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Chapter 2: Happiness Is a Problem
“Happiness is not a solvable equation. Dissatisfaction and unease are inherent parts of human nature, and as we’ll see, necessary components to creating consistent happiness.”
Life itself is a form of suffering - this means that every single person on this planet must experience suffering in one form or another. This suffering is actually biologically useful as it is nature’s driving force for change. When we are dissatisfied by what we have, we work towards making a change to become satisfied.
Similarly, pain (both physical and psychological) is a universal experience. Although, it is not necessarily always a bad experience. For example, stubbing your toe on a table corner will teach you to be more aware when you are walking to prevent more toe-stubbings. No matter who you are, you will likely have experiences that cause you to feel pain and suffering. Once one problem is solved, another one pops up. This is simply how life works.
So, if pain and suffering are inevitable, how do we achieve happiness?
The answer is: Happiness comes from solving problems. Whatever your problem is, once you address it, and start working towards solving it,, you will feel a sense of relief and happiness that you worked past it. The next time an issues arises, you will be more familiar with the steps for problem solving that you can move on to the next one, and the next one, and so on, feeling happiness all the way. Remember, happiness is not something magically discovered, it grows through activity.
The two biggest things holding people back from solving their problems and feeling happiness are: denial and having a victim mentality. Your problems will exist whether you acknowledge them or not.Acknowledging your problem, but not accepting the responsibility to solve them (for example, you blame someone/something else, or believe there is nothing you can do about the problem), will not make you any closer to resolving the issue, and not make you happier. . The only way out is to face your problem head on and figure out a way to solve it.
Remember, the longer you avoid your problems, the more painful it will be when you finally confront them.