I'm currently reading the book "Happiness - a guide to developing life's most important skill" by Matthieu Ricard (my first real contact with buddhism/buddhist philosophy). I found the argument he makes in the beginning of the book rather interesting - that we draw "happiness" from the physical state of the world, e.g. a dinner in a fine restaurant, spending quality time with friends, etc., but that this happiness also vanishes as soon as the life situation changes - the dinner is at some point over, the friends have to leave, ..., and our happiness level decreases. Instead, he proposes to pursue happiness from within, irrespective of our current situation (as well as by helping others).
While I find this thought intriguing, as he tells tales of concentration camp survivors or people being tortured that are nevertheless light-hearted and seemingly happy despite great calamities in their life, the more I think about it the more I doubt the practicality of this approach. As per Kant, the maxim of your actions must be generalizable into the basis of a new set of laws (sorry for the bad translation here) - but I feel like human lust for short-term pleasure has advanced mankind in incredible ways throughout human history. We want to go somewhere far, but we are lazy, so we invented cars and planes to take us there without any effort in a fraction of the time it would take us to walk. We want to eat delicious meals, so we advanced the art of cooking, we want to be in contact with our family and friends, so we invented the phone and other media, the list goes on and on.
My question is: Is it really desirable to completely erase this natural laziness and "hedonic treadmill" that makes humans pursue money and fame? Of course there are also bad sides to technology or extreme egoism, but I'm not convinced this calls for a complete erasure of this "primal urge".
The book is of course written from a (presumably) Tibetan perspective, my insight into the different schools of thought is very limited, apologies if this is not the right place.