Being happy: Terms and conditions apply

There’s this major 100 happy days trend circling around me currently which made me write this. And believe me, I love the whole concept of 100 happy days! A hundred happy days at a stretch is just the perfect dream, isn’t it? A hundred days long ride of joy, or maybe longer actually, doesn’t it sound like all you’ve ever wanted? Now whoever thought of this conceptually had a very nice plan and obviously put some great thought into it. But unfortunately from what I see, I don’t think it has been taken in the right spirit. Actually, in the right sense because it has been taken in pretty high spirits actually. When I heard about it initially I was totally up for it, like why not give it a shot, because I’m usually very happy; Touchwood. Maybe not happy actually but I laugh a lot. That’s not the point but. I’ve seen people constantly post pictures of something or the other on Instagram, Facebook etc. with a 100 happy days hash tag! Firstly, stuff they post is actually quite ridiculous.

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Like you’re posting a picture of a pretty wall or a nice selfie that you just clicked. Excuse me, since when do walls make anyone happy? I mean sure, anything pretty is nice to look at but if you’re trying to tell me that it made you happy, that’s a little hard to believe. Secondly, the only thing I didn’t like about this concept is how you’re supposed to post a picture of something that made you happy on a particular day on a social networking website. At least that’s what people are doing, and I’m sure whoever came up with the idea of it didn’t have this in mind. Are you happy because you need to show the 500 friends you have on that social networking site that you’re happy or you’re happy because you want to be happy? Since when did happiness become a tool for grabbing some attention? I’ve always believed happiness is something very personal, that you experience in the smallest of things but in the most magnified of ways. Watching a mother drop her little son off to the bus stop makes me happy. School reunions make me happy. Watching a nice sitcom curled up in my blanket makes me happy. The couple that I’m rooting for in a movie ending up together makes me happy. Playing my favourite song on repeat makes me happy.

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There are a billion gazillion things in the world that make me happy. And I’m not necessarily a part of everything that makes me happy. You may find happiness in things which are completely unrelated and disintegrated and distant from your own life. So yes, our sources of happiness are more external than internal. I preach about this day in and day out that you must learn to keep yourself happy. Yes, there’s a certain amount of happiness that comes from within, that comes from how you feel about yourself. And that’s essential to our existence. But it’s that very basic level of happiness required for sustaining ourselves and keeping ourselves from venturing into the dark. It comes from within. Maybe how you feel after you ace an exam, or when manage to dress up and look very attractive to a party or a wedding. It’s that good feeling that something worthwhile happened today, and that little reassurance that you need from your own self. But is that really enough? That being enough would obviously be the ideal situation but let’s face it, it isn’t enough. No matter how well you score, your happiness is directly related to your friend’s marks or even when you dress up for a party and another woman walks in and steals your thunder, that wide smile immediately disappears from your face. That’s the thing about happiness, it is highly influenced and dependent on things and people surrounding you. For example, okay, you know you look pretty and everything and you go out feeling good about yourself. Now that you already know that you look nice, why is it that someone complimenting you on your appearance leaves that hint of blush on your face? That’s supposed to be obvious right? Then how is it so effective in making you happy?

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No matter how happy you are on your own too, the vibe embracing you must be in sync with your happiness else it can turn the best of your moods into a really foul one. And I don’t mean to sound like a pessimist or demotivate you, but it’s the truth. Your external environment has a greater hold on you than you can imagine, so it’s very important to keep yourself surrounded by people you love, and do things that make you happy. Because when you’re upset, staring at yourself in the mirror, no matter how pretty you look will not make you happy. You need more; and those beautiful people around you? They’re the more you need. Of course you can try to minimize the effect of external agents on your life, but actually that’ll make you more secluded and eventually you’ll feel the need to socialize. Stop being in this conflict and lying to yourself that you don’t need those people around or you don’t care about that friend you fought with or your boyfriend because he’s driving you crazy at the moment. Of course you care, they’ve given you reasons to care so you do. Embrace the fact and live with it. And most importantly, look for happiness in things, you’re sure to find it hiding behind the smile of a stranger or in the wind blowing your hair in the opposite direction. Find it, and keep it, because what you’re doing is an art, and what you’ll find is treasure.

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