Success and happiness comes from the perception of this very moment
This is something that happened a little while ago. A person said to me: “Ganga (my nickname), you look really happy! I felt slightly embarrassed by the suddenness and choice of words, but it certainly put me in a good mood. Now with the economic slump and even a case of influenza I for some reason felt like it was bad to look so happy. That diligent people like me should look more serious. But especially in a time like this, those simple words warmed my heart.
Many people around the world, and especially Japanese, believe that success and happiness has to be achieved through enduring hardship. And it makes me sad to see that many people seemingly suffer from some obsessive thought that you can not yourself be happy if you want to make someone else happy. I can agree that there is some Stoic beauty to this, but I have never seen a person who has personally tasted happiness as well as making the people around him happy, and at the same time carrying with him an aura of pain and hardship.
When I write these words I imagine meeting the following objection: “Successful people look happy because they have already succeeded. They are happy now because they fought their way through hardships and trouble to get here.”
The way I see it, many people have a strong desire to be happy, but at the same time carry with them something that keeps them from becoming exactly that. That something is the feeling of “Never being good enough”. And people go to a great effort to fill that hole where they feel something is “missing”. If you feel you don’t have enough money you work hard to make more, if you feel that luck isn’t on your side you go over board to find some way to turn that tide around, if you feel like you lack wisdom you study. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that putting an effort into work and study is a bad thing. The real problem is the feeling of that you are not happy because that “something” still isn’t good enough.
The root of this feeling of “not good enough” is based in the perception that the status-quo is in some way not fulfilled the way it should. We believe that if we fill this missing part we will become happy, but the fact is that no matter how much you try to chase this dream the hole will never be filled. Enduring hardship after hardship will only end in you creating some new hole that “isn’t good enough”. It is only natural that if you look closely enough at yourself, you will find some part that you think isn’t good enough.
I was also exactly like this. So I understand the feeling of something not being good enough very well. But I realized that already successful and happy people view the world from a completely different angle. They are under the impression that everything happens just for them. The lack of money is to encourage me, the lack of luck is to make me not think too highly of myself, the lack of knowledge is a great chance for me to learn more. This is not just some superficial positive way of thinking. The fundamental emotion behind this is that “because I am already, happy there is nothing left to do than to try to give something back to the people around me”. The moment you start focusing outside of yourself you will stop caring about what isn’t good enough in your own life, and start thinking about how you can use this very moment to do something for somebody else.
In other words, being happy or unhappy simply comes down to how you perceive this very moment. It wasn’t until very recently that I realized this myself.
It seems to me that happiness comes naturally when you let go of the desire for everything to be perfect. So, are you happy right now?
“I don’t care if you are perfect or not, it’s all about using what you have been bestowed with to give something to someone else”.
Prema Inc. CEO Nobuo Nakagawa