Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Pursuit of Happiness - Everlasting Happiness, not Temporary Pleasures

They say that there are many ways to finding happiness. 

Some people believe that success will make them happy, while others believe that love will complete them.

It took me a long time to discover but I am beginning to understand now.

Happiness is the key to a true success in life. Not the other way around.

Material and financial success can only satisfy an individual for a period of time. After the recognition, the wealth, fame and social status - what then? 

All things material - however good or shiny and glamourous it may be - do not last. Hence, the happiness that is derived or defined by these things would not last either.

For those who believe that love is the answer to everything. Yes, you may be right. 

But the real question is - DO YOU KNOW HOW TO LOVE WITHOUT AGENDA?


Generally, all of us think we are in love with someone and we actually tell ourselves that we love that someone.

But in truth, we are actually in love with the way that someone gives us what we want, when we want it and how we want it. We have certain rules, expectations and conditions about this so-called love.


And the worst part is - we would never disclose to our partners or spouses. And if they keep getting it wrong, we'll blame them and become very upset. Even to the point of wanting to leave them.

Our kind of love is one governed by self-serving interests.

We are only happy when they do what we like and want.

It is all about us and judged from our own point of reference.

There is no such thing as a selfless and unconditional love.

If there ever was a period of selflessness and unconditional loving, it only happened at the very beginning of the courtship - when we want to attract and win the special someone over.

After getting that someone and for some, after marrying that someone - things begin to go downhill.


Because more and more expectations start to seep in. More un-expressed rules and conditions come into play. And they become more important to us than the person we used to adore and yearn to be with.

Yes, our expectations, our conditions and rules become the most important key factors in our relationships. It is no longer about that special someone and it will soon cease to become fun, romantic and lovely dovey.

Soon, it becomes a chore to even talk to one another.

Before you know it, you can't even stand the sight of each other and you just want to punch each other's faces.

THAT IS HOW WE GENERALLY LOVE at this day and age.

Honestly, I have spent many years trying to figure out why we do these things to one another. 

How did the person we used to cherish become the person we wish to be perished from the face of the earth?

How did heaven suddenly become hell?

Believe it or not, it is only recently that the answers began to dawn on me.


We all want love and to be loved. But to really love in return is much harder to do than just to say, "I LOVE YOU."

So, if our happiness is based on such a deformed perception of love, then how can we truly be happy?

If our ideas and beliefs about love or life and people are so stained with expectations, rules and conditions - we will never truly see someone as how he or she really is.

We will only see what we want to see.

So, what is the solution then?

Here, I can only share my own experiences and speak for myself. I share them because I hope they would be of some use to anyone out there who is also on a search to finding the truth and not running away and resorting to blaming someone else.

Here is my two cents' worth -

Finding happiness is like finding yourself. 

Take a moment to think about this, please.

If you do not know yourself and you do not know what you want out of life and you simply do not understand yourself, how can you expect anyone else to do the job well?

And why would you put that responsibility on someone else when it is really yours to begin with, and it will also end with you?

If you are always expecting someone else to understand you better than yourself, or know you better than yourself while you are still trying to figure out your life or dreams/goals in life - then you are definitely setting up the both of you for failure.

You don't find happiness, you make happiness by taking the journey within.

And yes, this is a journey you must take alone - though you can invite others to join you, if they choose to or like to. You do not force it upon others. And no, it does not mean that they do not love you more if they do not want to come along.

This journey is really for you in order to become a better you.

Self-actualization is a process of discovering who you are, who you want to be and understanding yourself. 

After under-going all that - then you would start to see yourself as who you really are and who you aspire to be.

Without going through this, everyone is in the dark - including yourself. 

Here, constant open communication is very important. 

We must be able to talk openly and honestly with our partners or spouses. We must want to share and grow together. Otherwise, only one person is growing and moving ahead while the other one is being left behind.

There are no hard and fast rules here or a magic cure-all formula.

Every couple and individual are unique and different.

But if there is zero communication - then we are shutting the other person out.

If one is single, then it is a different story. You can take your time to discover and learn. 

But there is one thing I'd like to stress here - this journey is an on-going thing. It only ends when we end. I.e. when we die.

Growth and development does not stop.

So, you will find that we need to work at paving the way to happiness by doing what brings YOU the most meaning and contentment to your life over the long run - not some temporary pursuit of pleasures, lusts and joy.

Everlasting happiness is possible when we work for it and create the causes for it.

If we have spent our lives chasing every skirt or pair of pants - that is all we will find at the end of our time on earth. Nothing real and lasting.

If we refuse to open up and take a chance, we will always live in fear and distrust - we will never experience real love and real happiness.

If we do not want to invest time and effort in cultivating relationships, how can you expect that you will magically find it one day? it will not just land on your lap.

Seriously, no one is perfect.

We all have our flaws, idiosyncrasies, weaknesses, fears, insecurities, etc. No one is spared from any of these.

Also, the different up-bringing and childhood and life experiences each person goes through will make them into the people they are today.

Everyone is really very unique and yet the same.

We are the same because we all want love and happiness.

We treasure peace, harmony and unity.

Now, if we can learn to be sources of all the above, wouldn't all of us make the people around us also much happier people too - including ourselves?

When we are a source of joy - we will bring joy and give joy to everyone we meet.

When we are a source of love and understanding - that is what we will give to those around us.

If we are the opposite, then thats the exact results that we will receive and experience.

Everyone has in some point of their lives, loved and lost love.

Everyone has, at some point in time, broken someone else's heart as much as getting their own hearts broken in return.

But let us NOT be governed by only the pain, misery and continue this cycle of emotional agony.

Let us NOT create the same pain and misery unto others.

No one deserves to be hurt. No one needs to suffer.

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” — Helen Keller
Don't hang on to the past, or your anger or your pain - let it all go.

Forgive them in the same way as you will learn to forgive yourself.

Your future need not be a repeat of your past or even your present.

It can be and should be much better.

We just need to learn how to love better and become better people for those we truly love.

In all this time, I finally realised that if we truly love the people we love - we will never stop wanting to become better people for them. 

Because in becoming better people, we can give more care, create more love and happiness with everyone who is important to us.

If you truly love someone, you will really push yourself to become a better person for that someone.

You will never stop improving yourself and you will not feel tired in wanting to make that someone happy.

Why? Because your love is real and is without agenda.

Until you can love without agenda, you will not know what true love means.

You will only have a superficial version of it.

Here, I make a strong wish for everyone -

May each person find their own true happiness. 

May each person find strength in our own vulnerability and have the courage to love without expectations, conditions and rules.

May each of us work hard to nurture and build that happiness to last our entire lifetimes.

 “Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” — Margaret Lee Runbeck

It does help, when we choose the right companions too. So, choose wisely.

Happiness, if not now, when?

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