I was reading a book on the laws of attraction and was struck by a statement so basic — ‘In order to attract happiness, you have to be happy first’. Now for a long time, I’ve been suffering from the blues, something which many are afflicted with. I’m scared to be happy. I worry that I will have to make up for it by having to deal with sorrow later. And yes, early mornings are the worst.
I rarely wake up with the feeling of wanting to conquer the world. Often, I don’t want to face the world. And I go back to bed. So I’ve learnt the art of being unhappy, despite having a lot to be thankful for.. and happy about too.
There was a time, in the not too distant past, when all I desired was a small house, car and enough money in the bank, to lead a peaceful life. I thought I would be happy with just that.
That sounds like a typical dream for many. Then I got into the rat race.. and the desire to win took over gradually, till I was sucked into the vortex of desire, some my own, and some which society pressurises us to chase. Then my desires changed to buying a plush car, a bigger house, a plasma screen TV set and build up a fat bank balance. That meant success to me. But when I look around, I feel my friends and relatives are successful but not really happy.
Unfortunately, we equate happiness with good things happening to us. The Greek have a famous saying — “Call no man happy until he is dead.”
So the pursuit of happiness isn’t as simple as I thought it would be during my childhood years. When we are younger, simpler things created that adrenalin rush and euphoria at having achieved something, be it success in exams or financial gains.
But life would return to normal soon. Then I needed something else to give me a bigger high. It was an endless pursuit.
Recently, I was talking to a friend. We agreed that the happiest time in our lives was when we were kids. We thought we had nothing then. But in reality, we had something more valuable, that something called ‘hope’.
The problem with many of us is we only worry about securing our future. So we never truly live, although we hope to. And as we are always desperately trying to secure our future happiness, it’s inevitable that we never end up being happy in the true sense.
I’m not trying to say that there’s a universal secret to happiness but I’m just pondering the issue of the pursuit of happiness.
Somewhere I’d read that happiness is less a matter of getting what we want but more about wanting what we have. How I wish I can apply this in my life and get off this treadmill, that we call the ‘rat race’.