More often than not, we are unhappy for all the things that we don’t have, that we don’t get to enjoy and own. And surely there are one or two things in your life too, not getting which, you have felt sad sometimes. We are more concerned about the things that we don’t have rather than appreciating what we already have which make our lives beautiful. And you know what, this is one of the major reasons for our suffering. We unnecessarily suffer because of this mental malady. 

If I ask you to make a list of the things that you desire to have in your life, you’d probably find it easier; but if I ask you to point out the great things about your life, probably it would be harder for you. We are not accustomed to look at life’s bright side. We always give more attention to what others have—and what we lack. This gives birth to a poverty mentality in us. Instead we should inculcate a mentality of abundance. By the way, I have a post dedicated to this. Read it here

This is no great teaching. This is practical advice. Society, the world, the marketing machinery and the consumer industry have all given us the sense that unless we have certain things and enjoy a certain kind of life, we will never be happy; that we’ll remain a failure. This striving for ‘more’ has no end. After all, how much is enough? The world will tell you, until you enjoy all the things in life. But what does ‘all’ encompass? Who will set the limit? 

Is happiness related to opulence in life? Any sensible human being would tell you, only little. More significant contributors of happiness are good and empathetic relationships, a healthy body and healthy mind, a meaningful life, and most importantly, contentment. Contentment is the real treasure. Having said that, does this mean we should become complacent in our lives? Absolutely not. Complacency is blindness. But contentment is the bedrock of a stable inner happiness. And contentment does not come from having more; it comes from living and tasting life with a deeper understanding. If you are content within, you are already happy. You don’t need more. 

So, if we start to look at the things with which we’re already blessed, would there be any shadow of suffering? Can there be? What we don’t have —if that’s a basic necessity, then it’s absolutely reasonable to look towards it; but, more often, that’s not the case. Largely we are unhappy with our unfulfilled desires and wants. Isn’t it so? Try to see the truth in this statement. You’ll realize you are suffering your own desires! Our desires outweigh the reality, and that’s why we’re bound to suffer. 

There will always be some things which we’ll never have. That fancy car, that dream job, that foreign vacation, that luxurious lifestyle…while there’s no harm in aspiring these things, we should also keep the reality-bulb ON that these things don’t make our lives. They are only accessories to life. That’s their place. See them like that. Then there’s no danger. We are in touch with reality. 

So, that’s the way not to suffer. Do you get it? I hope you do. 

Thank you for your patience. 

Until next…

Image Credit: natalypaint on istockphoto.

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Alok Singha

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