A goal everyone is running for, a goal everyone is trying to achieve, a goal which no one is really sure about – Happiness
Throughout our life, we have been aware of this ultimate goal. We know we want happiness. We know we deserve it. We know what makes us happy. Yet, in some or the other way, we end up being disappointed, we end up complaining about the way life is, we end up feeling unhappy, sad or demotivated about the way life goes. So what really makes you unhappy? Did you ever give it a thought? Did you ever ask yourself what is responsible for your unhappy state of mind? What did you try that went wrong?
I am sure most of us tried to think on it. Even I did. In this article, I would like to discuss what my opinion has been about it. I am sure most of us would agree of this fact.
What is happiness?
Before we could discuss on why we are unhappy – We should actually define or understand what is the happy and unhappy state of mind. In my opinion, a feeling of fulfilment, a feeling of achieving your dream, a feeling of success, a feeling of superiority is all related to that feeling of happiness that you feel. A feeling of failure, a feeling of being let down, a feeling of being inferior to others – all these are forms of unhappiness. They usually arise out of one common abstract feeling – Expectation
As a human, it is normal for us to have expectations. Our expectations help us build a plan for our life, they help us create a pathway for our dreams, they help us look forward. Now the question stands, how can expectations be the root cause of happiness. By now, some of you might be already shaking heads agreeing to the point. Let me explain what is really the problem in our expectations, why are they responsible for our unhappy state of mind.
WHY & HOW do you expect?
Like I said, as a human it is normal to expect from life. Expectations are the main reason you are alive. You expect to be someone, you expect to do something, you expect to grow, you expect to be superior, you expect to be rich or you even expect ultimate salvation – No matter what, everyone has expectations in one or the other form. Expectation are those small and big goals that you set in your life. You observe that you feel happy about something, you feel the need to make it even better, this is what drives you to do things. This is what create expectations. Expectations are not just driven by what we have experienced.
Experience is one of the factor which drives the expectations. Other factors which lead to expectations is the bright people, the blinding brightness of successful people around you, the imaginations we get from what is portrayed in a play, in a movie or in anything we watch. As the technology advances, we continuously keep seeing the successful people online, we continuously keep witnessing people going ahead of us and we realise that we are being left back. This gives rise to an urge to do things, urge to try things which we might not be good at but still we find a hope that they would bring back satisfaction to our life.
However, what we do not realise at this point is that not everyone becomes happy by doing same things, not everyone reaches the heights of success by sheer luck. You need to understand this fact. Let me explain this to you with a very simple example.
Reality v/s Social network
Most of what we see today is witnessed via social networks. Just open up your own social profile, browse through it once. Count the number of times you shared your sorrow on your social profile, count the number of times people cared to ask you how are you – I am sure the count will be disappointingly low. In the same way, you need to realise that behind the scenes of all you see in social network, there is not just Happiness, there is a hell lot of efforts, there are failures, there are cries and laughter which went unseen, which were never shared on social profile.
What you need to understand here is that
Neither you have the same potential as others, nor others have the same potential as yours
Everyone has their own expertise. One needs to understand and dig into what we are good at rather than being influenced by what we see or what others try to show.
What do you do to be happy?
Now the questions arise- what should really be done to be happy? Is it easy to be happy? Is it possible for “me” to be happy?
In my opinion, what you really need to start doing is understand yourself. Look into yourself without the influence of others, without thinking what others have achieved. Just think of what situation you are in, what are the possibilities and what is it that you can do to be happy. The process of understanding yourself will help you set realistic Expectations. It is very important that your Expectations are realistic because you are supposed to meet your personal expectations to be happy. It is you who can decide how you would be happy. Don’t let others affect your ideas, your thoughts or your peace of mind. There might be people who live life at a fast pace – Don’t be blinded by them. Everyone has a good and bad phase. Even startups fail and even big organisations fail – You are just a small part of vast universe. Learn to accept failures and grow positively.
To conclude, I’ll just ask you to keep two things in your life – two abstract things : Self Confidence & Realistic Expectations. I would like to end it with a beautiful video summarising this beautiful concept.