“I’m lovin it.” But are you?
“The Taste of Happiness” is it?
So many products and services today, claim to make you happier.
And with layered advertising and strategic branding, most of us not only acknowledge it but accept it, and strive for it.
We work to earn money, earn money to buy these products and services, which are supposed to make us happy.
We spend our whole lifetimes striving for this materialistic happiness.
Weekly Spa’s to Yearly cruises.
Where does it really stop?
And after this constant striving for self-improvement and dream chasing, are we really happy?
Are we investing our lifetimes towards the right cause?
Do you really think that becoming the best in your field or acquiring your materialistic dream is going to help you reach a perpetual state of happiness?
I’ve observed that most of us spend the majority of our time striving for things that will only give us momentarily happiness.
Winning a marathon, dating your crush, finding your dream job, earning a million dollars.
Or even the more emotionally motivated goals
Proving your critics wrong, earning your father’s lost lost respect, proving your ex that you’re worthier of someone better. Yada yada yada.
To really quantify the happiness you’ll derive from the goals you’re currently chasing, close your eyes, and reminisce about that dream or goal that you were able to accomplish.
How long did the happiness really last?
A week? A month? A year?
How longs did you strive to achieve it? Surely a longer duration than that?
I’m sure you still cherish it but was that state of happiness perpetual?
And if it’s really momentary are we doing justice to ourselves by pushing ourselves so hard to pursue them?
So, what are the things that can help you derive a more perpetual form of happiness?
Following your passion.
My answer to these questions will make a bit more sense if I clearly define what passion really means here.
Passion is not necessarily something you’re best it. Or something that you just like doing.
Passion is something through which you derive happiness while doing it. And not from the milestones you reach through it. Not from the appreciation you get for your brilliance at it. Just the process.
You gotta love that process.
And if you don’t, it’s not really your passion.
Think about it, if you love the grind of the thing that you’re doing, then your happiness won’t be dependent upon the multiples that you derive from it. And if you start following it for a longer period of time, the happier it makes you. You now have some control over your state of happiness!
The efforts that you now require to be happy, have been dramatically being reduced.
You don’t require something or someone to be happy. You’re happy following your passion.
But then, it’s not easy to follow your passion.
It’s surely not, with the societal constructs and the need to fulfil the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
And even if it is, how do you find your passion at the earliest?
Before I delve into stating what I believe is the solution to this dilemma, I would want to talk about the most fundamental assumption (read: Fact) behind it.
You, your beliefs, your principles, your morality, your perspectives, your culture, your habits are all a result of external conditioning
Since you’re born, you’ve been exposed to the societal beliefs through your parents, your school, your peers, your television and social media. Most of your beliefs come from your personal experience with the external environment around you.
Interestingly, your parents, your teachers, your peers, your co-workers and all other human components of the external environment themselves have been conditioned in the same way.
In the whole process, you’ve developed certain mental constructs regarding possibilities and rights and wrongs; and this, in turn, has conditioned your options and paths to discover your passion to be limited; which aren’t really. You’ve virtually become your external environment. Far away from who you really are ie your internal environment.
If you can acknowledge this very fact, the answer becomes evident. (I’ll be surprised if you aren’t already feeling a brief sense of existential crisis yet)
You NEED to look inwards.
You need to let your mind be set free.
And the best way to do it is to meditate and then, introspect.
Sit down for 5 minutes every day and ask yourself what really makes you happy. The not that sudden wave of transient happiness but the process which makes you happier. The path that seems more lighted up than the other ones.
That’s surely the long road that you need to follow before you sleep.