Monday, August 25, 2014

Happiness is

Among all trending things on social media, I like one particular trend. To define happiness. We see a lot of posts, images, trying to define what happiness is. A lot of people started posting in the same fashion, when they were happy.

"Happiness is meeting your old friends after a lot of years."

"Happiness is returning to your hometown, and tasting mom's special dishes."

"Happiness is hanging around with your favorite lot, and loose the count of hours."

These people are trying to express what happiness means for them. And that's why I like this trend. When it is easy to name reasons for anger, sorrow and boredom, this trend made people think of reasons of happiness, things which make them happy.

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Suddenly, we find so many reasons to be happy. You may be sad about something, and you see someone happy just because he is eating at home, or because he met his old friend, or because he watched a movie of his favorite film star. You may realize that you also have the thing which others are feeling happy about. You may start to feel happy for some time.

I did a basic course (YES+) in Art Of Living, when I was in college. One thing I learnt there (out of many good things) had a huge impact on me. The mentor of that course, Dinesh Bhaiya, asked everyone, "when will you be happy?"

Participants answered with their reasons for happiness. Somebody said he will happy when he will complete his graduation, and somebody said when he will get a job, somebody wanted a bike and so on. 

Then the mentor pointed out, nobody answered that I am happy now. Everybody was waiting for something to happen to be happy. Does that mean you are sad now? Can't you be happy before those things happen? Is your happiness solely dependent on that thing? It was an awakening question.

When we say I will feel happy when this X thing happens, we actually postpone our happiness till that thing happens. Some things take less time, some things like graduation, or even graduation of your children will take years to happen. Shouldn't we feel happy throughout the course?

Then he started explaining. Happiness is a feeling. You can feel happy now. You must stop waiting for something to happen. You should free your happiness of any condition, any target. Even though you'll fail, you will have heart breaks, people will hurt you, still you will have some or the other reason to be happy. 

It does not mean you stop having aims. You must have them, and work hard to achieve them. But don't make your happiness depend on it. Feel happy now. When you achieve what you want, you'll feel happier. But irrespective of your achievements, feel happy, spread happiness. 

When somebody asks you how are you? Don't give a formal "I am good", or a dull reply. Say "Super Fantastic", "Fabulous". When you feel happy, you should make others smile with you.

After doing that course, for some days I also used to reply "Super Fantastic". But later, I automatically returned to routine answers. But this happiness thing has lingered in my mind since then. It has made a great change in the way I feel and take things. For me, happiness is NOW.