Friday, May 18, 2007

In pursuit of happiness

-By Swetha Amit
Happiness: A simple word yet not so common in today’s scenario. The rarity of this psychological well being has emphasized its eternal quest for it. Several connotations have been attached to this term. So what is it that defines this magical state of being?

Humans attribute different meanings to 'happiness’. Some denote material comforts and wealth as factors contributing to immense satisfaction. Others go on to equate it to power, fame and affiliation. Despite achieving everything, one still tends to remain in melancholy. This depicts the strange aspect of human nature.

A further insight into this mysterious phenomenon brings to light the complexity of the cognitive aspect of individuals.

Is it because:
They have attached false notions to happiness?

Greed engulfs them into aspiring for more that they fail to realize the value of what they have?

A mere case of dependence on external factors?

A lack of acknowledgement of this elated feeling?

Success due to fame and wealth can leave one feeling to yearn for more as they go on climbing the ladder to the top. Such individuals refuse to pay heed to their inner voice which states that there is more to life than these superficial elements. Eager to know the result of reaching above often leads to disappointment and the ironical twist in tale. What should have brought them joy has made them feel miserable. Was all this worth it?

There are some who live for others' opinions. Appreciative acceptance shown by society is what apparently determines their ecstatic existence. Lack of it portrays them as lifeless beings deprived of oxygen. It is high time to realize that dependence on other people does not determine our jubilant feeling.

At times people choose to reside in grief land, in spite of experiencing the reverse emotion. Such thrive on insecurity of their little castle crashing anytime. They fear that their new found joy will be enticed away leaving them to feel like a child whose toy has been grabbed mercilessly. This portrays the unwarranted retrospection about future unpleasant occurrences.

It is a fact that life is a bumpy roller coaster ride. Highs and lows draw parallels to the tides of the ocean waves. Is it fair to meekly surrender to downfalls without an assertive battle against these obstacles?

Happiness is something which is within us and in our hands. We choose our feelings and not let anyone or anything influence it. People, money, fame are temporary illusions which fade away like diminishing light. What remains is the continuous radiance within us, illuminating our minds to connect to our inner selves. We are the masters of our mind. We should steer it like buoyancy that anchors the ship through even a stormy weather. It should sail with determination on the waves instead of sinking in that pool of misery.

Focusing in the present is the key here. Being futuristic will deprive us out of happiness forever. If we are in an elevated phase, treasuring such moments is of utmost importance. Else we are forever saddled with unhappiness.

Hitting rock bottom is bound to be accompanied with anxiety and stress. However, we can still feel happy with the confidence of overcoming this hurdle in no time, and back to positivism.

The saying goes that “Our greatest glory lies in not never falling, but in rising every time we fall’. Therefore let us remain in eternal euphoria when we are hovering above as well as when we sink below. Let us rise with every fall. We are assured of surpassing any set back only to be faced with the merry colorful rainbow.

As a poet has said: "If winter comes can spring be far behind?"

This realization will indeed make our journey in pursuit to happiness easier.
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