— Life —

What is Happiness?

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I was 19 when I walked into a small temple in the Hollywood hills on a warm, Wednesday evening. The first words I heard were, “the fulfillment of every desire only reveals its inadequacy.” I remember thinking intrinsically, I knew this, yet consciously, I had never thought about it. Over the years, it stuck with me; a soft reminder in the back of my mind, an old friend who popped up in situations too numerous to count.

We think if we get this job, that man or woman, a baby, a car, a house, money, prestige, recognition—the endless stream of human desires—then we will be happy. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for those things in life we believe will make us happy. Know they are finite in their fulfillment.

For me, happiness is a state of mind. In every moment of every day, in every interaction and decision, we make a choice to be happy or not. The rest of it is just the toy in the happy meal.


  • Cathy Chester October 23, 2015 at 6:27 am

    Loved this so true. Nothing wrong with looking for fulfillment, but life is about creating and finding ourselves always but being happy within ourselves. Love the reference to the toy in the happy meal!

  • mamavalveeta03 November 3, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Beautifully stated, Orinda. I know this in my head, but I’m trying to get it to take hold in my everyday life. Thanks for the reminder that “enough” is sometimes enough!

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