We all want to be happy… but what exactly is happiness? What is the exact moment of true happiness?
While watching Pursuit of Happyness recently, I started asking these questions. What led to the thought was that the protagonist was describing certain clinching moments from his life as “this part of my life is called…” Eventually, gloomy moments end with the part in his life which he describes as happiness or being happy. (It is an inspiring story…I enjoy watching it.) He enjoys the moment. He walks out of the building with tears of joy still in his eyes…not able to think of what to do next. But that was all to the moment of happiness…the movie ends with the protagonist walking with his kid while making future plans to secure and build more of this moment of happiness.
Then, what was the actual moment of ‘happyness’ and how long did it last? Can burden of expectations let happiness persist for long? (I wondered.)
Consider this. Announcement is being made that you stood first (or any rank till third) in your class for the academic year. (Remember the moment) You being in a different world – grinning ear to ear. You collect your report card from the principal. And the princi while congratulating would definitely say that it has to be better next year. There ends your happy moment. You come down and mingle; everyone congratulates you with the rejoinder that try to do better next time (if you stood first, it has to be better percentage next time, and if second, strive to top). So, the moment to rejoice is over or f**ked as expectation starts building.
Life is full of imperfections. The perfect moments are rare and brief. It is these moments, which I feel, are the moment of happiness. The state of true happiness is when you realize that you have achieved what you have expected, desired, or striven for. It is that brief moment when you learn that you stood first in class or you have got your dream job or have finally made it to the place you have always wanted to travel to or when your partner pops the question. It is that very moment, and a brief time period following it, when you might have been really happy – without thinking about what happened in the past or what would follow. You just cherish the news that you have achieved what you have been striving for. As the moment passes, expectations start building and your brain (automatically) starts working on ways to fulfil them.
At least that is the case with mere mortals like me. We end up internalising those expectations as our goals. With great human beings, it might be a different story.