What a question! Who can answer it?
I've never met anyone that has a reasonable answer if any at all. I'd guess that each and every one of us if we could find an answer, would have a different answer to that question.
Myself, well I can only say I've spent a lifetime only really seeking peace and happiness. Some days I feel both, some days not. Many days I only find moments of both or even moments of one or the other.
Why must it be so hard a task... I was in a really good place for a long time, but several years ago I lost that. Those who did regularly follow and read here can probably figure out why and I am not going to get into it. At least for now.
So for the past two years I've really only been existing and trying to get out of a funk I allowed myself to get into. (again...) I've been pondering life, pondering love and pondering myself. Just going through the movements of life, stumbling along and existing. Trying to have fun and entertain my weary being.
What have I come to discover and learn? Much that I had learned before but lost sight of.
Peace can not be found without contentment.
Life is like crossing a log over a stream. On one side is a calm, peaceful pool of water filled with happiness, on the other are rushing waters full of turmoil and sadness. The quicker we climb back on that log where we are content, the sooner we can continue on our path of life. Our journey.
Falling off of the log of contentment just happens. There can be no happiness without sadness. Without sadness we wouldn't be able to recognize happiness. Without happiness we wouldn't recognize sadness.
Staying in happiness too long makes sadness tougher to deal with, we become complacent. Staying in sadness causes us to become mired in self pity which causes us to miss out on or not thoroughly enjoy moments of happiness.
Striving to stay in contentment helps in accepting whatever happens in the moment.
Nothing lasts forever, and everything is changeable.
We are able to give up desires.
Self control is not a punishment. Self control is not torture.
Learning self control is freedom.
Freedom to be able to see, learn and understand.
Learning self control helps to learn the world doesn't revolve around us and
our expectations of others are always too high.
(They are in their world, I am in my mine.)
Everything we get from others is only temporary. What we get on our own
lasts, even if only through what we've learned.
(I must find for myself what we I am looking for.)
All ambitions can be abandoned or changed.
Our past is our history.
When we get quiet and alone we can examine and question the past to learn
how to shape and change the future we want.
(I've found that being alone in nature helps me best when meditating.)
I am not my past, I am not the world around me. It is myself that has the ability to shape and form my life.