Way to find internal happiness
Each of us human beings is unique and has our own dispositions. Yet, we go through same trials and tribulations that life throws at us. Some of us may not realise this, but as Mark Manson puts it, we, the millennial, are the ones to feel entitled all the time, believing everything we desire needs to be served on a gold platter.
Look at all the complaints pouring in from everywhere on the Amazon website. People complain like they haven’t had enough. Of course, I empathise with those who have invested and given time before buying. I wonder, how people managed to live without Amazon before 1995. In the subsequent years, the disruptive tech took retail by storm and our life got stratospherically better. Some people have filed a sexual harassment complaint on employees of Uber and netizens now want Uber to shut down completely citing poor work ethics. We have been able to save up a lot of our time because of the advent of these disruptive techs, yet we still whine like a child.
Fact of the matter is, with this additional time, we have nothing else to do. But the mind needs a problem to tend to, regardless. In order to do so, we create new problems like- meaningless day-to-day comparisons we fixate ourselves with, convinced that should be our motivation to have a happy, purposeful life. Everyone else is doing it, so should I. Salary, bank balance, cars, and homes are the metrics for one’s eligibility for getting accepted to an alpha society.
As such, we are now constantly pressed and paralysed by our overthinking. This robs us of our internal happiness and has a cascading affect on our behaviour and immediate surroundings.
Feeling of entitlement syndrome: Haven’t you noticed that when we complain, we come up with the following rhetoric- “My life problems are bigger than anyone else’s.”? Problems don’t solve on their own. We are not willing to put the effort to see through the problems. And then there are some who blame an external circumstances. The whining begins, and we get irreversibly stuck into a whirlpool of negativity.
Granted, its all hard wired. Tracing back to history, concept of equitable distribution and gender equality has emerged out of the need to fulfil one’s entitlement. This was needed. After all, history is marred by World Wars, holocaust, poverty, exterminations, plagues, vandalism and indefinite human sufferings that one cannot possibly imagine or have the will power to witness a history stained with blood. People used to fight for their livelihood. A constitutional system had to be in place to make sure that we get atleast the basic fundamental rights.
This is an extreme example but you get the gist, right?
Such problems are prevalent even today and can be seen in most of the developing nations. But, speaking of the privileged millenials, the scenario is completely different now.
Internet is free. Information is democratised. Things do not anymore boil down to basic subsistence. There is no such concept as “the single bread winner of the family”. Both wife and husband work and earn. Feminism has been given more importance to not trivialise women harassment and sexism in the workplace. That is a sign of progress. But the problem paradigm has changed with the emergence of a term called pseudo-feminism. #metoo campaign is a result of that effect. One cannot condone the act of forced sexual encounters that a brigade of young talents have had to face in the 90’s. Producer Harvey was a big shot and nobody had the balls to show up. But everyone now from among the top Hollywood actresses to former employees are jumping on the bandwagon to tell their stories of horrifying encounters they had with the producer. Along with those, come a fresh wave of allegations of similar harassment against other top actors, directors, and producers in Hollywood. What in the world is going on?
Watch the movie- American Beauty. The message the movie is trying to depict is that men now feel unimportant and hopeless because he doesn’t have a stable job and his wife is a highly competitive, egotistical, insecure woman who only eats, dreams, talks, poops, and sleeps money($$$). Movie shows woman is on the verge of sabotaging their relationship for another more suitable man in her profession. Yard stick for success is how much bank balance you have.
90% of us want to be on top. We want to game the system. Social media has controlled the general thought process of perceived happiness. It now means everyone owns a Ferrari, works on multimillion dollar startups, while having their FB walls shining with confetti of ever smiling faces. Sad part is only by getting gazillion likes, loves, and smirks do these people feel elated. Beyond the facade of bloated happiness sits a confused soul desperate to make things work. In general, they try to show you holier than thou f**k face and a middle finger without the real reason as to why they are doing it in the first place.
I will give you details of my personal account to throw some light on this pertinent issue. My cousin has been working in an IT firm for the last 6 years. He is doing fairly well. My career on the other hand has been going through a roller coaster ride. I started working for my first company at a very low salary. Something that an engineer would consider to be worth a kid’s pocket money. I wasn’t happy, obviously. I started comparing my compensation and benefits with all the fellow BTECH graduates of my batch. This made me feel worse and almost throw up. How could I be such a failure at the age of 21? 6 years into my profession, my cousin won the lottery work permit to work in the U.S.. I was devastated. Not only did I not have the courage to congratulate him, but also when mother called him up and asked me to speak to him, shivers of humiliation went down my spine. I don’t even know what that means. It was a weird feeling I found to be quite strange. I never knew my subconscious mind was full of unpleasant thoughts. I was coming to grips with reality.
But luckily, I soon realised it wasn’t worth it. There was no dramatic event to constitute this realisation. It was such an epiphany.
“Success is relative”- says Mark Manson who eloquently puts it in his book and I also quote from one of his blogs, “If you have to try to be cool, you will never be cool. If you have to try to be happy, then you will never be happy. Maybe the problem these days is people are just trying too hard.” That is the paradox of life. Do not push yourself too hard. That will make you go insane.
Do what you like, and live each moment with the highest gratitude. Instead of worrying about the future and not doing anything about it, one should call a spade a spade. Be picky and choose whatever life you want to live, way forward.
The point is millennials these days are asking for more. They need more money, more degrees, more houses, cars, friends, etc. This is robbing us of our internal happiness. There is the constant pressure to achieve more and get more out of this life. There is nothing wrong with wanting for more. But bear this in mind, whatever goals you plan to set for the days ahead need to be validated first. Most of the goals we set are because someone else is pursuing them. If A does his MBA and now has a decent job, you too should do the same thing. That is a disaster.
My two cents here is, chase goals that are realistic and more aligned with your passion. Chances are you already have found one. Believe in yourself and work towards your dreams. Odds are never going to be in your favour the initial few days. But don’t give up just yet. Stop comparing and live in the moment.
I am fine tuning my goals and hoping to achieve them. I will work on them without an iota of regret. I have found a way to my internal happiness. I live in the present to make sure I have nothing to worry about. I am more focussed than before. Surprisingly, I am doing better.
I am not in any position, nor do I have merits to share to make you believe what I said warrants following up with. We all should take a page from this blog by guardian :