Our self-built motivation and reward systems have broken us, rather than building a sustained growth. If we start doing what we really need to and are meant to do, then eventually we will stop our futile chase of meaningless objects and temporal desires. This is one of the many reasons that today’s world has become materialistic. Everything today costs money and no matter how much we earn, there is always a desire to have even more. But does this define what we are here for?
If one is from a not so rich or even a poor family, it is understandable to be drawn to those fancy things owned by others, the more affluent class. But these are common situations faced by many as emotions such as happiness, pride and contentment are often wrongly linked to materialistic aspects. This is why, it is very easy to think that money equals happiness. But that is the biggest flaw of our society.
Being born in a stately mansion is no guarantee of happiness any more than being born in a shack dooms one to misery. Whether a person is happy or unhappy has nothing to do with how many material possessions he or she has. Even an affluent and seemingly enviable family can be unhappy. Often people may appear happy, but underneath they may be hiding some personal agony. No matter how together people might appear on the outside, it’s difficult to see what’s inside their hearts.
So it’s a wrong idea to feel shameful of one’s economic status. What’s disgraceful is to have an impoverished heart, to live dishonestly. We often see people embroiled in bitter battles over money, plunged into misery and depression if their popularity should fade, people ruining their lives by letting fame and power go to their heads; and people living in luxurious homes where family members can’t stand one another.
Too often it has been found that those who live in seemingly ideal, well-to-do, distinguished families are bound by formality, tradition and appearances. They have difficulty expressing genuine warmth, emotion and spontaneity. And too often privileged young people have difficulty setting goals and achieving them since their every need is taken care of. So when you get right down to it, does wealth, fame or luxury assure happiness? The answer put simply, “No”.
It depends on a lot of things like understand the mechanism of life, but most importantly, on your viewpoint. Instead of thinking you’re unfortunate just because your parents don’t have a lot of money or lack education, adopt a different view of it being a common situation and fortunately it isn’t the worst. You will see that this perspective will allow you to grow into a truly humane person. Your hardships are in fact the very material that will enable you to develop a big heart and become an individual of depth and substance.
The fact is, only when we undergo difficulties is that we can become the kind of people who will be able to understand other’s feelings. The pain and sorrow will cultivate the earth of our inner being. And from there, we can bring forth the compassion and purpose to work for people’s happiness. Money, fame and material possessions are nothing but relative happiness as they offer only fleeting satisfaction. However to establish absolute happiness we need to transform our lives from within. When we develop a state of mind as vast and resplendent as a magnificent palace, then nothing, no matter where we go or what we may encounter in our lives can undermine or destroy our happiness.
These are just a few ways in which you can attain lasting happiness, for it is an element of life which isn’t contingent upon anything. You can refer to it as a state of mind, your inner well being or simply an innate component of your living body because if you cannot find happiness within yourself in your present situation, nothing and no change will provide you with true lasting happiness.
(We will be following this post with deeper insights of life and happiness in our coming posts, so stay tuned..)