The world seems to be spiralling into an unhappier and unhappier place, if we are to believe what psychologists and columnists are saying. And I’m not saying they’re wrong; there’re statistics and surveys which show that people themselves admit feeling pretty sad. Well, from the experience of yet another columnist, I shall try to crack the enigma of what our purpose is in life!
1. We have to be sad to be happy.
This principle may seem obscure to you, but also blindingly obvious. What goes up must come down, right? And as they say, you need imperfections in order to appreciate perfections, and night to show what is day. If a person is forever happy, he will soon become sad, because he simply does not understand or cherish his eternal happiness. That’s why rich Indian adolescents are reported to be taking drugs and committing crimes, just to get a kick out of life. They get to flirt with loss, dismay and misery, and that’s how they appreciate peace.
And so, the next time you feel down, remember this. If you were not sad, you would never be able to identify the times you were happy.
2. Want keeps us going.
Maybe it’s the intense consumerist education I have been exposed to since birth, but I think that we are driven by want. Want determines goals, and working towards a goal is one of the most fulfilling activities in life, and one of the best ways to spend the lengthy time we have. Yes, if we live out our lives not doing anything at all, we’ll find that life is really pretty short.
People may complain why we were born with hunger, and thirst, and deprivation. I can say very simply that hunger gives us something to do, which is to find food. Without the need to find food, I can assure you that we’ll be even more bored than we are too. Eating biologically gives us pleasure, and so is the fulfilment of wants. People are intrinsically motivated to do many things, such as creating art, and if we didn’t want to finish our work of art we would be left as empty shells.
Therefore, be grateful that you don’t have all that you want. Or rather, be grateful that you’ll never be satisfied with what you have.
3. Take delight in doing pointless things.
One of the best moments in life, if I were to think back, is having nothing to do and just sitting back and admiring the scenery, or gabbing the ear off of a friend. I like doing things and letting time slip by without any resistance, without bothering to check the watch, without thinking about whether I’m late for anything. You don’t need to spend too much time, really. Just taking a walk down a park, or talking on Skype with a friend from years back to reminisce about the past, are all things that will leave you feeling great. Even exchanging a joke, or being complimented by a stranger, are all little things that amount to nothing save for a good mood for a while yet.
There are lots of stuff in life that you don’t think about, but can really change your outlook on the world. So do go and be happy, but not too happy all the time!