Recently I saw one of my past students after many years. We both were attending a common function. We stayed in the same hall for about an hour but he kept on eluding me. I felt he was not very receptive of my presence. Ultimately being a pester that I am, I went ahead and greeted him.
I love to meet my students who try to avoid me. Generally they do this when they don’t have anything remarkable in their list of achievements or they are going under some emotional stress. It gives me an immense satisfaction, when I am able to peep into their minds,understand their troubles and provide a sympathetic ear to them, if nothing else. The overall idea is to make them open up. And believe me in all such cases I have seen my children pouring their heart out. I feel this is important as I have come across innumerable talents being tethered and pulled towards the extreme end of fear and depression.
Within five minutes he blurted out everything. At last he simply said that HE WAS NOT HAPPY. He asked me sir, Is success more important than happiness.
Surprisingly within last 6 months this question had popped up thrice in front of me. They were posed in different words but were leading to the same effect. I felt that somewhere there is something which is fundamentally wrong in our modern method of upbringing of our new generation. Thus I decided to go deeper into the subject and evaluate it in the present day context.
To start with, I decided to define happiness. I needed to define it as per my personal experiences in life. The problem of comparing happiness – an abstract thing, with success – a materialistic aspect as taken in the general sense; was not an easy task to comprehend.
What is happiness?
I tried to define happiness in my own terms. I realised that Happiness is getting in peace with one’s own mind. To substantiate my idea I looked into the pages of history. Gautam Buddha’s life provided me the correct understanding. He was a failure in terms of tangible gains, but was he unhappy; I had my doubts. I understood him as a person who was at peace with himself and so nothing brought unhappiness to him.
Success I felt, is very different from the common perception. I found success, as abstract as happiness. Abstract is something that cannot be seen and the one which cannot be measured. Success also satisfied the criteria. No being is truly successful. The craving for more and more makes a mind continuously go on, in the quest of success. It always feels that still much more should be done to achieve a truly satisfying status. These minds belong to successful but unhappy people.
I understood that success is pivotal for happiness but it is only an ingredient of a magic potion. It is like salt in a curry. It adds to the taste, and that’s all. There are other things too, which matter to a person to be eternally happy.
More so, success comes in fragments and is intermittent in nature. It is never continuous and always gets laced with streaks of failure. It’s the Nature’s way of balancing things. Many people term it as fate.
So to conclude, I would suggest that let us accept these failures and keep on fighting. At a point when we see that things are going out of our control, then let us not worry, just step back and let the things happen. Remember we cannot change the way of life. It has its own ups and downs. And in fact that’s the beauty of it. It is fighting against the odds that make us more enduring and stronger. At these low points, we need helping hands and strong shoulders. And here our personal equations will matter with the people around us. Some will be happy, seeing the fall but there are some who want us to rise again from the ashes like a phoenix.
SO WE NEED TO STAY TUNED AND WORK HARD. NOT TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL BUT FOR HAPPINESS. LET US KEEP OUR CONSCIENCE CLEAR THAT WE DID OUR BEST TO MAKE OURSELVES HAPPY ALONG WITH SOME PEOPLE WHO MATTER TO US THE MOST….
(My personal opinion as always.)