Happiness must never be postponed or forsaken for any ‘thing’ or person.
At a meeting yesterday, we talked about our Program, Help Yourself To Happiness. Someone pointed out that it was a very important Program for young folks who are faced with a “quarter-Life” crisis. All of us agreed.
I thought about this conversation for a while after we had finished the meeting. I shared with Vaani my observation that people of this generation were facing a “quarter-Life” crisis while our generation (from the 1960s) predominantly dealt only with a “mid-Life” crisis. Indeed, it may well appear that a “what-is-the-meaning-of-Life” crisis is arriving early for the millennial generation. Surely this is not something to worry about. In fact, if our search for meaning is happening early on, that much better. This really means people will sort themselves out faster and will have that much more time to lead qualitative, happy, lives.
I realized only when I was 38 (in 2005) that all I wanted to do, for the rest of my Life, was to inspire people to happiness. Even then it has taken me over a decade of consistent practice, of being happy despite the circumstances, to reach the point, in the past few years, when I can share my learnings with others. I am keen to help young folks understand that Life is a limited period offer and that the most intelligent – and appropriate – way to live it is to be happy doing only what you love doing. I want to help them appreciate that while you can’t predict or avoid the upheavals in Life, you can surely sail through the turbulence better, without suffering, despite the pain, if you are happy.
So, I am delighted if people are asking existential questions early on in their lives. What is the meaning of Life? What is my Life’s Purpose? Am I living or am I just earning a living? What is all that I am doing adding up to? These are beautiful questions. These are seeking questions. And everyone must ask them. Only when you ask these questions will your seeking spirit awaken to lead you. Therefore, it is always better that these questions are asked early in Life, and you allow yourself to be led only by what makes you happy. This way, you can spend a larger part of your Life simply being happy!
Now, does this mean our generation was foolish enough to allow so much time to pass before we asked the most important questions of our Life? Before we understood what matters most and why? I don’t know about others. But I certainly squandered the first 30+ years of my Life thinking success was all about name, fame and money. It was only when I understood the impermanence of everything material, including Life itself, that I awoke to happiness.
I have realized that there is no treasure at the end of the rainbow. There is no pot of gold. I have understood that happiness is not a goal. It is not a destination. So, it must never be postponed or forsaken for any ‘thing’ or person! In Life, the journey is the reward. And the happier you are on this journey, by being non-worrying, non-frustrated and non-suffering, the more you will enjoy it.
So, just imagine what a beautiful world it would be if everyone was encouraged to appreciate Life this way early on. This is the way Osho beseeched us to embrace. This is the way that J.Krishnamurti championed in all his KFI schools, particularly at Rishi Valley. When more people help themselves to happiness, then, the answer “happy” – to the ubiquitous question that is unfailingly asked of all teens: “what do you want to be (when you grow up)” – won’t be startling anymore! So, let ‘em bring on the crisis. The earlier they know that the journey is the reward, the better. Then they won’t squander their precious lifetime chasing a non-existent reward instead of celebrating the magical journey!