The key to happiness, Part -1

Excerpt from the art of effortless living by – Ingrid Houston PH.D

Long ago Buddha realized the confusion in the way human beings pursue happiness. He observed that a restless striving after goals is part of human nature.

People are constantly seeking to get something or to do something, operating from the notion of what they get or what they do will give them satisfaction.

At the same time what they are really looking for is something they can achieve only by ceasing their striving, by ceasing to think in terms of what they can get and do.

The buddha identified a paradox. In all the frenzy of our activity no matter what we are trying to do or where we are trying to go, what we are seeking is not an external achievement but an internal feeling. It is our internal state that we are trying to manage, and not something else.


We believe that by achieving something, finding the right mate, getting the perfect job, etc- we will attain the internal state of satisfaction that gives us a feeling of meaningfulness.

We look to the outside, but we are looking there to heal the inside. External goals simply become a means for providing internal results. After all, it is our internal state that we live with moment by moment and day after day. It is the only thing that never leaves us. It is us.

In the end everything we do is motivated by desire to achieve an internal state that makes us feel better. What differentiates us one from other is not whether we are seeking internal fulfilment, because all of us are doing that.

What makes us different from each other is how we go about seeking to create that inner wellbeing, what kind of results we achieve and whether we learn from the results.

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