There have been times in my life when I was asked if I was happy, and this was often followed by feeling somewhat confused. When I was asked this, a part of me felt that I had to say yes, while another part of me didn’t want to say anything.
The reason for this is that I am not striving to be happy, far from it; That does not mean that I do everything to be unhappy. For me, the purpose of life is to live a satisfying life – that’s what it’s about.
As time goes on, this is something I said when I received this question. And if I am asked if my life is satisfactory after I have said this, I will usually go into the areas of my life that give satisfaction.
For example, once I have written an article, I usually feel happy. The reason for this is that I have done something that is really meaningful to me – I will have met a number of needs.
2 types of luck
Shortly thereafter my mood will probably go down, but that does not mean that I will go from one extreme to the other. I will return to the middle area or to the middle of the emotional spectrum.
This kind of happiness is what is called value-based happiness, as opposed to sensation-based happiness. The first type of happiness will be the result of doing something that is important to me and the second type of happiness will be the result of taking something or having a pleasant experience.
Before I started writing, I was more inclined to look for certain experiences or consume things that would allow me to feel good. The perfect example of this was when I wanted to get up at night and get drunk.
During this time I would feel great and I would not want it to end, but this experience would not last and I would often wake up with a rough feeling. I soon discovered that the disadvantages compensated against the pros.
I think maybe reading Osho books made me come to see how useless it is to want to be happy. In some of his books, he tells how pleasure and pain are two sides of the same coin.
Pain follows pleasure in the same way that night follows the day. Not only this, the more we want something, the harder it is to achieve; therefore, we will probably experience more of the things that we try to run away from when we are out to be happy.
It was also around this time that I came to see that if I wanted to be happy, it was mostly because I was trying to avoid something. This might have meant that I was in pain, or that it might have something to do with how I perceived something.
Once I had experienced how I felt or my perspective changed, the need to experience life differently often disappeared. I remember talking to a therapist called Vijay Rana, and he said that for him, being happy was knowing that he could handle anything he wanted. This is all about being resilient.
A satisfied look
Although this does not necessarily mean that he will always have a smile on his face, it will probably give him a sense of faith and allow him to let go and trust that he will be OK no matter what.
When he said this, I thought it was a good way to be. Instead of trying to hunt something that cannot be done, he was more interested in being present; along with the work he did.
And last but not least
Returning to what I said at the beginning, I think the reason why I felt the need to say yes came down to me for approval, and saying yes was seen as a way for me to meet that need. I also feared that if I said no, I would have to talk about why that was the case.
This would have led me to experience fear and shame, and that was the last thing I wanted to experience. Over time, I have come to see that being happy is a by-product of a satisfying life.