• Shagun Agarwal

Happiness Lies Within and Not In External Pursuits

There is a beautiful quote which says happiness can be found when we understand that it needs the efforts of only one person and that is you. It says happiness does not come from anyone else but can be created only from within you.

It is futile to search for happiness at external places. We long for educational degrees, good jobs, beautiful houses and cars but ultimately through all this, happiness is what people are looking for in life. Some people find happiness in taking a vacation, some in promotions at the workplace, and some in getting appreciated and so on.

One should not attach your happiness to anything that you might experience in the future; like meeting a friend, buying a house, watching a play, etc. We all must have heard people say, they will be happy when they get a job, when they get married, when they retire, when they complete their studies, etc. These people live their life in anticipation of something while never being able to concentrate fully on the present moment. Once they clear 1 stage, they start anticipating happiness to be in the next stage and so on and so forth. Such people blame their circumstances, destiny, luck, situations, family, and friends, past decisions for their misery. These people associate their happiness to things such as health, good grades, appraisals, objects, etc. Objects and possessions give me comfort, more options and a feeling of security; watching TV gives me entertainment, talking to an old friend gives me nostalgia, buying a sofa gives me physical comfort. It's me who associated those emotions to happiness. People who are at their highest comfort levels are also not necessarily happy. Even after the person attains all these, his search for that one feeling called happiness does not end. When we attach our happiness to anything external, it is surely temporary. Suppose if I associate happiness with my entrepreneurial success 1 small setback in the business will bring sadness and disappointment in my life. 

When we look for happiness outside in external pursuits, situations or accomplishments, we are giving external influences more power to govern our life. In the process, we are depleting the profound power of our minds and our inner strength. We make ourselves prone to our environment, influences, relationships, and so on.

When people say that meeting some friends over the weekend will make them feel happy, they are actually giving their happiness in the hands of those friends. There is absolutely no guarantee that after meeting with those friends, they will get the happiness that they have been looking for. Even if they feel meeting their friends made this happy, they should ask themselves if that will last forever. One bad incident the other day and they again become sad. This makes them incapable of finding solace in their present situation and making the optimum use of their present state of life. It does not let them focus their energies at the right place and in the direction.

Suppose I have a nasty argument with a family member of mine. What the other person told me and how he behaved with me is not in my hands but how much I allow myself to get affected from it is absolutely in my hands. Your peace of mind and your happiness should be in utmost control of your own self. It's a right that will empower you, a right that will make you independent and make you realize your self-worth.

Once you start focusing on the things that are working out in your life rather than focusing on something that is not working out, you will feel that you are living a much happier life.  Even if things are not moving in your favor let only positive thoughts encircle your mind and believe that better things are in store for you. Build tolerance and acceptance during challenging situations and make way for new and empowering thoughts which do not allow any person or situation to govern your happiness index.

It's only the mind that creates sorrow, disappointment, and sadness so why not we make an attempt to condition our mind such that it creates happiness irrespective of possessions, friends, money, goods or anything that you desire and to which you attach your level of happiness.

Your aim should be to make happiness permanent/constant/stable and for that, you need to look for happiness within. If my happiness is dependent on myself, only then it can become constant and all in my control.

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