“Nothing is worth, if you are not happy” – your achievements, wealth, greatness, skills, knowledge, fame, beauty and so on. They are not at all worth if you are not happy.
Good morning senior toastmasters and friends…
“Are you Happy?” – If I ask,
Some may say “Yes, always!”
Some others may say, “No, not at all”.
Few may say “At times...”
Happiness, Bliss, Ecstasy, Peace, Joy, Pleasure, Delight, Contentment are the terms of same kind. Dalai Lama has written a lot about human happiness; he says “Being Happy is the Purpose of Life”.
How do we get happiness?
Can we ask in the grocery 2 kilos of happiness; or 1 bottle … or a small sachet… no!
Ok… if so, can we get it from colleges & universities? Bachelor degree in happiness…. Post graduate Diploma in Advanced Happiness…J J No…!
But, I hear now, someone out there is marketing “Inner Engineering”… apart from prevailing engineering!
Some say “money cannot buy happiness”; if so, why do we run behind it?
Some others say “happiness should come from within”. Then, why the race for material wealth?
I think, the truth is somewhere in between… and it differs from person to person. You might have heard about the people born with silver spoon spending sleepless nights. And a construction coolie on roadside sleeping peacefully.
The magic of happiness is in understanding the world around us:
Understanding that “worrying does not fix anything”.
Understanding to stay away from all unethical actions that harm ourselves and others.
Understanding that we are blessed with good health & comfort, comparing many others in the world.
Happiness cannot be induced artificially and it cannot last long also. Imagine a student wearing 2 nitrous oxide bottles on his back, tubes connecting his nostrils and attending a boring class lecture … teacher asks “what is this?” and he says “to enjoy your lecture sir…” J … It doesn’t work so…isn’t it?
We see many people addicted to drugs… they may find some happiness temporarily in them, but it ruins their life on a long run and takes out happiness once for all.
I would not say that money cannot buy happiness. It is the material wealth that fulfils a man’s basic needs like food, shelter and clothing. We hear the stories of people around the world, suffering from hunger and poverty …. Many people are below poverty line… peasants nearby are committing suicide due to drought and famine. What else other than money can bring them happiness?
For an immigrant child freezing in the winter cold, what will give happiness other than a warm clothing? This is what Red Cross and United Nations Aids Program do to bring smiles on their faces. Another example that money can buy happiness is the philanthropy that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have launched. They spend millions of dollars on various community issues that bring smiles to many people.
The need for “inner happiness” comes only when the external needs are fulfilled. As the majority of people are not desperate about their basic needs, their goals of happiness shift to the “inner peace”. The sensitivity with which we react to the external world determines our happiness. Our priorities in life determine our happiness.
It is not success that always brings happiness. If so, you must be able to remember the names of successful people … but can you tell the names 10 Nobel Laureates, 10 Miss Universes and so on. I know it is difficult, but you will always remember the names of teachers who helped you, friends who supported you and the relationships that make what you are today. They may not be successful, but they are the best in bringing happiness to you.
You must have heard the story at Seattle Olympics … still, let me repeat:
Nine athletes, all mentally and physically challenged were on the start-line for 100m race. The gun fired and the race began. Not everyone was running, but everyone wanted to participate and win. A boy tripped and fell started crying. The other eight slowed down and looked behind them. They stopped and came back… all of them.
A girl with Down’s Syndrome sat down next to him, hugged him and asked “feeling better now?”. Then all nine walked shoulder to shoulder to the finish line.
The whole crowd stood up and applauded. And the applause lasted for a very long time…
People who witnessed this still talk about it… Because, deep down inside us, we all know that most important thing in life is much more than winning for ourselves… it is helping others to win.
Yes, it is the compassion and love towards fellow humans that really makes us happy.
I do not accept “living the moment”, because the moment is a continuation of the past and about to extend for future. But, to start living a happy life need not wait for anything… with whatever that we have; but with a passion to achieve whatever that we dream… Not after the +2 exams, after the 1st Sem exams, after getting a job… and so on.
There is no road to happiness; happiness itself is the road.
J Thank you.