Shades of Love

I stared out through the glass; head tilted against the train window. I was searching for a thought to grasp onto, one out of many running through my mind. It was silly of me to be surprised at the one I chose.

The pain instantly found its way into my chest, causing me to wince. At times, I had to ask myself if I enjoyed it. It was something I’d put myself through more frequently. Patiently, eyes closed, I whispered. Hold on, it will pass, just wait it out. Continue reading

In Pursuit of Happiness

I love gadgets and books and wrist watches and many more things. When I buy a gadget I want to use or a book I want to read, it feels great. But, when I think about it, I am not happier after I buy these things. There is a certain ‘basic happiness level’ which I am currently at, and I feel that this level does not increase after purchasing a desired object. And yet, I still want these objects. I’d rather have them than not have them, even though they don’t increase my level of happiness.

I noticed something similar when I compared my childhood with a kid of 14 years living next to my house. He too is equally happy and smiling like I used to be almost a decade ago, despite the fact that I didn’t had anything like cell phones, Facebook, Twitter etc. The basic level of happiness of the average teenager has not increased in the past couple of decades years, even though we have all these new technologies and gadgets that make our life easier and more comfortable. And yet, every person would rather have these new devices than not have them.

I started wondering about this, since it has been my assumption that we strive to maximize our happiness, and so if an action has no long term effects on our happiness, why take that action? If I’d rather own these devices than not own them, it means that there is some metric other than happiness that is improved by owning them. I think that metric is ‘CONTENTMENT’. I am simply more content owning these devices than not owning them.

And this concept applies not only to gadgets, but also to other aspects of life. Someone may work hard to get a promotion, build a big house, become rich, get a Nobel Prize, etc, even though after all these things are accomplished their ‘basic happiness level’ will likely not change.

What determines our happiness level is not very well understood, but after our basic survival needs are met, happiness is a function of things like brain chemistry predisposition, whether whoever you love loves you back, how well you get along with your significant other, how many close friends you have, etc.

Those things are unlikely to change just because you bought a new smartphone or a new Porsche or even because you won the Man Booker Prize. And yet, people strive for these things, not because they will be happier with the result, but because they will be more content with the result. They will be more content with themselves if they know that they have achieved what they wanted: bought a beautiful house, made partner in a firm, became CEO, won an Oscar.

People initially think that they are trying to maximize their happiness, but after a while, after achieving some early goals and not feeling happier, they realize that it’s foolish to expect to become happier when the next goal is achieved. And yet, they persist on working towards that next goal. At that point, they are simply trying to maximize their contentment. It’s just that ‘the pursuit of contentment’ is not as catchy as ‘the pursuit of happiness’.

Aman Sharma

P.S.: I am no Great writer or Literature expert or English guru. This post is just a expression of my feelings and you might find some mistakes in it as it is straight from the heart and not proof read. Please ignore the mistakes. 🙂 Thank you.

The Curse of Expectations

How ironical it is that we get up and motivate our self when we don’t meet our expectations, but go crazy, depressed and angry when others don’t meet our expectations.

And at times, when they do meet our expectations, we don’t feel much happier and the usual term used is, “I expected it that way!”. How simple and beautiful like would be if we could just stop expecting things and save ourselves from the suffering and unhappiness.

Why do we expect? This is one important question, one should be able to answer to avoid expecting and getting hurt over and over again. The answer is quite simple, we expect because we believe that people will do what they say they will do – We expect people to keep their word.

 
Now, instead of writing about why we expect and other shit things about expectations, I will directly come to the point on how we can control our expectations and live much more happily.  

  • Know what you want.
  •  Accept yourself as you are.
  • Be specific with your objectives, what you want from people and your life. In short, set your priorities straight. 
  • Directly ask the person you are expecting from about what you want and make sure that you get the answer in either ‘YES’ or ‘NO’. 
  • Develop the art of reading feelings, both self and of others. It helps us to decide or find what we actually need and will we get that or not.

I don’t know if these things will help you or not; no one can but all we can do is give it a try.  At-least is is better than sitting and wasting any more of your time waiting, hoping, and expecting. I am trying this and it is helping me. So there is a chance that it might help you too. J

Be happy, keep smiling and stop expecting.

#AloneButHappy