Happiness- that mysterious state of being, which forever eludes most of us. We might think of it day in and day out, without results. We might attend wellness camps, laughter sessions and undergo therapy… all to no avail... because happiness is found at that one place where we never bother looking- in our own self.
We always seek happiness in the company of others, in the approval of others. We are over-joyed if someone praises us…ecstatic if someone appreciates us. But is this happiness eternal? No. It is blown to pieces the next time they don’t take notice. Honestly, since when did we become so dependent on others for our daily dose of happiness? If I am all alone in this world… can’t I be happy?
For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to think over what keeps me happy. Forgive my twenty year young mind for any mistakes, but this is what I found out:
1) The first and foremost tenet of a happy life is being content with what I have. No way does it mean that I do not want more. Imagine saying no to buying more clothes when your mum is ready to loosen her purse strings! Stupid, I tell you! But yes, if she does say no, I’ll be happy with the things I did buy. Rather I show them off to everyone at home (that includes a mini fashion show for all my spoils).
2) The second: Not comparing myself to others. Comparisons never brought anyone joy. Never ever. Trust me… I checked it in all the encyclopedias. It might make me smirk, but it never makes me smile. And smirking isn’t a really good gesture. When I can isolate my performance, my grades, my fortune from that of others and compare them only with my previous state…only then can I experience true joy.
3) The third: Not carrying grudges. I know everyone loves to remember the compliments they receive. But somehow, we’re wired in a way to remember the rebukes and insults for a longer time. Maybe God did make a mistake in this particular neural circuit. Or maybe we made an error in understanding it. Harboring negative feelings of revenge does more harm than good. We might be able to get back at the other person but in the process, we lose our calm. All the planning and plotting feeds on our energy, our happiness.
4) The fourth: Doing things my way. No, this isn’t called being headstrong. It is called being… well… just being me. No doubt it is of immense importance to listen to all sides before taking a decision… but it is equally important to do what you love. When you do what you really want to, you work extra hard, this hard work gives better results… better results mean more satisfaction. Someone told me, satisfaction and happiness go hand in hand. There you are. Doing your own thing gives you happiness.
5) The fifth (perhaps the most important): Establish control over your life by accepting that certain things cannot be changed. Contradictory as it might seem, to gain control of your own self you need to understand that certain things are beyond your control. Identify these things, make peace with them… then be they issues with family or friends, economic problems… whatever makes you pull your hair in frustration. Once you accept these bitter truths of life, you gain control over the things you can and should influence. I never feel nice doing something because someone else told me to. It makes me restless. It makes me irritable. But when I know the rationale behind something and do it of my own free will…there is precisely nothing I love more. If I control what I do, if I am my own master… I am happy.
All these points just indicate the importance of loving yourself. Mind you, it is not the same as being self-centered. You can be kind to others, speak well of others and have strong and healthy relationships only if you are happy inside.
If you love the person you see in the mirror every morning… you’ll be happy. If you love the shape, size, color you have been endowed with… you’ll be happy. If you’re nodding your head in agreement… you’ll be happy. Voila! If you have a smile on your face… you are happy!!!
P.S. Did anyone understand the meaning of the picture? If yes, I would love to hear your interpretation before I let you know mine :)