Recently I've realized the path I'm on and my aspirations in life, that is the occupations I've found purpose in, becoming a teacher, and my beliefs are all genuine. Not that I ever had any intention of being insincere in the past, but I suppose I was never in the right place and could never truly find what I should have been doing. I referred to this in my previous post as being "in my element," but in reality it's genuinely being in the right place doing the right things that have purpose to me. The Dalai Lama said, "There is a difference between happiness and pleasure." Of course this is an obvious thing to realize, but I think he is right in saying most of the time people don't realize these differences. I don't think I did either until recently. In the past whatever I had brought me pleasure, now the things I aspire to bring me happiness. I know that these things make me happy because even when I am down about something I remain happy. I am happy I put 120% into my work at school and I am very happy at how hard I work on my techniques at martial arts. Knowing I am working for something that has value and worth, and that I can appreciate makes me happy. In the bigger picture I have a great love for Japan and teaching/sharing my knowledge with others, therefore I am happy being engaged in those things and being in Japan. Also the people dearest to me originate in Japan, so there is a deeper happiness involved. Last, but not least I am able to love in a genuine compassionate manner, always putting that person first. This is happiness. In the past I only really cared about sex, this was only pleasure, as sex is only pleasure and not an ultimate happiness. I'm glad I've been able to make these distinctions in order to know my happiness is lasting and not temporary.
At one point in my life I don't think I could have ever said I was truly happy or even have thought I could be. Now there are important people and purpose in my life, which makes it possible for me to appreciate and therefore be happy.