By VIGNESWARAN KANNAN
In this materialistic world, we are often swept into the sea of busyness in the pursuit for happiness. Everyone of us is working towards achieving happiness in every aspect of life. Our every action is propelled towards attaining some form of happiness.
Someone once told me that the final expectation of every activity or action that we do is towards attaining the end result of happiness.
However, many have forgotten that happiness is a journey and not a destination.
If you can’t be happy in this moment, it will be difficult for you later.
Life is but a fleeting moment
I recall an incident which happened at a goal-setting workshop conducted by a renowned psychologist which I attended some time ago.
During one of the sessions, there was an activity where all the participants were asked to write down their future goals and their action plan to achieve these objectives.
One of the participants who was an insurance agent drafted a unique goal and an action plan. His goal was to be a multimillionaire in 10 years’ time.
His action plan was to focus on work during that period. He will not spend time with his family as he will work from 8am to 10pm daily. He will not spend time with his friends or go for vacation.
According to the participant, he would enter the “happy” state after 10 years as he would be a multimillionaire by that time. He would then happily spend his time with his family, friends and go for vacation around the world.
Upon reading his statement, the psychologist said this,
Please give me an assurance that you will live up to 10 years from now.
The participant was left dumbfounded.
Are we delaying our happiness?
There are many of us who are like that participant. One of my friends said she will not be happy till she obtains her doctorate. Another friend does not attend family functions as he is busy achieving his first million and told me that he has no time for happiness now.
The truth is there is no guarantee that we will live another day or even the next hour. That’s how mysterious life is.
In the uncertainty of life, there is actually not much time that we have to wait to be happy.
The ultimate truth in psychology of happiness is that happiness obtained from material elements is temporary. It could be from any form of happiness derived from material achievements and this includes monetary gain.
This also applies to our future dreams, needs and wants that we desire to be happy.
Happiness from material gains is temporary
You can just look back at your past happiness. You might have worked so hard to achieve your particular dream to be happy but once you have achieved it, the strength of the happiness fades away over time.
Happiness gained from material elements will never last. It has a temporary effect and many of us are unaware of this undeniable truth.
The only way to achieve or touch the radiating joy in us is by practising non-materialistic activities which will contribute to our everlasting internal joy.
The internal joy can be best achieved through prayers and meditation. One can feel the internal joy without any external elements. When we reach the climax of happiness, we can feel peace and contentment.
A balancing act
It is not wrong to work towards achieving the right material dreams. Life is, after all, about balancing the material and non-material joy. But one must learn to be happy in this very moment and spend time on prayers and mediation to be truly happy inside.