When was the last time you drove in the rain for pleasure with your favorite music playing in the car? When was the last time you laughed till you had tears in your eyes? When did you last give yourself permission to sleep for as long as you wished without setting an alarm? Been a while, has it?
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Leisure seems to be luxury in a world which is constantly racing against time to achieve one goal after another. Whether you are an employee, a college going student, or a mother with two young kids, there are targets to be accomplished and deadlines to be met. Most of us, while keeping up with this never ending rat race are operating on auto pilot. We barely ever stop to check whether we are on track and whether what we are endlessly pursuing is something that we truly desire.
One of my all time favorite movies is The Pursuit of Happiness starring Will Smith. In the movie, he talks about how Thomas Jefferson put the phrase ‘pursuit of happiness’ in the American Declaration of Independence. Isn’t happiness the ultimate goal behind all our goals? The career that we are striving for, the fortune we are seeking to amass, the relationship we desire. Give yourself a moment to ponder over what is the reason that you want any of this.
There are two ways of going about seeking happiness. One is to postpone feeling happy till we reach one particular end or achieve one particular target. There is a danger that comes along with this approach. The moment we achieve one goal, the resultant feeling of happiness can be nullified by our realization of the next target on our To Do list. The other way is, to be happy while on our way to achieving our aim.
Ever wondered why we are wished a ‘happy journey’ while on our way to a destination? That’s because a pleasant journey is an imperative while arriving at a desired destination. It is important to have fun along the way. Life is a macro picture of a journey. It will be worthwhile undertaking it only if we take time out to rejoice and celebrate every little milestone. The legendary Kishore Kumar didn’t mince words while he sung Zindagi ek safar hai suhana….
A closer look at life will reveal that there are many more things going well for us then there aren’t. We are way more worthy than we give ourselves credit for. Blessings abound in our lives. If only, we could slow down for a moment to take notice of them.
Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss.” Three simple words loaded with profound wisdom. Slow down. Take a break. Give yourself credit for all that you have achieved so far. Bask in and acknowledge your successes. Take the failures into your stride. Rise above the need to constantly keep proving your worth to yourself and to those around you. Be grateful for everything you have in life.
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me that I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” ~ John Lennon
Happiness isn’t one big trophy that is out there to be won. It is a combination of those little everyday joys we experience. More than anything else, it is a state of mind. Allow yourself to lighten up. Each one of us is doing the very best we can. We need to cease the comparison with each other because none of us is on the same journey as another. Learn to take delight in the simple everyday pleasure that life has to offer.