I want to be happy.
It never occurred to me to ask why I want to be happy. It seemed rather obvious, until I really sat down to think about it. The reason the question came to my mind was that I was pondering on the importance… and the power, of motivations. It appears we do everything by motivation. One thing that it appears I am motivated to do is to be happy. But why? Why am I motivated to be happy at all?
Rest assured, motivations are very important to consider. It is our motivations that sometimes put us in great danger. Every single unwise, and yes also wise, thing we do is done, because for whatever reason, we were motivated to do so.
After much reflection I realized that all my motivations were backed by a desire. “I want this, doing this thing will get me what I desire, so I am motivated to do this thing”. But it seems to me that happiness is not a desire, but something I am motivated to achieve. My real desire is to have absence of pain. Happiness is just seen as an absence of pain. But is it really? Can I not be happy but in pain at the same time?
It appears that to be away from pain, is the true desire. Everything I am motivated to do appears to be a calculated to that end. Is the reason I fear the unknown is because I fear it may bring me pain?
However, consider this, is pain so bad? Is pain so bad that it must be avoided at all costs? I can control my motivations. Would I not run into burning fire to save a family member? The truth appears to be that I can control my desires. If I can, I can therefore control my motivations.
I do not have to be entirely motivated by the desire to avoid pain.