A very common but very thought-provoking question is what exactly is happiness? The definition of happiness is variable and changes with people. Like if a small kid is asked, happiness for him would be having an opportunity to eat endless chocolates and ice-creams without getting any kind of scolding from his mother or getting to play the latest video games, for teenagers getting a good percentage and getting into good college might be happiness, for people like us getting a good job and secured future would be what we consider to be happiness and likewise for our parents cherishing the success of their children might be happiness. Now again the question that pops up here is “….But what after these”? Fine, we get a good job and are successful in life but what after that? Does the achievement of these goals put an end to our desires and we become content for lifetime? The answer is NO!!!
The desires and want of human being are never-ending; almost each and every day we have a new desire to get something. So, happiness is not something which is demarcated with desires because if it is limited to desires then it would be a never ending process. Happiness in real sense can be defined as inner satisfaction. When we are satisfied internally then only we are happy in true sense.
Dalai Lama once quoted,” Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
Happiness is not ready made; it is not something which is reserved for some lucky ones only. Likewise it comes only to those who exhibit the earnest desire to achieve it and hence in the process strive hard for it. It is truly your actions and your perspective to look at things that can make you happy. When I say perspective it more or less refers to the way a person acts in different situations.
There are certain category of people those are termed as optimistic that always tend to look at the brighter side of things but there are some others who are pessimistic. Sometimes it is our experiences that mould our attitude towards life but then felicity is the lifeline of our survival in this world and we need to find out those means which make us happy. Now another doubt that comes in our mind is how we gain that satisfaction. Gautama Buddha in his preaching taught that the only way to attain salvation is satisfaction of one’s soul, detachment from all kinds of desires but the very fact is that seems to be quite impossible a task in today’s scenario. Now, some people might say Gautama Buddha himself was a common man then if he can why can’t we. It is true that Buddha himself was a common man but this fact that he had a high degree of self willingness and great amount of control over his desires cannot be denied. Today’s human being is not even an iota of what Buddha was. Today man has become so self- centered that he can even do ill of others in order to make himself happy and we can never expect such kind of human being to ever achieve a limit to his/her desires.
Everybody in today’s scenario seems to be running after wealth, success and they are so much involved in it that in the process they even tend to do things which even their conscious does not allow them to do. One of the very famous lines which states that we were born empty handed on this earth and we will go empty handed from this earth, so when ultimately our net materialistic possessions are going to be zero then why are people so crazy running after these materialistic satisfaction. Materialistic satisfaction is ephemeral, while satisfaction of our soul is long lasting.
After we have defined what exactly real happiness is, it would now be appropriate to define the means by which we can attain it. There are not any kind of guidelines that suggests the do’s and don’t s for attaining it. Even the smallest acts like cuddling with your pet can give you mental happiness and at the same it does not cost much. Therefore the quantity of your bank balance does not define the amount of your happiness. We should never hesitate to do things that make us happy since these are the building blocks. When we are happy everything around us seems to be filled with positive energy and we are more enthusiastic in our chores. There are no particular things that can assure you happiness for everybody has different tastes. Also, John Barrymore once stated, “Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open”, so you might never know what happiness is planned ahead. At the same time there might be moments that are deplorable but we should never let those things overpower us.
We should never let our happiness become a slave of transient worldly things but should find better and lasting alternatives to achieve happiness. Also, since man is a social animal we should not only work for our happiness but also for the happiness of others. Not everybody gets this precious opportunity to make others happy, so we should quickly grab it if we get one because sometimes it isn’t about the price tag it is about the smile in the face of that person which is priceless.
A very famous quote from the holy Bible says, “Dust thou art ,to dust returnest..”, so make your journey on earth memorable and cherish able not only for yourself but for others as well. Feel happiness not only in your moments of joy but in others’ happiness as well because doing things to make others feel happy and special is bliss so why don’t you just try it once!!