Saturday, December 7, 2013


What makes us happy?
Here is a list :-

  1.  A new shirt, dress or clothes in general. 
  2.  A new Watch or jewelry, house, car, aeroplane
  3.  Meeting old friends
  4.  Promotions, p
  5.  Meeting parents
  6.  Eating good food, celebrating your birthday, anniversary etc..
  7. A new phone, computer, tablet, tv...
  8. Celebrating festivals
  9. Charity
  10. Falling in Love, one night stands, 
  11. Marriage, Kids
  12. Travel
The list could go on and on, but I am hazarding a guess that the above list probably  caters for about 99% of the reasons for feeling happy.

However, the question that lingers is  "Why Doesn't Happiness Last"?

Its logical to assume that once you get anyone of the above things or reasons to be happy, you should continue to remain happy. I mean, that Rolex you just bought for $10000, its going to last a lifetime. Shouldn't that continue giving you happiness? Or that lovely necklace, that iPhone, dress.... Think about it, why doesn't happiness last, because the "thing" that gave you happiness is still there.

Similarly, with friends, spouses, kids, colleagues, lovers, happiness to see them, live with them, is there, but a strange feeling of discontent does creep in, that niggling feeling.....

Economists have coined a law for it "The law of diminishing returns". They have also got it pat down that "Value" of a thing is relative to its desirability among the masses. The iPhone is an Object of Desire but would it be, if millions had not bought it and random people would not have given you envious looks and admiring glances.

Can one be truly happy? Philosophers, spiritual leaders, religions - they all eschew the virtue of moderation and abstinence as a means of achieving lasting happiness. "Attachment is the root cause of all human suffering" quoted Gautam Buddh.  But then how do you explain that euphoric feeling when you  buy that  "Rolex" you always coveted or that "Ferrari". Does it mean that once you acquire it, you should not care about whether it gets stolen, dented or spoilt? Or does it mean that in the pursuit of obtaining it, you make your life a living hell by working overtime to buy it , and only to discover a few months later, that something better has come out and this is no longer the rage, its not worth the effort?

One may be deeply religious and be one with god, but does that ensure happiness? Does it mean that those people are happier that the others? Could be.. but are they always happy?

Wikipedia  has a very nice article on happiness and you should read it. But as always - without all the mumbo-jumbo and science behind all this - My take on Happiness.

  • Happiness is a state of mind. To be truly happy, you need to be happy every moment of your life. This means that everything that happens or whatever you do should make you happy, (in varying degrees at first), but happy nevertheless. 
  • Your happiness should not be conditional - for eg. I shall be very happy if you do this or if I get that .... To be truly happy, you need to be selfless - i.e. you are happy that your friend bought a new car (not jealous!!) , that your parents did something they like but you don't. Similarly, even if your GF/BF/Friend/Wife/Kid did something that you may not approve off, be happy for them. Being sad and angry only makes you miserable. 
  • Money doesn't buy everlasting happiness (momentary definitely!). The proper use of money shall enable you to achieve everlasting happiness,
  • Happiness is in the moment, because reality is momentary. What is now is past, and what the future holds, you don't know. So be happy in the moment, like a child,  and you will experience ever Lasting happiness.

PS. In reality, this is tough, very tough. The way we humans are wired, the way society has evolved, they way happiness is projected.. years of programming need to be undone. Maybe on our death bed lasting happiness will be achieved- so what- better late than never- keep trying, its a liberating feeling.

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