If the problem is how to be happy, then most of us assume that we need to pacify the irritations, soothe the fears, and satisfy the desires of the self in its interactions with the world. But then we might get wind of “wisdom,” as it manifests in ancient philosophy.
That means to be skeptical of our desires and aversions, to question the project of getting what we want, and getting rid of what we don’t. In fact, if we more or less reverse the script, and are pleased to have undesired things, and happy to find desires thwarted, then we start to discover a deeper joy, and a reclaiming of control over our happiness.
This is in part the way of mindfulness, as well as philosophy. And we might be drawn further.
We might start to investigate who it is that makes our common demands on the world. Is it really me? Who really am I? And on this level, there is a deeper discovery to be made. I am not at all who I thought I was.
And strangely this can lead to new territories of happiness and wellbeing.