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Cafes that reserve a cozy nook for a bookshelf have my whole heart!
I was lured by one such at a mall today after being hopelessly unsuccessful at clothes shopping. The aroma of the strong, bitter coffee brewing, mixed with the sweet, musky smell of the books soon wafted up my nose and I found myself perched on a sofa hidden away in a corner. I was greeted by a three hundred pager called “The Myths of Happiness” by Sonja Lyubomirsky.
I’m not usually attracted by such titles but this one beckoned to me. Of course, I wasn’t able to finish it there but stole an opportunity to devour some of the pages to find a tad about the essence of the book. The thoughts it provoked lingered with me for the rest of the day. I’ve never given ‘happiness’ much gravity even though I’m a very gleeful person by nature.
The definition of happiness differs from person to person, time to time and scenario to scenario. An identical situation can leave some with tremendous joy while others lamenting over it.
Satisfaction and Happiness
Is satisfaction the same as happiness? A glass of chilled water in an unforgiving hot weather can be not only a respite but also a moment of sheer ecstasy. Can this satisfaction be categorized as happiness? Perhaps a satisfaction that lasts for long is called happiness. Being satisfied is in our own hands. I mean somewhat.
How Content We Should Be
“Be content with what you have! Make the best of what is available!” We are taught such morals at a young age both in moral science and spiritual science. Like good children if we learn our lesson and be satisfied, won’t it stop our progress? If a student is satisfied with 70 percent marks, then s/he will not aspire or work harder to get an 80 percent. If one is satisfied with his/her job or the nature of work, they won’t be bothered to look further or try to enhance their capabilities.
This reminds me of someone who determined to climb Mount Everest when bedridden. Arunima Sinha was the first female amputee to scale Mount Everest. When she contacted Bachendri Pal from her hospital bed, intimating about her desire, she was told that if she could aspire about it in that situation, she should consider it done. Now the world only needed to know the date.
Sky is The Limit
As for machines, the same is true for humans when they are being underutilized and not giving the output they could. Sometimes we are pushed to our limits and show potential that we never knew existed within us. This happens when we come out of our comfort zones. At the end of such tasks and achievements, we are the ones who feel satisfied, content and euphoric. If we hadn’t tried so hard to achieve our goals and had remained in our safe, satisfied and content life, we wouldn’t have achieved anything novel and would definitely not have tasted the underlying happiness. Such ineffable bliss and euphoria can only be experienced, it cannot be described.