There is this strange cult of happiness. Endless books have been written trying to convince people that constant happiness is the be-all end-all of human striving. But this sort of happiness isn’t a state of peace; it’s just an excitement, a temporary state.
There’s a marked difference between the happiness you experience during your life’s highs than that experienced by one who feels peaceful. That type of happiness must be cultivated from within. It can’t be achieved through striving; it is less a sense of glee than it is an embracing of the wholeness of the moment.
Striving for happiness requires seeing the world in dualistic terms: good vs. bad, happy vs. sad, etc. The higher highs you may achieve will be balanced out by lower lows. It’s certainly possible to live a life chaotically plunging from bliss to depression, but this is the sort of chaos that causes trouble in the world. Instead, once you realize that you can stop striving so intently for the goal of happiness, you achieve it.
The irony is that this wisdom often exists near you while you’re looking for it, but you are so busy searching for it that you don’t notice. When you focus on living wholly and accepting whatever comes your way, you end up experiencing happiness by proxy. It comes when you are least attached to it.