Yes. We have happily engaged in the “rat race” for an unfathomable time.
Only when a Buddha discovers the “illusion” (māyā) can we figure out the illusion and become free of the suffering-filled “rat race.”
Note that to “meditate” (bhāvanā) primarily means “to understand the process of creation of this illusion.” Our own minds create the illusion!
Once the mind is convinced that it is indeed an illusion, it voluntarily gives up craving for sensory pleasures. It helped me immensely to give up much of my cravings. No “pleasure/happiness” is intrinsic to anything in this world. The “deliciousness of a meal” is NOT in a meal; our bodies are designed (by kammic energy) to provide the “perception of taste.”
Even an Arahant gets that perception of a “delicious meal” because they still have the physical body they were born with. But their minds have fully comprehended the illusion and have lost any interest in it. A little child builds a sandcastle because they appear mind-pleasing. Yet, they see the futility of engaging in that activity when they grow up and voluntarily give it up.