Without thinking too much about it, many of us will not be in a dilemma to answer this question. And the answer would be a probable ‘YES’. There was once a man who purchased his first Ferrari some two decades ago. One look at the beauty and his heart was sold on it. He freaking […]

Without thinking too much about it, many of us will not be in a dilemma to answer this question. And the answer would be a probable ‘YES’.

There was once a man who purchased his first Ferrari some two decades ago. One look at the beauty and his heart was sold on it. He freaking loved getting into the car, smelling the leather, touching the start button and watching the digital screen light up, and then… he held down the start button and brake pedal…it was amazing! Exhilarating! Explosive! Effective! Every Single Time! He had many nice cars. No other car excited him like this Ferrari. He loved everything that a man loves about machines, the acceleration, the engine responsiveness, and the sound of raw power.

Intriguingly, decades after, on being asked what it felt like buying your dream car, he said with a giant smile, “It was my toy, my enjoyment, and I also enjoyed the attention it got me and I loved when people told me that they feel so proud that I have really made it big and I must be really happy! But today I want to tell the same people, it wasn’t the Ferrari that gave me happiness, it was the experience of driving it that filled me with happiness.”

Today, his prized possession is parked in the garage, like a piece of sculpture, sublime beauty but now it appears fragile and vulnerable. It was now just a machine that he once thought could turn horsepower into happiness. How true is that, when we attach our happiness to things or to people, it tends to fade as these things wither away?

Affluence, fame, and social status alone do not guarantee happiness. Suffering and misery makes no distinction between wealthy and poor, and vanity is no safeguard against misfortune.
What is happiness and how do we get Happy?

We all want to be happy. Most people will describe happiness as the feeling one gets when you are able to possess something you desire for, or achieve goals you aim at. Happiness is considered as contingent on happening or non- happening of events in life. You often find people saying, “If only things were different, then I’d be happy.” The concept of happiness is neither complex nor is conditional or circumstantial.

Then there are some people who are naturally happy, cheerful and optimistic most of the time. Their positive and buoyant personality makes them charismatic and attractive people, like they bring a spell of happiness with their mere presence. But this doesn’t mean that such people who are always upbeat, don’t ever get cranky, irritated or as if they can’t lose their temper ever. Their happiness too is seldom ruined by anger, greed and stupidity, only that they can bounce back to happiness real soon.

There is cause and effect in everything. We all have some triggers in our environment in the form of people or situations that escalate positive or negative emotions resulting in happiness or unhappiness respectively.

When we achieve something, we feel elevated and take pride in our achievements but happiness is more than a good feeling or a yellow smiley face. It’s the feeling of truly enjoying your life, and the desire to make the very best of it.

People chase happiness as outcomes. When we don’t get what we want, we feel unhappy. When things don’t go our way, we are unhappy. When people we are in a relationship with don’t act the way we expect them to be, we are unhappy. We are unhappy because we have made our happiness dependent upon external things, whereas happiness is the innate nature of all human beings. There’s the happiness that comes from getting what you want, but there’s also the happiness in being content with who you are and what you have. But the happiness that depends on external factors, things, material wealth, is not permanent. It is a fleeting kind of happiness.

A big part of how happy we are depends on our mind set, the habits we practise, and the way we live each day.

Happiness should not be a privilege to be enjoyed at some times, only when one owns or possesses things or when one is in control of what we want and desire for, instead happiness should be the indomitable state of our being, our existence.

During a study conducted by Harvard, to understand the happiness quotient among those suffering from chronic disease, the response of all the patients were almost similar. When a cancer survivor was asked, what brings happiness to her? She believed that before she was diagnosed with cancer, she always thought happiness is all about achievements, she would be happy when she will complete her law degree, she would be more happy when she would be able to pay off her students loan, but after diagnosis, her take on happiness completely changed, now she felt that happiness is to not in achievements but it is to be found in mundane daily life experiences, watching sunset, your making your favourite pancakes for breakfast, your doctor allowing you one extra bar of chocolate as a reward for courage you showed in the chemo session, all this is happiness.

There are no parameters of happiness; it’s a state of mind. Happiness is not abstract theory involving only tangible things. People and their circumstances are unique and the spectrum of happiness is subjective, however indisputably a meaningful existence, purpose driven achievements and a state of mind, where feelings of bliss, contentment and gratitude is brimming, even when the profit and loss statement doesn’t show any gains, that’s happiness uncontaminated.

There is no happy pill for happiness.

There is no pill that you can pop to become happy, yes there are some pills that can increase happy hormones in your body, but that stays for some while and before you know it, you are back in the spiral of happy-unhappy-happy-unhappy!!

There can be medical conditions, for chronically feeling sad all the time, but that is a condition that needs attention and cure. Not all unhappiness is depression.

Temporary fixes for instant happiness are mood elevators like listening to your favourite music, exercising, dancing, cooking or indulging into anything which gives you a break from whatever is playing on your mind and takes you towards not feeling too good about yourself or things in general.

Quick fix are momentary means to come out of pain, or to distract and trick your mind and heart into believing ‘All is well’, but one must aim at cultivating the state of life which is always in bliss, can experience pure joy without getting perturbed by what’s going on the outside.

That’s absolute happiness, which is achieved when we are able to create meaning and purpose in life. When we are content with things around us, not to say to give up or compromise on the dreams and desires one has. Switching from a chaser mode to a creator mode, where whatever we desire, dream of, or that we do and achieve is creating value and joy in your life and in the life of everyone around you. Happiness is an on-going journey of creating more happiness, more joy, and more value. It is something which cannot be measured in the richness of your bank balance and worldly possessions, but can be measured in the richness of your heart and experiences we create while we are on the journey called life.

But, if driving a Ferrari puts a big smile on your face, make sure it stays even when no one’s watching!! Experience the bliss and be grateful.