Though everyone knows that worry and happiness areinversely related, yet there are millions who worry without reason and destroy their health and kill opportunities of being happy. Since happiness is the goal of every individual, everyone is seeking happiness in his/ her own way. The best part is that happiness is in abundance all around and only needs to be realised. One wants more pay or higher earning capacity, a bigger house, a bigger car, good compatibility with wife/ husband, loyalty from a close friend, and recognition by others etc, all for becoming happy.
What is happiness? Happiness is a state of mind, and hence very subjective. Some things may make one person happy and another not so happy or even unhappy. For example, I may be happy with my thousands, but another person may not be happy even with hundreds of crores, yet someone else may consider greed of money as the source of all evil and may shun it totally.
Someone who loves sports keeps looking forward to a cricket or a tennis match because that makes him happy; but another person may not be happy by watching a cricket or tennis match but may look forward to the release of a movie starring his/her favourite actor. French writer Rochefoucauld gives this definition of happiness: ‘Happiness lies in the taste and not in the things, and it is from having what we desire that we are happy, not from having what others think desirable.’ It is not possible to chase happiness and catch hold of it like any tangible product since it is abstract, intangible and can only be experienced.
There is a story of a puppy and the old wise dog. A pup was going round and round, trying to catch his tail. An old wise dog asked him what he was doing, only to get the reply from the pup that he had learnt that happiness was in the tail of a dog and that he was trying to catch his happiness. The wise old dog told the pup that he did not have to catch his tail to attain happiness; if he could just keep going his way, happiness would follow him.
While everyone seeks happiness, the fact is that not being happy may also lead to more stable and better managed life as happiness could well be a source of all miseries. The logic is that happiness and sadness are the two sides of the same coin; one can’t exist without the other. So, if happiness is there, sorrow is sure to follow. Life is such that every one is bound to have a taste of both. In any case, how would you know what happiness is, if you have not experienced sorrow. This is explained by David Basili: ‘The perfect journey is circular – the sorrow of departure and the joy of return.’ There cannot be a human being who didn’t have his share of happiness and sorrow.
It is well-known that we cannot control all the situations, circumstances and people, who create them. But we can definitely try and control the kind of impact they have on our lives or how they effect us. The better we are able to control, happier we shall be.