In Pursuit of Happiness

Prof Aufaq Zargar

Happiness appears to be an elusive goal in today’s quick-paced and fiercely competitive world. In the belief that success, wealth, and worldly belongings will make them happy, people constantly pursue these things. According to studies, happiness is a journey that necessitates a holistic approach to life rather than a goal that can be attained via the use of external elements.
Scientists and philosophers have been interested in the pursuit of happiness for ages. A rise in research on the science of happiness has occurred in recent years, and it has given us important new understandings of what makes us happy. Research suggests that while our environment and personal habits are equally crucial to our happiness, genetics do play a role. For instance, having solid social links, taking part in worthwhile pursuits, and cultivating appreciation and mindfulness can all enhance our general well-being.
The desire of material things has traditionally been a popular approach for finding happiness, however research indicates that this is unsustainable. While purchasing a new car or a glitzy gadget may make us feel good momentarily, it does not add to our overall happiness. In actuality, our constant unhappiness can result from a cycle of unending expectations and demands brought on by the quest of worldly goods.
Similar to this, pursuing achievement might make us unhappy if we place more emphasis on receiving approval from others than on our own needs. Happiness can come from success, but we should define success on our own terms rather than relying on what society expects of us. While pursuing a job or maintaining financial security can be vital, it shouldn’t come at the expense of our wellbeing or interpersonal connections.
Other ways to find happiness include pursuing personal growth , finding meaning and purpose, and practicing gratitude and mindfulness. Finding meaning and purpose involves discovering a sense of direction and fulfilment in life, whereas personal growth entails self-improvement and spiritual practises. Being mindful and grateful involves paying attention to the present and celebrating the good things in our lives. These activities can improve our general pleasure and well-being.
The motivational true story of Chris Gardner, a struggling salesman who overcomes adversity and succeeds through hard effort, tenacity, and dedication, is told in the Hollywood film In Pursuit of Happiness, starring Will Smith. The film emphasises the value of resilience and a positive outlook in overcoming obstacles and realising one’s goals, portraying the concept of the pursuit of happiness as a voyage of self-discovery and personal progress.
But pursuing happiness involves more than just outward elements like dedication and hard effort. In our quest for happiness, religion, spirituality, and morality can all have a big impact. Faith and spirituality give many people a feeling of direction and meaning in life, which can improve their general happiness and well-being.
Religion can offer a sense of belonging and support, as well as a moral code that directs our deeds and influences our decisions. People can acquire virtues like compassion, forgiveness, and thankfulness by following to religious teachings and ideals, which can increase happiness and fulfilment.
Similar to this, spirituality entails looking for meaning and purpose outside of things and achievement in the material world. Practices including meditation, mindfulness, and self-reflection can promote inner tranquility and contentment, which can improve general wellbeing.
The pursuit of happiness can involve morality as well. We can cultivate healthy relationships with people and increase our sense of happiness and wellbeing by acting in line with moral ideals like honesty, integrity, and empathy.
But barriers can keep us from finding happiness. Though internal obstacles like negative thoughts, self-doubt, and perfectionism can be just as tough to overcome as external ones like poverty, disease, or a demanding job, both can make it difficult to be happy. It is crucial to be aware of these challenges and employ techniques like reframing unfavourable ideas, engaging in self-compassion, and getting help to get through them.
The pursuit of happiness necessitates a complex interplay of internal and external elements, to sum up. While perseverance, hard effort, and dedication are crucial for success, morality, spirituality, and religion may also provide life a sense of direction, fulfilment, and meaning. We can develop a more all-encompassing perspective on happiness and wellbeing by incorporating these components into our daily lives. A holistic outlook on life is necessary for the quest of happiness. Focusing on meaningful connections, personal growth, meaning and purpose, mindfulness and thankfulness is more essential than pursuing material success and stuff, which can only provide momentary pleasure. We may create a happy and full life by identifying challenges and employing solutions to solve them. Happiness is a journey that takes ongoing effort and a growth mentality, not a destination.
(The author is Assistant Professor, AAA Memorial Degree College, Bemina)