Once a school of fish gathered together and as they talked about the different natural wonders of the world, they started discussing who among them had seen the ocean. None of them had had that experience.Then one fish said, “I think my great grandfather had seen the ocean!”
A second fish said, “Yes, this is true, I too have heard about this.”
A third fish said, “Yes, of course, his great grandfather had seen the ocean.”
So they built a huge shrine and made a statue of the great grandfather of that particular fish, saying, “He had seen the ocean. He had been connected with the ocean.’’
Our search for happiness is something like that. We put happiness on a pedestal, and start thinking of it as a destination that we need to reach.
When we’re in high school, we think we’ll be happy once we go to college. As we attend college, we think we’ll be happy when we secure a well-paying job. Then, as we start working, we think we will be happy when we get married and have a partner. Then, it’s about having kids and raising them. The story goes on but our pursuit of happiness never ends. That special day when we can tell everyone that we’ve finally acquired happiness never comes.
We often look for happiness in external things — wealth, power, status, sex — and even if we attain them, either we aren’t happy or the happiness that we do find has a limited shelf-life.
When it comes to happiness, you can take two approaches. The first one is postponing your happiness until you achieve a certain outcome. And the second one is just choosing to be happy wherever you are. It’s up to you what route you decide to take.
Here’s the truth, the Universe wants us to experience happiness in the present moment, yet most of us keep deferring it.
Happiness, as I have written before, is a state of mind. Contrary to the way we have been trained by the society, we don’t need a reason or an excuse to be happy.
Instead of running after happiness, we can just believe that happiness is intrinsic and make a decision to be naturally happy. Today, just tell yourself, “Happiness is within me, it’s my natural state. I am going to be happy right here, right now. And I will not let any person or thing distance me away from my happiness.”