We all want to be happy, but nobody is. We confuse happiness with success, with pleasure, wealth, name and fame. In fact, we don’t even know what happiness is. We experience moments of joy followed by misery. What most of us think happiness is, is brought in our lives by different triggers like a good movie or a favourite food. Something that makes someone happy may not make somebody else happy. For instance, one may be happy sitting at home reading a book, but somebody else will find that boring. But regardless, each has his own happiness triggers — things that bring moments of joy. The whole world seems to be living by the ‘pleasure-pain principle’ – which states that we are all attracted towards pleasure while we all shun pain. We don’t realize that happiness is not a state of ‘becoming’ but ‘being’. We think that we will become happy one day. No, we won’t. We just have to be happy now, in the moment, moment by moment. Nonetheless, the most important question is, ‘Is everybody happy?’ No doubt some people are happy some time, but not everybody is happy all the time. Is it even possible to be always happy? Indeed, it is. But we will come to that later.
Primarily, there are six simple steps to Happiness –
Step 1: We must want to be Happy.
Step 2: We must introspect and understand what makes us Happy (Happiness Triggers).
Step 3: We must pull
the Happiness Triggers and be Happy.
Step 4: We need to eliminate Joy Stealers or Messengers of misery from our lives like anger, jealousy, worry and avoid being unhappy.
Step 5: Bounce back from tough situations with Faith, Hope, and Enthusiasm.
Step 6: Choose to remain Happy always!
Many people live miserable lives. They only focus on their problems and difficulties, and burdened by these challenges, they find it difficult to smile. Isn’t that strange? Mustn’t we at least decide to be happy? There are others who are cheerful and enthusiastic. They enjoy each day. Some people believe that happiness depends on their past actions while others believe that it is their present actions that will decide their joy index. Some believe that happiness is a matter of luck, fate, chance, while others prefer to pluck happiness with their own efforts. Different people believe in different philosophies of life. Yet one thing does not change – everybody wants to be happy!
One of the biggest misconceptions we have is — success is happiness. Being successful doesn’t translate to more happiness. If wealth created happiness, then the rich would be glad, not sad. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean that poverty will create happiness. Of course, there are people who have little who are happy, just as there are wealthy people who are unhappy. Happiness, thus, is a state of mind. As said before, one cannot become happy, one has to be happy, moment by moment. Unfortunately, we depend on products, places and people to be happy. We have desires and wants, and not all our desires are fulfilled. We associate happiness with achievement. If our dreams come true, we become happy, or else, we are disappointed and disheartened. Achievement is the First Peak of Happiness. It gives a ‘kick’ – an instant gratification, immense pleasure that creates happiness. But achievement does not create true happiness because the joy experienced from achievement is transient. We only want more and more and more, and our greed overtakes our need.
As long as we continue to seek happiness on the first peak, we will never discover the peace and bliss on the Second Peak of Happiness, Fulfillment which is based on contentment. On this peak, people are content and satisfied. This gives us peace and peace is the foundation of happiness. Most of humanity, unfortunately, doesn’t even know that there is a second peak — the Peak of Fulfillment. They live and die on the First Peak of Achievement. But beyond FULFILLMENT, there is yet another peak. Only a handful of people even know about this. The rest are ignorant.
What is the third peak and what is it all about? The Third Peak of Happiness is Enlightenment. It is about Liberation from the several prisons of misery. It is about realization of the truth of who we are and why we are here. It is about achieving freedom from the prisons of suffering — from the pain of the body, misery of the mind and agony of the ego.
Less than 1% of humanity goes on a quest for the Third and Ultimate Peak of Happiness – Enlightenment. It is freedom from stress, worry, anger, greed, and revenge; freedom from duty and shame; and freedom from old age, disease, death, and rebirth. We overcome the darkness of ignorance that exists in humanity. This gives us uninterrupted contentment and fulfillment, joy and bliss, peace and tranquillity. A true seeker transcends the desires of the mind and the body, and moves towards Liberation. One who has realized the self and is liberated, progresses on the journey of the Third and Ultimate Peak of Happiness. A liberated one experiences SatChitAnanda, which is the ultimate happiness, it is everlasting joy and eternal peace. When we live with the consciousness of the truth, we experience the Divine Bliss of SatChitAnanda.