In Quest of Happiness

Can there be an opinion poll in which one of the two options takes away all the hundred per cent votes, leaving a big zero for the other. Joking? No, serious! There shall be a unanimous verdict if the two options happen to be – happiness and sorrow. Every single voter would invariably hit the ‘happiness’ button.

But then, what about the other choice, i.e., ‘sorrow’? Would that spare us just by our opting for happiness against sorrow?

A renowned shayar (Urdu poet) once said:

ghar se chale thei hum to khushi ki talash mein,

gham raah mein khadey thei yunhi saath ho liye.

(I had started from home in quest of happiness./ sorrows happened to stand there on the way, just accompanied.)

A flight to happiness

A flight to happiness

Implying that sorrows come uninvited, to give us company while we are in our quest for happiness. Thus, what was true about the opinion poll/wish, is certainly not true about life. Here, one does not always get ones choice, what one desires for.

There are thus, two basic components of life, happiness and sorrow. They are actually two sides of the same coin called life. Our happiness depends a lot more on how we confront our sorrows and unhappiness in life and replace them by joy.

A blueprint for a happy life

The moot question here is, how to find happiness in this vast ocean of life full of joys and sorrows? This question has always been haunting the humanity, since times immemorial, and people have all along been working hard to find a permanent solution to that problem. Let us also just try to pick useful pieces strewn all about to arrive at as close a solution to this problem as possible. Here is a proposed blueprint one may follow to live as happy a life as humanly possible.

  1. Be positive: Positivity creates a positive field around you, in which, positive thoughts are bred. They are the seeds that grow into positive behavior and actions. The harvest is – happiness. Positivity thus is the pre-requisite to joy. To make positivity a daily habit, to make it your personality trait, shun negativity which is the main source of sorrow and misery.
  1. Give up undue expectations and desires: Expectations and desires are the root cause of disappointments. Disappointments turn into frustrations and frustrations land one into the dark pit, the depression. Depression is thus the ultimate misery which may accompany one till the very end of the journey. But if we are aware of that menace and manage to avoid having undue expectations, we are certainly on the right path, of happiness.
  1. Keep a good company: Company bears a deep impact on a person’s thoughts, behavior, actions and happiness etc. That is why, it has always been advised to go for a good company. We should have a close circle of relatives and friends who are our well-wishers. They would be our support system who would be there to share our moments of joys and sorrows and be helpful in the moment of need.
  1. Keep your priorities right – When there are more than one options, it is better to prioritise them. Here, one should bear in mind that money does not necessarily bring happiness. On the contrary, money and all its manifestations, termed as materialism, cause anxiety and stress, especially mental. That is why, it is advisable to keep materialism under check. Seems simple, but it is not so.. We need an antidote to curb that. It may be replaced by spiritualism which relates to our soul and looks after the mental health.
  1. Practice yoga and meditation: Yoga and meditation are the operational aspects of spiritualism. They provide exercise for brain/ mind, thereby giving us mental training to focus on thoughts and behavior that would fetch happiness. Yoga and meditation are the proven keys to fitness. Practice them regularly for a fit and happy life.
  1. Practice compassion: Compassion means being liberal and generous towards others and thinking from their situation and point of view. It is the opposite of self- centredness, meanness, greed etc. It involves stepping out of one’s own self and getting into the shoes of another, especially, the one in distress. Practice compassion for offering sympathy, consolation, and any other kind of support to people that might ease him/her out of the distress.
  1. Have a hobby: Hobby is something you love to do. And what you love to do certainly gives you joy. People like to spend their leisure time in activities like reading, games and sports, music, dance, painting, sculpture etc. In modern times, watching TV programmes, e.g., serials, net surfing, video games etc.too have become very popular pastimes. So make your pick and have a great time.

Thus, in our quest for a happy life, we have to start with an awareness about life, what it is and what is it composed of, thereby accepting its basic realities, setting our priorities right and following the path steadfastly. Bit by bit, we shall learn to overcome the negative and the consequent sorrows of life, and embrace the positive and the joys it carries.

Remember, there lies unbounded happiness, all around us. It is up to us to identify it, tap it, and make the most of it.

 

Ashok Misra

 

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