Sunday, January 27, 2013

The laws of Happ'y'ness



Last week I appeared for one of my dream certification exam. I had been literary dreaming of how happy I would be, how I would react, what I will do; ‘if’ I clear the exam. And finally the day came and I cleared it! No doubt I was Happy! I tried to do exactly what I had imagined I would do – kissed my score sheet (I know its cheesy!!:-p), called back home, updated my Linked In tag line etc etc. But to my surprise – I WAS NOT AS HAPPY AS I THOUGHT I WOULD BE. Somehow living the moment in reality was less joyful than living it earlier in ‘what-if I clear’ state. What went wrong?
I have always been wondering what actually drives happiness. All through our life, we work/eat/play/sleep in quest of just being happy. This blog of mine is an attempt to figure out why and how happiness happens (and so ‘y’ in Happ’y’ness) or fails to happen.It’s an effort to establish certain rules that can answer some of the questions that keep popping up in my mind (and probably your’s as well!!) with regard to this state. Interestingly, the laws mentioned below define how things went in numerous such situations in my life and I am sure you would be able to relate them with many of your life’s instances.

Law#1: Happiness can neither be created nor be destroyed
The total amount of happiness in the world is constant. If I am happy today, someone somewhere has been forced to be ‘sad’. It looks quite a negative connotation but that’s what the reality is. Happiness + Sadness = 0. Winner is happy, Loser is sad. And hard fact of life is that the reverse is also true. Whenever you lose something and are sad, someone gets happy. It may not be a direct relation between you and him and moreover, the person who has been happy might not have even wished to give you sorrow to gain happiness for himself. But it happens. The promotion of one person makes him happy and simultaneously makes many others sad. Similarly, the suspension of one person makes him sad, while gives happiness to the one who is promoted to take on his responsibilities.

Law#2: The intensity of happiness can be fragmented across time, space and living things
This one is interesting! To have your luggage with you when you get off the bus is no reason to be happy. Neither have we ever jumped off with joy when we collect our luggage from the belt after the flight. It just ought to be in place! But the other day, I got down off the bus and realised that I have forgotten one of my bag at my seat. The bus went away. I was completely pissed off. Of course, no one would be happy on this situation of mine (coz no one knew about it by that time). But this sorrow that I faced had to get compensated. I went to the counter, enquired for the next stop, chased the bus and grabbed the bag while the bus was waiting at the next stop. I had lost hopes of getting the bag back during all this time and the moment I got it, I forgot the pain I went through and was extremely happy to get ‘my’ bag back to ‘me’ – which it is supposed to be otherwise. The sorrow of losing the bag was compensated with the happiness of getting the bag back. Happiness just travelled in time and compensated the sorrow that was created a while ago. J
Similarly, the amount of happiness of 1 person who wins a million dollar lottery is compensated by thousands of other lottery takers with little sorrow to each. “Happiness just got fragmented”
The happiness what a kid gets when he is playing in exam days is compensated on the day he gets his results! J “Happiness just travelled in time - from before and after exam and also travelled in space- from playground to classroom”

Law# 3: If Law#1 & 2 fail, it is not happiness
There can never be any situation to happiness where the above rules are not applicable. If you feel there is, then you have probably confused your happiness with ‘pseudo happiness’ where you believe you are happy but in reality you are not! No one knows about it, no one can even figure it out - may be not even you at times!

gaurav@gloconomics.com

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