Don't Look for Happiness at the End of the Journey

Self-help resources

by Jayaram V

Your Natural State of Mind - Audio

There are essentially two approaches to life and enjoyment. One is that I will keep on working until the end and live a disciplined life, and when I die, I will go to heaven and enjoy all the pleasures heaven is going to offer to me. It is the same mentality which says, I will keep on working until my retirement and when I retire and settle down well in my life, I will go on a world trip, enjoy my savings and a lead a leisurely life.

The second approach is that I will make the most out of my life, even when I am aiming to secure success and happiness through my actions. I may not have all the luxuries in life, but I know how to enjoy whatever blessing I may have. You must have seen both types of people in your life and you may fall into one of the two categories.

If you believe that someday somewhere at the end of reaching your goals and realizing your dreams you will find happiness, think again. You may be probably missing a whole lot of fun. In fact, you may be enduring more pain and suffering than experiencing any happiness, because your aim is not enjoyment but reaching some goal.

Happiness has to be found here and now. Not just at the end a tiring and exhausting journey and effort.

Tomorrow is a mere dream, or a mental concept. In reality, there is no tomorrow, until it comes.

You can always plan and execute your actions to complete those plans. You have to in fact, if you want to find comfort and happiness and if you want to experience fulfillment and the satisfaction of having led a worthwhile life.

However, there is a lot of fun in doing things and in accomplishing goals.

The journey of life is as thrilling, fulfilled and adventurous as arriving at some cherished goal.

That journey does not have to be exceptionally great. Every journey of life is unique and worth enjoying and remembering.

You are the enjoyer. You must always remember it.

You are born to enjoy the experience of life. This life is a rare opportunity give to you to be and to become your dreams and aspirations. It happened not because you willed it or wanted it to happen. It just happened to you for reasons beyond your knowledge.

The purpose of that fateful event is to give you a rare opportunity to experience life in all its hues and colors and learn from it whatever wisdom it can teach you. It is the purpose why creation exists in the first place. It is affirmed by the Vedas repeatedly.

On the top of a mountain peak, after a long climbing, you may get a grand vista of a vast landscape, but you can make that experience even more memorable by remembering how you managed to get there, how you prepared for it, dreamed of it, and overcame obstacles and self-doubts, before you took that last step and reached the summit.

At the end of it, it is the totality of all that you had gone through, which makes that experience memorable and monumental.

The monks, who renounce worldly pleasures, and do not keep any worldly possessions, exemplify this ideal. They live very simple lives, but enrich their existence by focusing on the present, and living mindfully. They pay close attention to their minds and bodies constantly to understand how the process of living can cause so much pain and misery to people and how they can become free from it.

Happiness comes not only from having, but also from being and doing. The very state of existence, the condition of being alive with the ability to be and to become is in itself a great blessing which is worth more than any achievement or enjoyment.

I am pretty sure that some of the most memorable experiences in your life are the journeys you made in your childhood, not just what happened after you went somewhere.

The present is what you can control, experience, enjoy and remember. The present is all that you can have at any given moment. And your life becomes what it is when you spend each of those moments for the better or the worse.

There is nothing much you can do about your past and your future other than learning to cope with them. What happens cannot be changed and what is going to happen is uncertain.

Therefore cherish the moments that make your life's journey. Float on the waves of life when you can and swim when you need to.

If you live with this spirit, you will not suffer from disappointments and personal failure even if you do not manage to reach your goals after all the effort. You will find solace in the memory of that journey, in the lessons you learned and the experience you gained. You will remember your sorrows and joys with certain nostalgia.

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