This is the most basic and most important quest of human life. In whatever we do or plan to do, there is only one goal – to achieve happiness. The journey of our whole life is an endeavour to bring us closer to, what we feel, makes us happy. It is another story that we get there sometimes and some other times we feel even unhappier than before we started on this path to happiness.

Happiness is elusive, they say. The more you chase it, the more it dodges you. So this journey is more like a mirage. Bur what is happiness, anyway? Can we define it or can we have a definite formula for absolute happiness? Is there anything like absolute happiness? Is it possible for a human being to be happy always, or is it even desirable to be happy always?

A great deal has been said and written about happiness being inside the person himself. Let’s try a few shots at defining happiness. We feel happy when our desires are fulfilled or we get what we wanted. So, is fulfilment of desires happiness? More often than not, fulfilment of one desire makes way for a bigger desire and it goes on and on. And in the process, whenever we are faced with failure at some point, the unhappiness caused by the situation is much bigger than the happiness created by fulfilment of initial desire. Spiral of desires is an unending process and it is inevitable to face failure, and hence unhappiness, somewhere. Anything leading to unhappiness eventually cannot be termed as legitimate happiness.

Let’s try contentment. Contentment is not equivalent to happiness as I have seen a large number of bitterly content people. They have made peace with their lot in a very unpeaceful way. They are anything but happy. Happiness can and does result into contentment but vice-versa, I am afraid, is not true.

Another very interesting aspect that comes to my mind is that we have this ability to feel happy and get swayed by it only because we cannot see our future. This is true of sorrows also. In other words:

If we had the ability to know our future, no happiness could make us happy and no sorrow could make us sad. Because we could see clearly how, what we perceive as happiness today, is going to end, mostly in an unhappy way. The same goes for sorrows. No sorrow in the world, when you look back at it, is completely an unhappy experience and it often ends in a happy way.

That means that our ability to feel happy or unhappy stems out of our unawareness. I feel, any feeling originating from ignorance can never be a valid feeling. So, what is happiness, then?
As I see it, happiness is the realization that everything happens for a reason (a very powerful and much needed reason), so there is really no reason to be unhappy about anything. This realization comes about naturally when you begin to analyze your experience in an unattached and unbiased manner. Take a look at life more closely and deeply and you will find out that happiness lies in being who you are, having what you have and doing what you do. Happiness is not a distant destination. It is right here. When you begin to understand the scrupulously intricate designs of the universe, which are meant just for your growth, you are happy in whatever situation you are in. Hell, even in unhappiness!

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Dinakshi is a curious explorer of life, and loves to see everything around her with a sense of wonder. Completely in awe of life and its ardent student, she is a writer, poet, blogger and ex-editor. Her superpower is involuntarily read and edit everything from text messages to poetry on the backside of trucks. Like any other Indian worth their salt, she’s done her time in the IT industry as a programmer. Books and journals have been her best friends for as long as she can remember. A philosopher at heart, she loves to question everything, including her propensity to question. An avid learner and unlearner, she is on a joyful path to live all that is.