The Art of Happiness

Have you ever felt so helpless that even after knowing you wouldn't find it there, you've looked for happiness in the same place? Have you ever felt like, 'Damn, I'm unhappy and it's not even my fault'? Let's figure out the roots of these happenings.

Imagine your life is like a fruit. Please don't imagine a banana, even though you feel like you are one. 

Then the outermost layer is your work life and colleagues (doesn't matter whether you like them, they become a part of your life anyway). The middle part, the juicy, sweet, and cushiony party is your friends and family.

And you, my friend, reading this post, are the seed of it. 

And no matter how intently you claim that your happiness is your family, your parents, your children, your friends, your work or the food you love, it's not. Your happiness is the innermost seed. Your happiness is you. 

Want to find out how that works? Let's talk about the outermost layer first. 

In 24 hours of our day, roughly, we're up for 16 hours. Out of which, 3 hours we spend in half-sleep, another 3 we spend brushing, bathing, eating, scrolling our phone screens or watching TV. Out of the remaining 10, 8 hours we spend at work, and the remaining 2, we spend thinking about work, boss, and colleagues. The maximum amount of our time we spend enveloped in things that test our patience every day! But it's one of our layers, not so close but not very useless either. Mind you, it's the protective one. It provides you money for the house loan, car loan, your child's birthday party or your daughter's wedding. It gives you social status. 

But how many of us can guarantee that they enjoy each and every moment at work? None. Well it's not really surprising, is it? 

It happens because of the persistently increasing competition; competition for growth, to earn more money, to see who runs faster to reach the target first. This race brings out the negativity because, if we want to come first, someone else has to come second. Someone else has to perform poorer than us. And there are some people who don’t hesitate to ruin someone else’s performance. We forget that sometimes while climbing higher and higher we're stepping on other people. 

Sometimes, it's not about competition. It's about a person who couldn't stop speaking negative about other people, boss, and work. Such a company can make you negative too. You try to stay away but what can you do if your boss wants you two to work together? But thankfully one day that person gets himself fired or transferred or gets a different job. You celebrate the solitude with coffee and positivity, but soon a new colleague joins in and you realize that he's even worse! Hey, what can you do? You can't scream or make a racket because things aren't turning out as you want them. It's not your home!  

See, you can't change the circumstances, but you can move inward to find happiness. 

You can't stop the rain from falling but you can build a shelter to protect you.

So, let's talk about the inner layer. 

Now, it is your home. Your comforting bed, your family, and friends. The sweetest part. But don't tell me it's perfect, because it's not. Nothing is perfect. At least one of your relatives or friends is crooked. It's the universal rule that a family won't be able to function without a crooked relative. And it's always some uncle. Something or someone is going to vex you there also. Someone is coming, go pick them up. Someone is leaving, go drop them off. Someone scored 100% in the exam, go to that party and get you meager marks compared. Someone got their third promotion, you're still searching for a job. Someone had a kid, you're not even married. 

Take a breath and calm down. Move more and more inward. 

#ApnaTimeAayga (every dog has its day) that's all I want to say. 

Come to the innermost part now.

Let's talk about you. I had seen this documentary on TV a couple of years ago. There was this monk, who had practiced meditation for years. There was another guy with him who was documenting the power of meditation. So, to test that, they went to a place where it was snowing and the temperature outside was around -2°. The guy had a stick in his hand and the monk was sitting half necked on the ground. The guy kept hitting the monk on the back and the monk didn't even flinch. Now, the guy who had never meditated in his whole life sat down and the monk hit him, and just with one light blow he wailed, falling on the ground. (Epilogue: the guy did practice mediation for a few months after that and at the same place, in the same condition, he survived a few blows) 

This tells us that if you are content on the inside, not even the extreme physical conditions can disturb you. If you're happy inside, no negative thing or person can snatch that away from you. Move inwards, and don't let the negativity penetrate inside. Shield yourself, always be on the watch. 

No matter how bad outer layers of the fruit are, if you keep the seed in the perfect

condition, you can always harvest a better yield.

The better seed will grow up to be a better tree, a better tree will bear better fruits, and the process will keep repeating for decades. You are the seed. Make yourself a better one. Make yourself nutritious in a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual way. Don't let other's negativity infect you, but make sure that your happiness infects others. The more you give, the more you'll receive. And that's the simple art of happiness! 

P.S. My favorite fruit is watermelon. So, I'm assuming my life is like a watermelon, with multiple seeds. So, if one seed isn't happy and just can't seem to give away its negativity, I'll have 50 more to look forward to! 

What's your favorite fruit? Is your life like that fruit? Let me know in the comments! 

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Saee Motling

Contributing Writer

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