You can’t attain a problem-free state in Life. So, don’t postpone your happiness!
A friend has fallen out with his boss. But he’s past 50 and doesn’t want to leave Chennai. So, his career prospects are limited. He wants to find himself a new job, but given his self-imposed limitations and the lack of choices in the market around him, the process is taking longer. He wanted to know if it is possible for him to be happy while working with a boss who dislikes him intensely, and who he dislikes too, and when he’s (our friend) not getting what he wants – a job!
Basically, what our friend is wanting to know is if we can be happy while living with our problems? And the answer is, well, a resounding yes!!!
When you are in a problem situation, facing a challenge or solving something complicated or making sense of what has hit you and what’s going on, unhappiness is the first emotion that you experience. Because the very nature of a problem is that it is a problem only because you don’t want it. Yet because you now have it in your Life, without your wanting it, you plunge into unhappiness. When you are unhappy, dealing with anything becomes laborious, a drudgery! Then you stop living and merely exist. Everything becomes burdensome, every step you have to take is painful and you simply lose interest first, and sooner than later, you lose hope too. But just think – has your being unhappy really solved the problem? Or helped it in any manner? Well, surely, it hasn’t! So, of what use is it to display, or carry within you, an emotion which is completely useless?
The simplest, the most fundamental truth about Life is that happiness has nothing to do with the state in which you are. You can be happy despite your circumstances. Your circumstances __ health, relationship, heart-break, break-up, loss__don’t make you unhappy. It’s your desire, that the circumstances that are don’t exist, that makes you unhappy. In our friend’s case, his boss or his prolonged job search don’t make him unhappy. It is his desiring, that his boss must deal with him with dignity, that he must get a job faster, that makes him unhappy.
Surely, you will feel sad when you don’t get what you want. But you must learn to let go of the sadness. If you don’t and go on clinging to the sadness, you will end up leading an unhappy existence. When you feel unhappy about something, examine not just what or who is causing your unhappiness, but also examine what attitude of yours are you bringing to the situation. When you do that you will realize the futility of being unhappy. That’s how you start learning the art of being happy despite what’s going on with you. Soon, you will also realize that it is your happiness that will always help you deal with the situation much better.
You too can learn the fine art of living happily__despite your circumstances, in spite of your problems. Begin by choosing not to postpone being happy waiting for your problems to recede or go away. Perhaps they may. But know that newer ones will crop up. Because such is Life. So, you can either be alive and happy, while you still have and deal with your problems, or you can be dead while suffering from them.