Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The object of happiness

Finally I am back to blogosphere  after a long time. I was just caught up in the  daily chaos of life, new job, new place, and not now that I have settled, I am back to share my thoughts, and what better a topic than happiness , we all want to be happy, don't we !

Happiness is a seemingly complex word. The definition of words like these is very subjective. Those who are madly in love would associate this word with a person, those in abject poverty would associate this with food, those who are rich would associate this with peace. Hence I would want to define or rather specify the "happiness"  I am talking about. I am talking about happiness which is not associated with anything but pure joy. We all must have seen a baby laughing, that laugh is what pure joy is  and that's the kind of happiness I am talking about.  Then there are those people who have a very peaceful smile, the kind of smile that reflects  pure joy. If we look around you would see that unfortunately not many people even smile these days and if you know them you would realize that the smile has been suppressed by fear /worries, in fact I was one among them too. 

All of us have a habit to associate happiness with our dreams/wants/desires, which is fine in the sense that when we achieve that dream we are happy I do not deny that, but this happiness is very short lived, because we soon have another  new dream, another want  or desire and we  are again sad till we achieve that.  Dreams  are good  because they motivate us to go a step higher, they force us to work that extra hour to achieve our goal , but we should not associate happiness with a specific goal or dream. Happiness is divine and not defined by any object living or abstract. Let me take a few specific examples (the names hypothetical)

a) Love - A person in love always associates happiness with his/her love. Anurag and Seema are a happily married couple. Anurag seems to define happiness with respect to seema, which is obvious because your life partner is a major source of happiness but the problem is he defines "all" his happiness with respect to seema. Love never dies but in the practical world people do, and  people also meet unfortunate accidents and above all people do change. 
I am as much a believe of love as any other guy, but what i question is life revolving around one person , happiness  being defined with respect to one person. I have seen couples madly in love -  of two kinds, one who are so into each other that everything they do is inter related, their sense of existence itself is defined by the other person. Such people face a lot of trouble when things do not go as per their plan. The other kind of couple is that who in spite of their immense love for each other have a life in which their partner is not involved, their partner is a major reason for their happiness but not the only one, and unfortunately  if life does not go as planed they are separated then they are able to exist and live though the rest of their life with a smile, even though the love has nor died nor have they stopped missing their love's presence. 

b) materialistic object - many of us associate happiness with wealth for example, but would this happiness reflect as pure joy and even if it does would it last long. Wealth and objects of value do bring a smile on our face bur we should remember that they are not the only source of happiness in our life. 

We all are human and thus the tendency to get swayed by materialism and I am no exception. I do want to have a loving wife and accumulate a lot of wealth, but that said, they are not the only source of happiness for me . I may not be able to  materialize all my dreams but that does not take away my sense of happiness. As my joy is not tied to any one object or person. I am happy as long as I want to be. 

I realized this a couple of years ago when one incident forced me to reflect upon happiness. I questioned my sense of happiness and realized if my happiness is tied to one object or person, I shall always have the fear of being unhappy. I decided to untie my happiness and am glad that now my sense of happiness is in the small things of life like talking to an old friend , reading a book, painting or blogging :) 

Happiness which is not tied to one object/person is eternal and that reflects as pure joy on their faces. Those who really want to be happy need to realise this and enforce this on their daily life. Initially its more of a rule you have to abide by, you don't let any event take away your happiness for a long time, you ensure that you always have something to smile about,even if that something is as meaningless as  being happy because the day is bright and sunny. once this is registered in your mind you would see the difference , you would sense the peace of pure joy. That does not mean we do not pursue our dreams or accomplish our materialistic needs , all it means is we do not  tie our happiness to a particular dream/need. 

Be Happy always as your smile surely brings happiness to many. 

PS : I recently read a book titled "why god is laughing" by Deepak Chopra , a must read for those who want to experience pure joy .