It does not take much being a two and a half year old kid who is very sharp, who does not bother much about things that he is not interested in, who lives the moment to the fullest—be it being angry, frustrated, sad, happy, ecstatic, or funny. Well at least, the state in which he is happy is certainly longer than the time he spends being in the pessimistic gamut of states. He quickly forgets about why he was sad or unhappy about something, and moves on if he finds something more interesting. He does not stand hell-bent on being unhappy about something. What if he does not find anything more interesting? He perhaps lowers his interest level and settles for something that just deviates from his erstwhile state. Most of all, he wants to be happy all the time.
But seriously, believe me it is pretty tough to be Varun; primarily because, as we grow, we start gathering worthless definitions of ourselves. We accumulate misgivings, learn things wrongly and think they are right—misconceptions; do things that most suited us before and stick to it without revamping it to the time we currently are in.
Before proceeding, just one question: why can't we all forget about the misgivings and be happy about what we are presently happy about? Why don’t we just forget things that do not do any good to us?
Anyway, there are two things to this whole rigmarole. About forgetting the things that made you unhappy and about preventing yourself from being unhappy.
With respect to forgetting things, it becomes a bit difficult because, we are always taught to remember things. And it being our sole responsibility, we excelled in the art of remembering and did not think about forgetting. So, it involves some effort to practice the art. There was a beautiful article that I read in a daily newspaper: Teach me, Lord, to forget. It was published in the Hindu on September 01, 2000. In fact, I have a clipping of this article with me and I certainly treasure it till date.
With respect to the reason for being unhappy, it is primarily because you do not get what you want, which leads to disappointment, and it paving way to unhappiness. Probably, when you do not expect anything, you keep raising your disappointment crossbar. So, you are safe and far away from the realms of being disappointed.
But then again, there are two aspects to it—emotional and non-emotional.
Let’s deal with the non-emotional aspect of expectations, disappointments, and being unhappy. To achieve anything, you certainly must expect that you must reach a benchmark. So an expectation from self is a critical factor for progression. Which brings about a topic of striking a balance between expecting something before an event happens and accepting the situation as-is, after it has happened. So, which means are we are talking about interpreting and dealing with the results? Then what about things such as, not receiving something that you deserve? Don't we have to fight for our rights? So, is it that we will need to accept things that we cannot really change? Then, what exactly are the things that we cannot change? How exactly can we classify the things that we cannot change and things that we can change? Is it defined by the number of times you try to change a state of affairs to attain what you wanted?
And talking about the emotional things, it is pretty hard to explain to someone the extent to which one must be detached and not expect things from others at an emotional level. I suppose, one must not expect anything from the other to the level where they can keep themselves unhurt. Or, is it that you bestow all the love and support and not expect anything? How can that possibly be? If you smile, won’t you expect someone to smile back at you? I suppose smiling is a pretty simple, straightforward, and easy equation.
I guess it is also with respect to how one has defined a universal object. One person could have defined happiness as two kilograms of sugar, whereas, the other could have defined it as having two ten dollar bills in the trouser pocket purse. And what happens when the two of them try to share happiness? It is meaningless. So, how do we solve this conundrum?