"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me that I didn't understand the assignment and I told them they didn't understand life." - John Lennon.
Many a times when you just casually ask a person if they are happy or not, very rarely you hear them say: Yes, I am happy. The answers that I usually get are: 'I don't know'. 'I have everything yet something is missing'.'I will be happy when this dream of mine gets fulfilled'. 'I will be happy when I land up in this job or have this'. The list is endless. Reason being, things are endless. Even though sometimes some people may intellectually say that they are happy, they may not really feel it. When we attach our expression of happiness with acquisition of things, goals, dreams, something outside us & not within, we don't get the fulfillment. There is always this longing & anxiety then for the next best. Thus, we don't feel the happiness.
Happiness is not this thing or that thing but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing and not because of achieving something or attaining something. The equation of happiness is simply this:
When we grow across all our four bodies: mind, body, emotion & spirit; we become happy. When we have an intention and when that intention gets fulfilled, we become happy because to fulfill that intention, growth in any of the four bodies need to happen. The process of growth and the deep feeling inside us that we experience while we are growing & developing is happiness. Buying and acquiring things doesn't enable growth in us. Stagnancy amounts to complacency and this leads to unhappiness & numbness.
As we grow, we nourish ourselves and thus take ourselves to a space where we can viscerally feel that growth in us. So, happiness is something that is inside of us and not outside. Our quest should be to keep growing across all the four bodies towards mastery for attaining ultimate happiness. No amount of acquisition will make us happy but internal growth will. So, next time you aren't happy, do ask yourself these questions: Am I growing across all the four bodies? Am I physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually growing? If not, what would allow me to do that?
Leaving you with this beautiful anonymous quote & reflective thought: "Ironically enough, when you make peace with the fact that the purpose of life is not happiness but rather experience & growth, happiness comes as a natural byproduct. When you are not seeking it as the objective, it will find its way to you."
Coach to People Leaders, Start-up Founders & Transitioning professionals