Thu, 18 Jul, 2024

Stop Trying to be Happy

By Suraj Prasai

A happy man doesn’t wonder if he is happy, just like a confident man who doesn’t wonder if he is confident.

People often mistake happiness for pleasure. They seek happiness in parties, watching TVs, buying cars etc. but in reality, all of that is just pleasure. Pleasure may not always lead to happiness. It is usually only temporary. Ask any drug addict what their pursuit of pleasure lead them to. Are they happy? Majority will probably say no.

Pleasure is merely a form of temporary satisfaction which, while necessary, isn’t sufficient to be happy for life.

Happiness does not require one to lower their expectations. Actually, the building blocks of happiness are the times when you fail to reach your expectations. If your expectation is to have a 3000$ salary and drive an expensive car, then the happiness is usually gained, not in earning it, but the work you do to achieve that goal. So set your expectations high, set your standards to where you can’t reach so that you learn from the falls that crack the ground because that’s how something amazing could possibly grow out of that same crack.

For Students, completing projects or assignments on time makes us happier than getting chocolates to enjoy. Similarly for parents, getting to raise their kids and spend time with them makes them happier than anything else. These are meaningful moments and activities of people’s lives. They involve pain, struggle, anger, despair, yet by the time we pass them we are all misty eyed remembering our past happily. Happiness is the process of becoming your ideal self because these are activities that grant us happiness regardless of the pain; in fact, the pain only enhances the happiness that we get. That is why some people are happy to serve their nations at war, while others are sad despite all their fame and fortune.

What this implies is that happiness is not achieved by pursuing it, but by the particular set of ongoing life experiences, the failures, the pain and the desire. Happiness, like any other emotions is not something you obtain, but rather something you gain. People try to ignore the sadness inside them and paint their faces with a smile even in the toughest of situations but, in reality, negative emotions are necessary and healthy for maintaining a stable baseline happiness in one’s life.

If you have to try to be cool, you will never be cool. If you have to try to be happy, then you will never be happy. Maybe the problem these days is people are just trying too hard.