“How do I find real happiness, and keep it?”
This is a question we’ve all asked ourselves. Most of us believe it involves chasing feel good emotions, like excitement and lust.
This can cause us to desire things like material objects, drugs and passionate romance.
The problem is that these types of happiness are fleeting.
It doesn’t last long, and then you’ll be lost in a never-ending cycle of desiring those feelings over and over again.
But according to the Dalai Lama, there’s a better way to achieving happiness that sticks. It’s more simple, too.
Check out his wise words below on what really leads to long-term happiness and fulfillment:
“I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives. I’m not talking about the short-term gratification of pleasures like sex, drugs or gambling (though I’m not knocking them), but something that will bring true and lasting happiness. The kind that sticks.”
In fact, The Dalai Lama says that compassion is essential for a fulfilling life because human beings are social beings:
“We human beings are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason, it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.”
The Dalai Lama also went onto say that thinking only of yourself will actually make you more unhappy. Here’s why:
“If we think only of ourselves, forget about other people, then our minds occupy very small area. Inside that small area, even tiny problem appears very big. But the moment you develop a sense of concern for others, you realize that, just like ourselves, they also want happiness; they also want satisfaction. When you have this sense of concern, your mind automatically widens. At this point, your own problems, even big problems, will not be so significant. The result? Big increase in peace of mind. So, if you think only of yourself, only your own happiness, the result is actually less happiness. You get more anxiety, more fear.”
The Dalai Lama has previously said that there’s no need for complicated philosophies or ideologies if you act based on kindness and compassion. Wise words that we’d all benefit from heeding:
“We can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion….This, then, is my true religion, my simple faith. In this sense, there is no need for temple or church, for mosque or synagogue, no need for complicated philosophy, doctrine or dogma. Our own heart, our own mind, is the temple. The doctrine is compassion. Love for others and respect for their rights and dignity, no matter who or what they are: ultimately these are all we need. So long as we practice these in our daily lives, then no matter if we are learned or unlearned, whether we believe in Buddha or God, or follow some other religion or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others and conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there is no doubt we will be happy.”