Yesterday, I was driving and the FM radio went off for a few seconds. I thought, I should have an iPod. Then suddenly I realized that I have not used my iPod in last 6 months. And then, more things, Handycam in last 2 years, Digital Camera in last 2 months, DVD player in last 1 month and many more. Now I can say that I bought that Handycam just out of impulse, I have used it twice only in last 4 years.
So, what’s wrong and where? When I look at myself or my friends I can see it everywhere. We are not happy with what we have, but all are stressed and not happy for the things we don’t have. One has a Santro, but he wants a Honda City; one has a Honda City, but he wants Skoda. Just after buying a new phone, we need another one, better laptop, bigger TV, faster car, bigger house, more money, etc. I mean, these examples are endless. The point is, is it actually worth it? Do we ever think whether we actually need those things before we want them? Do objects of comforts and luxuries really determine our level of happiness? Or is it something else?
After this, I was forced to think what I need and what I don’t. May be I didn’t need this Handycam or the iPod or that DVD player. When I see my father back at home, he has a simple BPL colour TV, he doesn’t need 32″ Sony LCD wall mount. He has a cell phone worth Rs 2,500. Whenever I ask him to change the phone, he always says, “It’s a phone, I need this just for calls.”
And believe me; he is much happier in life than I, with those limited resources and simple gadgets. The very basic reason why he is happy with so little is that he doesn’t want things in life to make it luxurious, but he wants only those things which are making his life easier. It’s a very fine line between these two, but after looking at my father’s life style closely, I got the point. He needs a cell phone but not the iPhone. He needs a TV but not the 32″ plasma. He needs a car but not an expensive one.
Initially I had a lot of questions.
I am earning good, still I am not happy, why?
I have all luxuries; still I am stressed……….. why?
I had a great weekend, still I am feeling tired…… why?
I met a lot of people, I thought over it again and again, I still don’t know if I got the answers, but certainly figured out a few things. I realize that one thing which is keeping me stressed is the “stay connected” syndrome. I realized that, at home also I am logged in on messengers, checking mails, using social networks, and on the top of that, the windows mobile is not letting me disconnected. On the weekend itself, trying to avoid unwanted calls and that is keeping my mind always full of stress.
I realized that I am spending far lesser money than what I earn; even then I am always worried about money and more money. I realized that I am saving enough money I would ever need, whenever needed. Still I am stressed about job, salary and expenditure. May be, many people will call this approach “not progressive attitude”, but I want my life back.
Ultimately it’s a single life, a day gone is a day gone. I believe if I am not happy here and now, I’ll never be happy anywhere, anytime. I finally realized that meeting friends, spending quality time with our loved one’s; spending time with ourselves is the most important thing.
If on Sunday we are alone and we don’t have anybody to talk with, then all that luxurious life, all that money is wasted.
The tragedy of the 21st century life is that, sitting amidst increasing comforts and luxuries man is comfortably and luxuriously miserable!!
May be cutting down our requirements, re-calculating our future goal in the light of today’s happiness is a worthwhile thing to do. May be selling off the Santro and buying Honda City on EMIs is not a good idea. I believe putting our happiness ahead of money is the choice we need to make.
I think, a lot can be said and done, but what we need the most is re-evaluation of the value of happiness and time we are giving to our life and people associated with it. Perhaps we are not seeking happiness where we should seek it. We usually seek it in place, time, objects, beings, relationships, situations, circumstances, environment, etc. But they are all ephemeral; ever changing and being impermanent do not give permanent happiness. Therefore, no event or experience gives us total satisfaction.