Buddha taught: first noble truth is that there is suffering in life. He also taught the path the liberation.
Some millennia later there Mark Manson wrote in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: “What pain do you want to sustain? The path to happiness is a path full of shitheaps and shame.”
That’s pretty well put. Life may have suffering, but we can really choose our suffering. Each kind of happiness comes with a different kind of suffering or pain, or whatever. We cannot have a life without suffering, because our minds produce suffering.
As Schopenhauer put it: our mind swings between boredom and suffering. Only within fleeting moments we may experience the Zen like state of the Middle Path.
I guess the many spiritual traditions and now the mindfulness movements, do tend to teach the skills for maintaining that state of mind. We need to apply the effort in every moment to state there, it’s like walking on a tightrope.
When we form the mental habits of tightrope walking, I guess anything can become automatic? My guess would be that the enlightened state of mind would be when we master and make the correct mental habits automatic, inseparable parts of our lives.
In any case, happiness feels good. Our minds don’t really bother to specify what’s good, euphoria fills whole body and mind. With pains and suffering it can be either vague or specific. Therefore it’s not as much about choosing which brings us happiness, but rather what kind of suffering that happiness comes with.
Choose wisely and crawl towards the kind of suffering that is worth it.
I wish you happy problems!