10 Things You Think Will Make You Happy–but Won’t

Words of wisdom from the celebrated Buddhist monk, Matthieu Ricard, who has a new book out:

10 Things You Think Will Make You Happy – But Won’t

1. Becoming rich, powerful and famous.

2. Treating the universe as if it were a mail-order catalog by expecting it to gratify our every desire.

3. Yearning for the “freedom” to achieve every last wish. This is not freedom, but being the slave of your own thoughts.

4. Seeking too much pleasure. Pleasurable sensations soon become dull, and often become unpleasant.

5. Maliciously taking revenge on someone who has hurt you. By doing so, you become like them and poison your own mind.

6. Assuming that any one thing will make you happy. Such predictions usually don’t turn out to be true.

7. Expecting all praise and no criticism. Without criticism, you won’t progress.

8. To vanquish all your enemies. Animosity never brings happiness.

9. To never face adversity. Refraining from doing so will make you weak and vulnerable.

10. Expending all your effort on taking care of yourself alone. Altruism and compassion are the roots of genuine happiness.


2 thoughts on “10 Things You Think Will Make You Happy–but Won’t

  1. Joan O'Mara says:

    If I must take a religious label then I am a Buddhist. I will look forward to reading your work!
    The word is out in the family. Congrats, Cousin Joan

  2. Willi Brown says:

    I have always respected your reporting (I was in the Redmond newsroom back in ’96) and heard your voice again on Marketplace last week and decided to look for you and… found this. Makes my heart glad to know you’re on the path.

    This list is uh… a list. Number 10 kinda wraps it all up for me. But such is my bias.

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