Happily Discontent

The bubbling joyfulness of a baby’s laughter.

A dog with its head stuck outside the window of a moving car.

A child sitting on a sand heap, trying to dig his way to China.

The laughter of a happy group carrying through the wind.

Students celebrating after their examinations.

A father smiling through his tears on his daughter’s graduation.

The look on the groom’s face on seeing his bride for the first time on their wedding day.

An old woman looking at her son’s faded old photograph through tear-filled eyes.

All these images evoke an inexplicable joy in me- a fleeting moment, but nonetheless, a merry feeling. I smile when I come across any of these visions and then, just go about my business. But that moment of respite, it often makes me feel glad to be alive.

There are many a times when after a particularly eventful and fun-filled day, I suffer from what I have termed “happiness-withdrawal syndrome”, an ailment which occurs when you feel that you might never experience this scale of joy again. Granted, you’d laugh again. But this moment of glee will not return. It might come back in a different form and scale, but never at the same level. This feeling, this longing for joy, is what convinces me more that happiness is a relative and a highly subjective matter.

What might bring you joy at this moment might be the very thing which plunges you into the depths of depression the next day. What makes you squeal in happiness might be the very thing which suffocates another person. And yet, it is the single most wanted commodity in this world. While we run after material successes and achieve so-called milestones for our gain, in reality, we just want happiness. In reality, more often than not, we just crave contentment. We fight for reaching that point at which you can truthfully say, “You know that? That’s enough for me”.

While many people believe that this constant discontent is a perfect breeding ground for all sorts of psychological problems, I think otherwise. For me personally, this quest for joy, for gratification and for well, contentment again, is what makes me define my ambitions, both career-wise and personal. This is what makes me aim for the stars. It makes me do things which I am not quite sure I can do, but if I do achieve them, I believe that my work on this planet is done. Of course, I might be disenchanted on actually reaching my goals. But that’s what the challenge is, isn’t it? To constantly set goals, achieve them and then, look beyond the accomplishments already unlocked. And on the way up, enjoy the climb and maybe, just maybe, be awarded with the most spectacular view of your life. This little thread of hope, this tiny probability of a shot at real happiness is what makes me say with confidence, that I am happily discontent.

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