Man goes in search of that elusive entity called happiness. Rather it seems elusive to him as he keeps running after it. Whatever you chase, seems elusive. There is a weird sense of fulfilment in chasing after something that should come naturally to mankind. Happiness is a state of mind. It’s isn’t a goal.
We seek happiness for its own sake. We pursue things assuming that they would make us happy. Be it money, job or social status etc. all are hankered after in the pursuit of happiness.
Happiness doesn’t happen on its own. You have to prepare for it, cultivate it. It lives within you without your knowledge many a time. You have it in you to build for yourself. It doesn’t exist in some far off place. It’s within a single thought that dwells in your mind. You fail to grasp it thinking it lives elsewhere. You see it lives in you all the while. The funny part is you go look somewhere else whatever resides within you.
It never lay in any material objects ever outside you. It is there where you aren’t even looking. You never thought it always existed anyway even if you paid no attention. It never sought after your attention. It only wants you to realise its presence. Omnipresent everywhere.
You can’t seek happiness by consciously searching for it again and again. If you ask yourself whether ‘I am happy or not’ and believe it or not, you would stop being so.
How many of us are fully involved in every detail of our life whether good or bad ? Well you might find happiness by not trying to look for it directly.
Victor Frankl, the Austrian psychologist, said in the preface to his book Man’s search for Meaning, “Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. Just like happiness, it cant be pursued. It ensues as an unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”
Happiness, the elusive goal. How to reach it by a direct route ? You cannot. It’s a circuitous path that begins with achieving control over the contents of your consciousness.
Our perceptions about our lives are the outcome of many forces that shape experience. Each of these have an impact on whether we feel good or bad. They are outside our control.
We don’t have a say over our looks, temperament or our constitution. We don’t choose our parents, place of birth or the circumstances under which we grow up.
But there is a time though rare, where instead of being buffeted by anonymous forces, we feel like we own our fate. A control over your actions. This leads to a sense of enjoyment, sense of exhilaration. This moment becomes a landmark in memory for what life should be like. This is known as an optimal experience.
A rarity yet a truth. A feeling the painter feels when the colors on his canvas have a magnetic tension against each other and produce a new living form astonishing its own creator.
What is the way to happiness ?
There is no way. Happiness is the way.