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Saturday share - The Happiness Effect

Happiness is the buzz word for some time now. So what makes one happy? A car, house, penthouse, bungalow, gadgets, money, status, peace of mind, personal growth, spirituality, the list is endless.

Happiness is a state of mind. Happiness is subjective and changes from time to time for every person. Happiness is not a constant, it keeps changing.

Example – Having a burger or an ice-cream may make you happy. But in some time something triggers and Whoosh you are thrown out of the circle and then you know how much effort you need to take to make yourself happy? Many times you may want it and not get it also makes you unhappy. For example, one may want a monthly salary of $ 2000, the moment one gets it, it does not suffice and we become unhappy again, The greed to satisfy our wants and egos surpasses the need to be happy.

We all want to be happy. Do we know what makes you happy? So when we don’t know what makes me happy we expect others to make us happy? We shun to take responsibility for our own happiness. So we run to make others happy.

  • Parents to children and vice-versa

  • Wives to husbands and vice-versa

  • Government to people and vice-versa

  • Teachers to students and vice-versa

  • The employer to an employee and vice-versa

You cannot make others happy on the following premises

You don’t know what makes others happy. - Do you know what makes you happy?

If at all you make others happy once, what next? - If at all you know a particular thing makes you happy, what next?

You don’t know what others are expecting - Do you know what are your expectations from yourself

You don’t know if others act on what you say, to make them happy. - You don’t know if you act on what you feel makes you happy will make you happy.

People will do what they want to do irrespective of what you feel. - You will do what you want to do irrespective of it what you decide. That is how it is difficult to form habits, and you break resolutions, commitment fallacy.

You don’t know the implications you may have on others and you when you make the efforts to make others happy. - You don’t know the implications you may have on yourself and others when you make the efforts to make yourself.

So whose life is it? It is my life and I decide on it. Many of us are not even aware that I and only I can make myself happy. No parents, spouse, children, employer, or the government can make me happy. This is easier said than done. Many of us are conditioned to believe that our happiness is in the hands of someone else. We enjoy being ignorant. Ignorance is bliss.

The Buddha calls this ignorance ‘Avijjā’.

“Attā hi attano nātho

Attā hi attano gati”

(you yourself are your own master

You make your own destiny) ...........Dhammapada - 380

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