As we know, the Eightfold Path begins with Right View, and then from Right View follows Right Intention. Right View - belief in suffering, the relief from suffering and the Triple Gem; from this follows Right Intention - the "desire" or resolve to follow the Buddha Way.
(This is of course closer to the Theravada belief; the Mahayana belief is too esoteric to describe in words, or to have any logical progression, but is a sudden overwhelming experience of "feeling" one is totally Buddhist. Correct? I'd like both Theravada and Mahayana perspectives on this question.)
Here is the problem: we know that the Buddha suffered hardship in this world, including sickness and requiring a physician at times. We know that he had enemies who wished him harm. How then is it possible to believe that the Buddha was the happiest or most fortunate person ever to exist? Surely, out of all of history, with billions of people, there must have been somebody with fewer sicknesses and fewer enemies!
How does one believe, WHY does one believe, that he was totally free from misery or mental anguish? Does one believe this merely because it is taught as doctrine?
How is it possible to believe that he was "happy" or "the happiest" as we, being mere humans, would understand the term? How is it possible to believe that he was "most fortunate" or "most blessed" as we would understand it?
If he was not "the happiest", "the most fortunate", or other similar expressions, as -we- would understand them, then how does a mere mortal with real-world human struggles form the resolve to follow the dharma unconditionally?
Should one believe that Buddhism can bring earthly blessings, or not? And if not, then how can a human being who suffers from a desire for/lack of earthly blessings form the motivation to follow the dharma whole-heartedly?
In the simplest terms, why would an ordinary human being with ordinary struggles want to live the life of the Buddha? Is it even possible for an ordinary human being with a difficult life to want to be like the Buddha?