Expecting Outside Circumstances to Bring Us Happiness

Tsoknyi Rinpoche:

I have a story about the laptop.

One time I was a little bit depressed because I was beginning my “middle-age crisis.” I was in New Delhi at that time.

Suddenly I saw something – an advertisement. There was a beautiful man, a very handsome man with a six-pack. And I looked and thought, “Wow. Why is he so happy?” But then I knew why – he was holding a Sony Vaio. You know the computer Sony Vaio?Then I thought, “I’m not happy like he is. Maybe it’s the Sony Vaio.” But at the same time, my mind thought that this was just an advertisement, so maybe he’s not really happy. But then I came back to America, and I bought one! [laughter]

So I thought that maybe buying a Sony Vaio would change my life, and I was excited for maybe one week. I forgot my depression for awhile, but then it came back.

So until we change this kind of thinking – expecting that outside circumstances or objects are going to bring us happiness, then I think our lives will be very difficult. That constant tendency to look outside yourself for something more to make you happy makes life unsatisfying.

But the whole point is that the more you believe there’s something ‘out there’ that will bring you love, satisfaction, well-being and happiness, the more you drive yourself away from your original essence love and inherent well-being.

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