Happiness is an inside job. For me, it’s the result of a lot of personal work.

I don’t think happiness serves very well as a landmark with which to orient my life the way that, say, the top of the mountain would serve as the guide post for a hike up a mountain. Rather happiness is more like the unexpected hawk floating by as I sit on the peak, enjoying the success of the climb.

Suffering is the result of thinking things are supposed to be different or that I am supposed to be different than the way that I actually am right now.

It’s supposed to be hot, sweaty and uncomfortable down on the lower flanks of the mountain pushing myself upward early in the day. And true, I might not make it. But for now all that there is is taking this next step, my step.

The success of the peak is only granted meaning by the effort of the climb. Happiness is more like the attainment of nothing — a vibrant emptiness — than the receiving of something.