want it, the harder it becomes to grasp. But why is that? Because the pursuit of happiness is a will-o'-the-wisp.
Happiness, in and of itself, is something so subjective that everyone has to define it for themselves. For one person happiness is coming home to his family after work, for another it is driving in a fast car on the highway, for the next person happiness is hanging in a hammock in the forest and for still another it is his own health.
Each of us knows what makes him or her happy. But then why is it so difficult to become happy? After all, if I know what fills me with joy, shouldn't it be easy to achieve? The problem here is that we sabotage ourselves. We know what would make us happy, but in the same breath we know what would please us even better. A very good exercise would be to live in the moment and not in a fictitious future in our heads.
It's an easy one to imagine a perfect evening:
Possibly quite simply with a campfire and a few friends. Now how about adding a little beer to the mix? Or cold beer or whiskey on the rocks. Would it be a little better if one of the friends played guitar? Of course, it would also have its charm to be alone with your beloved by the fire. Or would you rather have your own harem?
But it is not only the case that we can improve every single situation, as in the example, in an endless number of ways. We ourselves don't even know which variant we like best. After all, there is no logical hierarchy of values that can tell us which scenario would be the ultimate. If there were such a scenario - an ultimate scenario - we could target it and work towards it. For someone in a wheelchair, it might be walking, or perhaps flying? For someone who has lost a loved one, it would be having more time with them. However, for each individual, these ultimate goals, which cannot be logically ordered, are in a constant state of flux. Perhaps one moment the wheelchair user wishes to fly, but after a war has broken out, peace or something to eat.
I hope I have gone into enough detail about the fact that goals can be set higher and change in an endless number of ways. But we should not think that we have to change our present situation. Alan Watts already knew that Life is not a problem to be solved, it is an experience to be had.. Something that constantly changes its form, is permanently in flux, can simply not be grasped or solved.
To be happy, we only have to do one thing. This seems so simple that you would think everyone could do it on the first try. We need to stop living in a fictional future in our head and embrace our real, present, real life with appreciation. Being content with what I have, what I am. Being aware that it could be more, but not bitterly chasing after it, but gratefully accepting it when it comes into my life. But I also give it away again without any resentment and without pain when it leaves my life. Already Laotse has said that a good traveler has no fixed plans and is not anxious to arrive. If I keep this in mind, I can walk along the path of happiness. So try to remember, That there is no path to happiness, it is to enjoy the path itself.
Who and how Buddha really was you can learn here