Most of us find ourselves busily doing many things each day. Sometimes we do these things with strong determination and persistence – convinced that they are important to do. Rarely, do we feel the need to ask ourselves why are we doing what we are doing. We are often operating on auto pilot; we rarely pause to reflect on where we are trying to go and how well what we are doing is moving us in that direction.
We do have the option, however, of stopping to ask “Why?”
If we do ask “Why?” our first answer is likely to be one that only clarifies the specific short-term reason for why we are doing what we are doing but does not really uncover the deeper “Why?” behind that answer.
It can be very useful to ask “Why?” again about our answer to the first “Why?” Our question might be, “Why do I want that (our answer)?” or “What would that do for me?” We might even need to ask “Why?” regarding several more answers before we get down to a deeper, more fundamental reason for our doing.
When we ask “Why?” enough times and seek answers with genuine self-honesty, we are likely to ultimately arrive at the conclusion that what we are actually seeking is “happiness.”
If you pay attention to commercials on television or elsewhere, you’ll see that advertisers clearly understand how fundamental is our desire for happiness. The commercials are designed to convince us that a particular product or service will bring us deep, satisfying happiness.
Most of us seem convinced that if only certain conditions or individuals in our lives would change, then we would be happy. Sometimes those changes do occur (or we buy that advertised product), and we do experience some moments of “happiness.” But that condition-based happiness does not last and does not deeply satisfy us.
Next time we’ll explore why that is the case and how we might best achieve a more lasting and satisfying happiness.