So, let’s start by asking a very simple question. How many of you currently reading my blog are financially stable enough to feed yourself and your family adequately? This has got a direct connection in order to live happily which will be explained later in the article.
I hope almost anyone with a mobile or a PC nowadays, reading this, will have at least the amount of money to fulfill his or her bodily needs. Hopefully, you have a roof over your head, with a good internet connection. And obviously, you don’t sit naked all day, so you must be having some clothes to wear too.
That means at least your basic needs are already fulfilled, keeping aside those endless futile never-ending desires. Now think about all those people in your country or in the world, who are inept to meet with such basic needs only. Can you even take a guess, how many are there? Thousands? Millions? Not even close.
Staggering1.6 billion. A billion with a B. Let that just sink in for a moment. Now let’s take a look at the number of hungry people in the world.
Almost a billion people here too.
Stop Taking Things For Granted
We take all these things for granted, but just for one effing moment, close your eyes and imagine the conditions of these people, who don’t have a house to live in, who don’t have clothes to cover themselves up with, with no access to regular and hygienic food. Can you imagine how lucky you already are if your basic needs are getting fulfilled, that too on a daily basis? Well, one can’t really envision it until unless he has himself been on the other side of the fence.
And what are we crying for? Petty things like “Why do I think negatively” or “Why my boss is so grumpy” or “Why my business is not taking off to new heights” and sometimes we don’t even have a good enough reason to cry for.
Ok, let’s try this to make you guys realize how fortunate you are.
Close your eyes and imagine what will be your condition if hypothetically you lose your home, your money, everything all of a sudden. Can you feel the consequences? Can you feel your gut-wrenching, your breath changing, your skin losing its color? (If not, then you gotta work on your imagination powers.)
Change Your Point Of View
Now don’t take me wrong, I don’t want to demoralize you or something, I just simply wanna make you realize how enormously blessed and lucky you already are, when more than a billion people on this planet don’t have a roof over their head and sleep hungry.
If you see the world from their point of view, then you already are successful. Not just successful, but super successful.
Ask someone who sleeps on an empty stomach on a daily basis. For him, getting one good meal a day is nothing less than a luxury. A person like him dreams of the life you are living right now. I will say that again, the life you are currently living right now is the end-goal of millions of people.
But hey, even after living this kind of life, how many are there who can actually say that they are completely satisfied with their lives and live happily? Unfortunately, just a spoonful. So that means, something or the other is still missing inside all of us somewhere which is keeping us from living happily. Let’s dig into this today.
What makes us Sad?
Out of the millions of reasons out there, different reasons for different people, one reason which I feel is common to everyone can be the loss of someone close to us. Now if you look closely, we are not afraid of ‘death’ alone, we are afraid of the negative thought of someone we know, dying.
We don’t give a rat’s ass to the thousands of people who die every day, as long as they are not someone from our family or friends or someone we care about.
If I take it one step further, when someone very dear to us, is no more, then most of us are not sad because the person died, they become gloomy because they don’t know what are they gonna do with their lives without them.
I don’t know if you can understand this point, but isn’t this kinda selfish? They become morose because now they don’t know who will make them smile again, or who will support them again, or who is gonna spend time with them again. So, do we really feel sad for the person who is no more, or do we become sad with the effect it is gonna have on our lives? Are you getting the point?
Basically, the cause of our sorrow is not death, but the thinking that “What is gonna happen to me now?”. Ultimately, we need to work upon ourselves, which is what I always preach in one way or another in my articles.
Change The Way You Think
Whenever we are morose, then that means our thinking is not aligned with reality. But instead of working upon our thinking, we are busy altering the situations and people all our lives. We never really work on the real cause of all the sadness we have in our lives. Our THINKING. We start playing the victim card; “my boss, my parents, my children, my colleagues, my fate, my destiny have made my life miserable.”
The very thinking that “the problem lies outside” is the root cause of all the problems one faces in his or her life, which is precisely what’s making us incompetent to live happily. If we can just maneuver our thinking slightly, then that minor change can make all the difference in your life.
Once we accept the fact that whenever we are miserable, it is only because of our own thinking, and nothing else, then our whole life will take a U-turn then and there. Life essentially becomes a dance.
And to take it one step even further, we are not morose because of our thinking alone. I mean, ultimately, we need to think to do any kind of thing, right? We are sad only and only when our thinking is not aligned with reality.
The wider the gap becomes between our thinking and reality, the more sorrow we bring into our lives.
Now for those of you who have kids, they often say that their kids are blah blah blah and that makes us sad. “Our kids don’t listen to us!”
Well, the kids who listen to what you say are not your kids actually. I mean, what else can you expect from kids? Did you always listen to your parents? Were you a straight arrow during your childhood? If not, then how can you possibly expect your child to not be naughty.
And let’s say you were a straight arrow (very unlikely though), but still, it doesn’t mean that your kid is also gonna be that way. Kids are meant to be mischievous. Think about it, if not kids, then who else? We tend to micro-manage our kids, by showing authority or by force. This may give you the results in short term, but what will happen to the relationship you have with your kid in the long run?
Whenever our expectations are not based upon reality, then we are bound to become sad. Everything is temporary in this world. Can anyone challenge this reality? Then help me understand, why do we expect that the people or situations should remain the way they always have been.
People change. Situations change. Even you are changing.
Isn’t it a bit naïve to expect that everything stays the same? I know we all are wary of change, but even the only constant in this world is “CHANGE”. (‘Who moved my Cheese“(affiliate link) is a wonderful fable that explains how changes can make or break us, and that we should embrace changes in life!)
If we have such unrealistic expectations, then no matter how much we get, we can never be deeply satisfied or live happily in this game of life. Once we start questioning everything happening in our lives sincerely, and not just at a superficial level but rather to understand it deeply, then there is no way to make you sad.
If one puts in the same amount of energy in asking questions like this as we put in earning money or building a career, then he would have the ability to completely recreate himself. The biggest difference between humans and other animals is that we have the ability to question.
Ever saw a monkey questioning itself whether he should make that jump or not? Whether he will make the distance or not? The monkey doesn’t think that much, he just does it and never look back. Now if we also start acting based upon the incentives we get and the punishments we will receive, then what is the difference between us and them?
Question. Question. & Question
Just like a child asks a million questions a day, we also need to match their energy and start QUESTIONING. Your mind that is rusted for so long, will start operating again at its full capacity. Then we can understand things with a snap of our fingers, which can ultimately lead us to take the right actions in life and to live happily ever after.
We try to underestimate ourselves. We think concepts like death, self-realization, enlightenment, meditation are too overwhelming for us to understand and beyond our pay grade. These are actually very simple concepts to understand. In fact, the reality is much much simpler than the illusions we believe blindly. The truth is much simpler and straightforward. Lies are complex and convoluted.
Our mind becomes more and more clear, as we understand and see reality as it is. The more confused your mind is, the duller it becomes. A clear mind is a sharp mind. The beginning of making a sharp mind starts from questioning itself.
Let the Questioning Begin
We know this body is made up of water (approx. 70%), so are you this body, or are you the substance that makes your body, which is water in this case?
It won’t be wrong to say that what we refer to as “I or me”, is actually made up of water (and a couple of other things). If you are water, then are you just the water inside your body, or are you the water that is everywhere on this planet?
2/3rd of our planet is covered in water. If you say yes, then that means we make up 2/3rd of this planet. (That too when I have only taken water, there are other minerals which make up your body too.)
If you say no, then let me ask you, the water that you took when you were 1yr old, is it the same water that is still in your body? Of course not, right? We are excreting and intaking water all the time, aren’t we? So, whatever your answer is to the question, stay with it patiently, look at it from all the angles, and ultimately you will know the right answer.
Learn From Water
Let’s take this water example one step further. Once you understand this example, then you can truly live happily and experience the kind of happiness that can’t be expressed in words.
Imagine a river flowing and there are millions of billions of small bubbles in the river. Now if the bubble says that “I am a bubble.” Then is it true or not? If you say it is true, then I will say, go ahead and touch the bubble. What will it actually be when you touch it? A bubble? Or water? Isn’t the bubble made up of water? So, aren’t we calling a form of water only a bubble?
It is just like calling an actor by his character’s name in real life.
There is no bubble in reality. Yeah, there is this word “bubble”, but in certainty, there is just water. What we touch is actually water, what we feel is essentially water, and what we see is also, water only. Can you drink bubbles? It is really that simple to understand. No one can challenge this truth.
The Wrong Thinking
Now if the bubble thinks that “I am just this bubble”, so is this the right kind of thinking or not? Is this the kind of thinking that is based on reality or imagination? Can this type of thinking make the bubble live happily or peacefully? It doesn’t matter what the bubble think of itself, the reality isn’t gonna change for him or for anyone for that matter. There is no actual division in water.
But now if the bubble keeps on thinking that he is this tiny, little, minuscule, microscopic part in this abundant river; then there is no cure for thinking like a schmuck.
Will he ever be able to experience real happiness with this kind of philosophy? Surely he won’t because he will always live under the impression that he is gonna burst anytime soon. Also in order to live, he has to endlessly struggle with the billions of other bubbles all around him.
Unraveling the Truth
What was the bubble before its apparent birth? WATER. What is the bubble right now? WATER. And what will it be after it bursts? That’s right, WATER. So, is there anything actually taking birth or dying? Why can’t we start questioning like this? If we want to get to the bottom of this and discover the truth, this is the only way.
The Uncanny Similarity
In a way, we humans, are a lot similar to this bubble.
We think of ourselves as this tiny, little, powerless creature in this enormous universe, tirelessly competing and comparing ourselves to other humans all our life. We are fearful of the thought of death. Can we really be deeply satisfied or live happily as long as we hold on to this kind of thinking? One just needs the vision to see through all this and the good news is that only a human can do this.
If the bubble accepts the fact that he is actually water and not just the water in that particular river, but wherever one can find water on this planet; then he just literally changed his whole life, for good. Our mind has been conditioned so severely, right from our childhood, that most of the time the truth is staring at us right in front of our eyes, but we totally snub it and how.
We spend our whole lives believing in Illusions and Fantasies
Think of it, is there any way of making the water sad? The bubbles will come and go, but the water? The water doesn’t give a damn about it. It is gonna remain the way it always has been, calm and composed.
But hey, don’t take it the wrong way now. I am not saying that stop having feelings or attachment to anyone close to you. I am not saying that you won’t feel anything if someone close to you departs. Of course, we will, as we should. These feelings and attachments are what distinguish us from robots.
A relationship will become completely meaningless if there’s no attachment with the person. Now there can be two ways to see a relationship.
The Obvious Way
One is that there are two bubbles that are in a relationship with each other. What will happen in such kinds of relations? When there is a differentiation between the two persons, or when the two bubbles consider themselves different from each other as separate entities; conflicts are bound to happen in such a situation.
Both people coming from unique backgrounds have different knowledge, experiences, memories, and thoughts; which is the perfect recipe for clashes to happen. Can the two ever live happily this way? Can there ever be real love till such distinctions exist? There will only be talks on love, and that too when they want something from each other.
Sometimes, there is a competition and comparison going on between couples. A dominating match, where they indirectly try to show each other how strong, beautiful, powerful, or rich they are. This thinking that “I am this bubble, and you are that bubble” is the root cause of all the concerns.
The Unorthodox Way
The other kind of thinking can be that there are actually no You & I, just WE. There are no bubbles, just water.
Just like 7 different colors are visible in the rainbow, but actually, they all are coming from just one source. Now if you say red is better than violet, or that they are different from each other, then clashes are bound to happen because different people will have different opinions.
You just simply have to notice the fact that they appear to be different, but in reality, they aren’t.
Similarly, in relationships, your partner just appears to be different from you, but in reality, you both are the same person. You both have the same source. You both belong to the same water; well, you are the water itself.
It won’t be wrong to say that you are actually in love with just another form of your own self.
So, tell me, will you argue, criticize, belittle, fight, compare yourself with your own self? I don’t think so. You see, all it takes is just a slight change in the way you see the world, and the whole world becomes entirely different. Just like that. As long as you are a bubble, you can never see this through. A bubble will just use other bubbles for its own personal use and will label it as “Love”.
Only Water can Understand the Issue of a Bubble
If you actually love your children or your husband/wife, you first need to change the way you look at them. Only then you can experience the real depth of that love. After this, even if you see a shortcoming in the other person, then you won’t react or fight with them.
Because if you are seeing a drawback in the other person, you are essentially also noticing a drawback in your own self as well. And then you will empathize with both of them, the person and yourself.
If your kids misbehave then you won’t get all fast and furious, because now you can clearly see the kinds of mischief you did when you were a child back then. When you act as a bubble, then you forget all the stupid and mischievous shits you did in your own childhood.
So, does it mean that we should completely stop reacting to situations? Not quite. Sometimes, we need to react and take a stand and fight for what’s right. But the problem is that we don’t work upon ourselves to know the real difference between the two.
Take A Pause And Look
We run really fast and wanna know everything right this very second, without actually working to develop the kind of attitude and understanding it is gonna take. A bubble always just looks at the different forms of water outside. It never observes the water itself and remains oblivious to its true self, which is actually a pity.
The moment it notices that it is made up of water; the innumerable divisions and the imaginary distinctions will vanish. All he will see will be water and nothing else. And all there will be left will be just love, pure simple love out there to make you live happily. The bubbles and the waves will become an expression of love itself.
‘He will see himself inside everyone and everyone inside him!’
Now the choice is yours! Do you wanna live under the illusion that you are a bubble?
Or accept the reality that you are actually WATER?