Happiness cannot be captured in a piece of currency or consumed like a pizza. Happiness also isn’t about chasing rainbows or flying around with angels. Happiness is deeply personal and extremely subjective.
My mother calculates happiness as devoting her time to god. My sister derives happiness from playing with her 3 year old. My father is happy when he’s at work.
In the last decade, the topic of happiness has created a lot of unrest in our minds. They say ‘happiness is within you’. Well, honestly, I’ve dug deeper than Mariana Trench – still no trace of happiness.
Once I was observing an infant. He laughed his lungs out just by looking at a dog wag it’s tail. I had a hard time imagining myself as an infant. For all i know, i would have given the dog a dirty look and turned around.
Then I realized, an infant is like a clear glass. You can see through – he is transparent. As we grow older, the glass gets tainted. We go on a path that lacks clarity. There are zillions of factors that decide the level of clarity on our glasses. For eg, if i (at my current age) start laughing my heart out at a dog wagging it’s tail, people around me will probably turn me into a mental facility. What I’m trying to say is, we get conscious of what others think of us.
Self awareness is important. But self esteem is also important. We fear being rejected by the society. Hence, the trajectory of our actions isn’t directed towards self awareness, it is directed towards self esteem.
Why do we fear eating alone at a restaurant or watch a movie alone? Is it because people around us might judge you? Well, no one has the time to do that. They are probably busy making themselves acceptable to people like you. Our society is confused. On one hand, we talk about things like ‘do what your heart says’ at the same time, we judge the ones who do.
Doing what makes you happy or your heart wants might end up making you an example of bad choices. Parents will instruct their children to not be like you.
At some point, you have to start giving more weightage to self awareness than self esteem. Only this is how the glass will get clearer and clearer.
Try it! Watch a movie alone and go have dinner at a really fancy place – all by yourself. There’s no feeling better than enjoying your own company (and not sharing your food) !!
Keep smiling 🙂