What is it that makes us “really” and not “supposedly” happy? What is it that we are truly “meant to” and not just “supposed to" do? When will we make a serious attempt to understand and unearth the difference between the inner reality and the supposed reality that we inherited from the society?
The one undeniable and inescapable fact in our lives is that we all want to be happy. In this pursuit of happiness, we end up running after several things and in the process this chase often ends up creating more distance between us and our happiness. But may be the fault does not lie in the fact that we are chasing something. May be the fault lies in what we have decided to chase and how we have decided to chase it. May be the fault lies in the fact that we are too focused on the target rather than the journey. May be the fault lies in the fact that we are simply running after things not knowing how much is enough.
So may be the question we all should be really asking ourselves is “how to be happy in chasing the happiness”.
Chasing real happiness requires us to move away from our closely and dearly held notions, beliefs and values, that the society had imprinted on our brains from a very early and impressionable age. These beliefs imprinted in our minds give us a ‘one size fits all’ definition of what constitutes happiness. As it turns out, we all come in different shapes and sizes.
Majority of us grew up believing and cherishing these pre-defined parameters of happiness. We believe that the more parameters we can fulfill, the more happiness we can achieve. And thus begins our journey to chase what we are wired to believe. And while we are at it, we don’t realize when this supposedly personal journey of life becomes a full-fledged rat race.
It’s amazing, this rat race. This is a race where the finishing line is also racing away from us. So irrespective of whether we are the hare or the tortoise in this race, we can never really touch our finish line because it keeps teasing and taunting us with “catch me if you can”. So it’s not a surprise that happiness seems like a mirage. But then, somewhere along the race, some people notice this paradox and begin to question. They question the dynamics of this race and they question the authenticity of the moving goal post. And against all the practical wisdom acquired over the years, they do the unthinkable….they Pause.
It’s amazing, this pause. Somehow, this pause is more demanding and challenging than the actual running. But these warriors brave the pause and begin to realize that in the current dynamics of life, they can never touch their goal if it keeps running faster than them. They figure out that their chase for this “pre-defined happiness” is not really making them happy. They realize that they need to re-assess and re-define their very own meaning of happiness. And thus begins a new journey.
It’s amazing, this new journey. It forces us to carve our own track and field event within the Olympics of humanity. This journey makes us look inside rather than outside for answers, something we are not accustomed to. And as we are attempting to do this arduous task, we have to somehow find the courage to not get lured by the old race, which now looks like a cake walk. We become like recovering addicts who are searching for a detox plan that is deeply lost in the pool of our vices. Nothing can be more brutally demanding of our undeterred focus than this.
And then, upon somehow finding some of the answers of what we are meant to do, begins yet another new journey.
It’s amazing, this new journey. This journey is like no other. This is a journey where for the first time, the goalpost is steadfast and awaits with open arms. This is a journey where traversing becomes like a series of self-choreographed dance moves and where rhythm is more important than the technique.
This is a journey where the steps define the direction. This is a journey where the feet pave the path.
And that’s how it should be.