Recently Jayamohan, one of my schoolmates, came to visit me. He is an officer in Indian government services. His wife is a bank manager. He has only one son who is working in a IT company as engineer.
We talked a lot. He said: “Uday, when you people look from outside, I have everything – money, power, connection, good family background…”
“Everything?” I asked.
“Yes, everything that makes others envy…. But I am not at all happy. I have problems in my office. I am having a heart condition, BP and Diabetics. My wife has pressure in her bank – she also has some medical problems. My son is not married; he is using alcohol and seems bit depressed. Always tension…tension…”
“I have to confess to you. In the past, we (me and wife) were always looking down upon you as impractical, dumb and stupid. Many a times you were a point of discussion for us. A freelancer, no secure job, no regular income, three daughters, your wife didn’t go for job then, you didn’t get any family wealth, lot of responsibilities and burdens….still see, now you are very happy. Everything might have fallen in place for you. You are living a great life….”
“Jay, what is your real problem – is it that you are unhappy or I am happy?” I asked him.
“Don’t think I am envious of you. I would like to know how you managed to be happy always…I saw your wife is also jovial and laughing…It has been years since I saw my wife smiling.”
“Oh, that’s also your problem?”
“No – Uday, don’t think I am unhappy about it. It’s just – I am curious to know how did you manage all these? How to be happy like you?”
“Jay…I understand why you are unhappy…”
“You do compare. I don’t. I believe every human being is perfect with all his/her imperfections. So there is no point in comparing two human beings. I am contented with what I have, what the existence has provided me. Because I NEVER doubted the intelligence of existence – it gives the things that best suited for me, based on my karma. So I am happy. You don’t validate what you have. You always look at what you don’t have ( http://udaypai.in/real-eyes-realize-real-lies/ )”
“But you have lot of short comings, Na? How do you manage it?”
“Yes, I have lot of problems. I also have pains, miseries, hardships and troubles….”
“So, how can you be happy then?”
“I am happy because I have decided to be happy, come what may. You are unhappy, because you refuse to be happy.”
“How can you say that? All I seek – want and desire – is for happiness. But it never comes…”
“That’s the crux of the point. In fact two points. You have placed happiness in the future tense. And you defined the happiness as nothing but fulfilling your wants…”
“Still don’t understand. First point, I have placed happiness for the future…What do you mean by that?”
“Happiness was always a future tense for you. If I get a job, I will become happy. If I get marry to a rich girl, I will be happy. If I build a palatial house, I will be happy. I will be happy only if I get a boy child. I will be happy if I get a luxury car…”
– If only I had that new car, If only I had a huge house, If only I had the newest designer jewelry and branded clothes, If only I had millions as fixed deposit in my bank account – Then I would be happy.
“Yes, what was wrong in that? I have worked hard in an ethical way to meet all these things and I now have got everything…”
“Then, why are you not happy?”
“That’s what bothering me…I still find some voids…”
“Because you have positioned happiness as a thing of future. You can never live in the future. You can live only in the present.”
“When you position happiness in the future, you are silently declaring that I am unhappy in the present. Your mind is programmed with “I am NOT happy now’. So you are conditioned to believe that happiness comes only in the future. Mind doesn’t have any powers of its own. It goes by your inputs. (See http://udaypai.in/only-morons-can-control-mind/ , http://udaypai.in/does-the-human-mind-possess-any-super-po…/ and http://udaypai.in/mind-your-mind/ ). Your inputs are based on wrong definition. The truth of time is only present. Take any point of time from the spectrum of life; you are living only in the present. So…”
“If you are not happy in the present, you are never ever going to be happy in your life. You can NEVER live in the future. You can live only in the present, even when you reach the future. So if you are NOT content with what you have right now and if you don’t validate what you have right now and decide to be happy with that, you will never be happy…Live this moment. This is the only reality. All others are just a bunch of thoughts.”
– Accept who you are! Does it really matter if you don’t have the coolest car, or the plum job that you have always wanted? You don’t NEED these things to make you happy. The moment you accept your looks, personality, ambience, situations, objects, etc, you will be happy.
“Oh, that’s the meaning of living in the present, right? Nobody explained to me this simple…”Jay praised me as he is conditioned to think that flattering will make others happy! “Uday, what about the second point – You said that my idea of happiness is want based…”
“Yes. Want and need are two different things.”
“How come? Are wants and needs two set of separate things?”
“Your child will always want chocolate that you kept in the fridge. But you know that too much of chocolate will make him sick. You know he doesn’t need it…”
“Ah, yes. But in the personal life we want many things to meet our needs, right?”
“Yes, but the question is that whether it is essential need for you? For instance, I was using a two-wheeler when I had two kids. Me, wife and kids could travel in the bike. But when I had three kids and they have grown up, we can’t travel in the bike all together. And considering the safety of travel in the night time with three daughters, I have decided to buy a car. So my purchase of a car was not want based, but was based on need…And I didn’t buy car initially not because I was a miser, but I really didn’t need it. Hope you got my point.”
“So, you are indirectly hinting that I brought my luxury car based on want and not based on need…”
“I was going to tell directly. Not only that – luxury car was a statement of so-called social status. It was part of show-off, rather than a need. You are proud that you have a palatial house now – five bedrooms. For what? Tell me, when will you need more than two bedrooms in your house? Once in a while when guests come. If the guest cannot adjust with what I have, I would rather not welcome such guests in my house. So, your palatial house, according to my viewpoint, was want based.”
“Hmmm…Now I understand why you didn’t build a big bungalow even after your financials improved later when you got jobs from abroad…”
“Oh, I took up assignments only on need based. I didn’t need a big bungalow. If I felt it was essential, I would have made it. Making money was never a goal in my life, but living the life is.”
“Ah – got it. Essential things are the real needs of life…But what about next generation? For instance, you have three daughters…”
“There are two dangers in making money for next generation. One is that easy money will only destroy them. So, why should I make money for them? Let them work hard ethically and earn to make a living…Let them don’t get anything out-of-turn. We have seen the dangers of reservation in Indian politics too, so let them live a merit-based life.”
“Hmmm. I would have taught the same lesson to my son. We have pampered him a lot. We always used to tell him, even if he doesn’t work, we have made enough to live for two generations…”
“Jay, there is a second danger. If your son has enough and all others in your street are poor or anti-social, how will he live happily? He cannot live alone in this world. If people around him are becoming robbers, fanatics, criminals what can he do? It is idiotic to think that if we make money for our children they will lead a happy life. In fact, it is the other way around. You are destroying your children’s future by making them lazy and morons”
“But money is important in life…”
“Yes, but there are more important things – physical and mental health. Money is NOT worthy of overlooking these two. You need money to take care of yourself, I agree. But making money for future generations in effect will make you more fearful and insecure though we tend to believe other way around. When you always feed your ego with ‘I, me, mine’, you will end up more insecure. On the other hands, if you take up issues of people around you, you become one with them…The real happiness multiples when you care for people around you and share with them. That’s why our ancestors prayed Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu (May all beings everywhere be happy)”
“Jay, if you want to be happy, be happy right NOW. Tomorrow may never come. You may become sick and die. Appreciate what you have right now. You only said you have everything and still tried to compare yourself with ‘poor Uday’. Why? Let me be stupid or idiot, but I am happy with that. Then what’s your problem? You are practical, rich and affluent – be happy with that, so what’s your problem?”
Let’s choose an unlimited plan of happiness. Spread your happiness around as it’s contagious.
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