Naval: Desire’s a contract you make to be unhappy until you get what you want. You become disturbed because you want something. Then you work really hard to get it and are miserable in the meantime. Finally, when you get it, you revert to the state you were in before you had it. It’s not like you achieve some peak level of bliss that you stay on forever.
No single thing will make you happy forever
People hold onto a delusion that there’s something out there that will make them happy and fulfilled forever. No single thing can do that.
Enlightenment is something different. It seems to be a permanent solution; but we’re not going to explore that just yet. We’re just talking about common sense happiness.
Happiness is a process of understanding and self-discovery
There’s no single permanent solution to happiness. Rather, achieving happiness requires a process of understanding and self-discovery. It is a process of training yourself to see certain truths.
If obtaining things made us permanently happy, then the cavemen would have been miserable, and we would all be deliriously happy. Yet, net happiness per person is not going up and might even be going down. Modernity probably brings more unhappiness than the past.
So happiness is returning to the state where nothing is missing in this moment.