What spiritual people know #3
The Dalai Lama teaches that the purpose of life is happiness. All people want to be happy. I think that most people know that. What spiritual people know is what it is that makes people happy, and I think that less people know that.
Many people think that it is money that will make them happy. Unfortunately, it is often not until the end of a person's life that they learn that this belief is mistaken. When asked whether they would like a job that pays $50,000 a year that they hate or $30,000 a year that they love, most teenagers will say that they want the $50,000 a year job.
Happiness is not the same thing as “fun” or feeling good. As Dr. Laura says, “Feeling good, and doing good can be two different things.”
True happiness in the long run often requires self discipline, sacrifice, and suffering. Sounds contradictory doesn’t it? How can suffering contribute to happiness?
As children hopefully we learned that sometimes we have to do things that we don’t want to do, and that we can’t do things that we do want to do. Usually, it was a parent, a teacher, or some other authority figure who loved us, who cared enough about us to make us behave ourselves, that taught us these lessons.
It is necessary to tolerate frustration, to delay gratification, to do the right thing in the face of pain, sacrifice, and sorrow to make us happy.
Self discipline, self control, perseverance towards future goals in the face of obstacles and barriers is the path to happiness.
Spiritual people know this that the path to happiness is often strewn with tears.