We live in a culture that increasingly makes instant satisfaction of desires possible. Have a question? Turn on the computer and the answer is at hand. Want entertainment? Turn on the TV, the iPad, and the iPod. Hungry? Fast food places are on every corner.
Perhaps for the first time in human history, our moment to moment desires can be instantly gratified. Is this momentous circumstance making us happy?
Our desires are not diminished. If anything, they've multiplied. The more desires we gratify, the more desires we seem to have, and in this way, we move through our lives grasping faster and faster for more. In one way, this fastness of our lives feels exciting. But, in another way, this accelerating race to satisfy desires leaves us deeply agitated and restless rather than happy.
So, if our instant-gratification culture is not making us happy, how do we find happiness?
True fulfillment is not found through instant gratification of every momentary desire, but by being less attached to our desires. Happiness does not come from having things, but from experiencing the joy that is already within us. Happiness is not a product of excitement, but of serenity.
If you seek happiness, pay close attention to how the mad dash to satisfy desires leaves you feeling, and compare this with how you feel when relaxed and centered. These clues will help you find your way.