THE KEY TO HAPPINESS

 

Our real problem is that we don't know what is true happiness? True happiness is not a result from
human action. Results are transitory where as happiness is omnipresent and can neither be created
nor be destroyed. Understanding one's own SELF realizes true happiness. True happiness is free
from sufferings and disappointments! The key to real happiness is within and we always look for
the key in others' pockets. True happiness is the human nature. True happiness requires that we see
our-self in all beings and all beings in our-self. The key to true happiness is to keep positive
thoughts within and throw the negatives once for all. Any appearance of pain is an illusion which
will disappear and eternal joy and freedom will emerge and sustain.


Ego is a hindrance to true happiness and it brings misery and depression. A small story can
illustrate this point. Once a soccer ball complained to Swami Vivekananda that all were kicking in
the field and wants to be free! Vivekananda told the soccer ball that the problem is the AIR and it
should remove the air completely. When we remove our ego, no one can kick or insult! We can
liberate ourselves from unpleasantness and misery by discarding EGO! The key to true happiness is
to abandon our EGO! Colton (1780-1832) points out, "There is this difference between happiness
and wisdom that he that thinks himself the happiest man really is so; but he that thinks himself the
wisest is generally the greatest fool."


True happiness implies peace. Peace requires freedom from conflicts and conflict arises with
plurality. Subjective beliefs and notions of the world cause plurality around us. Such notions will
unplug our mouth and plug our mind and ears! We start our conversation by opening our mouth
and closing our mind and ears. Such conversations inevitably lead into intense arguments. The
moment prejudice gets in, patience evaporates, peace gets disturbed and conflict takes over! We can
remove plurality by freeing our mind from prejudiced notions. The key to true happiness is to
eliminate subjective beliefs and perceptions on others. Happiness will enter when we open our eyes,
ears and mind.


True happiness will sustain if we accept the world as it is. We can enjoy the world and realize true
happiness if we prepare to change our attitude. Mahatma Gandhi once said that we are the only
change that we wish to see in the world. The key to true happiness always comes when we change
our attitude to life. We can save our-self from many hard falls by refraining from jumping to
conclusions. Anyone who thinks he knows all the answers, isn't quite up-to-date on questions. A
minute of keeping our mouth closed is worth an hour of explanation. The problem that most of us
face is not the presence of mind, but only the absence of thought. Ann Landers points out that no
one is ever completely worthless; they can always serve as a bad example. Goethe (1749-1832) once
said: "We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves." The Upanishads outline the following beautiful
path for our daily life: "Life is a bridge, enjoy while crossing but don't try to build a castle on it."
The quotation from Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) beautifully summarizes happiness:
"Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will
sit down quietly, may alight upon you."


Note: This is a speech that I gave few years back in a Toastmasters Club Meeting.