Very often we hear people say ‘when I become a VP, I will have finally achieved my dream and be happy and content’, or ‘when I finally buy my dream house, I will be really happy.’ And in this way, years go by and we are still waiting for that moment of happiness to come by.
Most of us forget that happiness is an emotional state of mind. Buying a flat or a car or getting promoted, winning a competition are all amazing life experiences that we should enjoy. But do they really give us happiness? Or is it a temporary state of bliss and excitement?
In the world we live in, we are constantly chasing one thing after the other, in order to better our lives with the ultimate goal of happiness. We all wish to be happy – you, me, our neighbors, enemies, bosses, subordinates etc. We attend spiritual courses, seminars, workshops, read books, meditate, shop, take luxury holidays etc. and yet we are still finding and searching for true happiness.
If happiness were readily available in a shop, I am sure it would be the highest selling item of all times. Supply would always run short of demand not matter what be the price. So how can we find this happiness, free of cost and at all time? Is it possible?
Let’s think of common occurrences in all our lives and the feelings they bring to us.
1. Situation- Waking up early morning and thanking God for a new day. See the break of dawn hear the birds chirp, smell the leaves still dewy fresh.Feeling - Wonder, Awe, Beauty, Peace, Tranquility
Feeling - Wonder, Awe, Beauty, Peace, Tranquility
2.Situation– A couple in love, walking on the beach, holding hands and staring into each other’s eyes
Feeling – Romance, Love, Affection, Passion
3. Situation– A parent expecting their first child
Feeling – Awe, Wonder, Happiness, Joy, Love, Marvel, Delight
4. Situation– A child holding his parents hand and walking on the road
Feeling – Protection, Care, Comfort, Love,
5. Situation– A child performing on stage for the first time
Feeling – Excitement, Delight, Joy, Anticipation
6. Situation– A holiday on the beach or forest or hill station
Feeling – Relaxation, Peace, Oneness with nature, Beauty
7. Situation– First day in college
Feeling - Excitement, Anticipation, Enthusiasm
8. Situation- First day at in a new job
Feeling – Anticipation, Eagerness
9. Situation– Catching up with old friends after a long time
Feeling – Happiness, Delight, Relaxation
10. Situation– Feeding a poor child of the road
Feeling – Joy, Happiness, Love
And the list goes on and on and on.
I am sure a lot of us have experienced most of these moments sometime or the other and can relate to them. The important thing to realize is that these are the moments that brought us are real, unadulterated happiness and joy. These are the moments that were completely free of cost, but rich in love and beauty, surrounded by family and friends who love us.
It is sad today that we live in a materialistic world. Not that I am criticizing material comforts. They are there for us to enjoy. I love going on foreign holidays, eating out, dressing fancy. But the moment we make them our sole focus, and means to happiness, that’s when we lose control over ourselves and let others take control over us.
I have often wondered, about why people feel the need to show off to others, or why do people envy others. Is it because we are insecure of ourselves and need a material item like a big car, of a penthouse to hide up our insecurity? There are people who change cars and gadgets as fast as they change clothes. The joy or excitement of a new car lasts 1 -2 weeks. Post that it is just like any other car stuck on the potholed, traffic jammed roads of the city, moving as slow or as fast as the rest. Few months later, bored with our now old car, we start looking for something else to bring us happiness. This is when our need to impress others takes control and we become a slave to the materialistic world we live in.
Rather than live to impress others, can we not strive to impress ourselves with our level of thinking, sharing, giving, forgiving and enjoying life the way it is meant to be.
The next time you feel stuck in the rat race or envious of your colleague who has a bigger house than you, stop for a few minutes.
1. Develop an Attitude of Gratitude. Count your blessings; name them one by one and you will realize what the Lord has done.
2. Savor each moment. Experience the taste of the freshly made coffee, feel every muscle stretch as you work out, experience each word as you curl up in bed reading your favorite book.
Take time out to see the beauty of the night sky, to hear splash of the high tide, the sound of a baby laughing, the wisdom in the simple words your grandmother speaks, recollect the times you laughed so hard your tummy hurt, the first time you won a school race, the smell of hot Maggi on a rainy evening and you will experience more joy and happiness that a bigger apartment can ever give you.
The author is an alumna of Goa Institute of Management and currently working with Citi Bank as an HR Generalist. She has also worked with The Times Group.