There is a true happiness deeper than the pleasures or things and senses. Inner peace is the principal characteristic of happiness.
The Dalai Lama often recounts the difficulties of his life — losing his country at the age of 24, living as an exile, watching his country be destroyed and those in Tibe be subject to suffering and violence, as well as such adversity as losing his parents, his brother and many people close to him. Yet for all this, he reports a basic serenity. While not suppressing or denying the sadness that comes from such losses, he is, he says:
On most days I am calm and contented. Even when difficulties arise, as they must, I am usually not much bothered by them. I have no hesitation in saying that I am happy.
With such inner peace, our basic sense of well-being carries us through whatever difficulties we meet with in life.