A friend of mine had been living a life bugged and enervated by the evil named depression. Ever since he passed through the tenth grade, his blithesome and care-free nature was suppressed and later supplanted by agitation and rage. He ultimately ended up being disgruntled with his life.
He thought him being an overweight was the reason. He had been that way for a long time. He had been mocked, bullied and teased by very many all through his school life and then even in the beginning of his College life.
He thought maybe the misery in his life was all because of the world saw him differently with eyes of disdain, because of the extra fats bulging out of everywhere in odd proportions. So, he took on his esteem the challenge to get into a better shape, become a fit person and someone who would no longer be disdained by the ones around him.
And, over the next year, my dearest friend kept surprising us all with the rigorous changes he had brought in his body. Conspicuously he had lost over 40 KGs and was really fit and quite muscular. No one bullied or teased him even then. But, there was something that bugged him even then.
My chum was still not able to find a pool of happiness to immerse his life into. He was still depressed and was not happy with his life. And, it was only then that one day while talking over a call late in the night, he shared with him that he had lost all of his hope and could not understand why nothing he did made him happy.
I told him that I would call him the next day as something had come up. The entire day I thought about how I could better my friend’s position and situation. And, it was only then that I came up with something that later went on to have a great impact on my own life as well.
In fact, even my friend told me a few months back, “Thanks but don’t ask why I’m thanking you.” I knew that he had not been an expressive or outwardly personality. So, even that small token of gratitude spoke volumes. And, it’s to that solution which impacted our lives to such a great extent, that this post is about.
In the texts below, I am going to elucidate what I told my friend in our conversation the next day. I wish the reader finds something valuable in the thoughts shared to augment to their lives.
We humans are too stupid. We go around searching for every possible means to make our life better, but we don’t search for things within us. We ask people what to do. We try to help others to make our relationships flourish. We try to go around and spend time with the people who we care for. And, what not!
We do it all and later one day, midnight 2 a.m. we simply sit down on the couch and wonder, “What do I do to be happy now that my friends have returned home? Who do I talk to now? Who do I tell my secrets now?”
The void of happiness is not something that the world around us can make up for. That was never the truth, nor will it ever be. There is nothing outside of us that can make things better for us. Everything just needs an internal adjustment, and then everything will begin to fall into place.
Say you are Iqbal, and are slightly overweight and also unhappy. Now, tell me based on the aforementioned text- Can you being overweight be the root bugbear sapping your happiness? No, it can never be. Maybe it’s one of the things that may be adding to your misery, but it can never be the absolute cause.
Sure Iqbal, go follow the diets and do exercise and hit the gym. Those things will boost your confidence, improve your physical and mental health and make you much agile and fit. Bingo! But, other than confidence building and better health, what other change is losing weight and extra fats going to bring about in your happiness levels?
Not much. The problem with believing that you being an overweight is the reason for your unhappiness is absolutely lopsided. The very premise of the above statement is to say that people won’t like to be around you and won’t admire you for your body is out of the ideal proportion. And, that’s the greatest lie you can tell yourself!
And, even if that is the truth- Which in my purview is a lie- it would only help you change the physical outlook that the people around you see in you. But, what do you see in you is what matters the most! But, you never catered to or worked upon that part of the solution. Thus, this way you would never really end up with a panacea that could extrude out all the gloom that has botched up your happiness and peace of mind.
The real happiness lies within ourselves. The factors determining those are different in every individual’s case. So, I can’t tell you what stratagems to opt for to succeed in your quest for happiness. But, I know that you can do it, all you need is a little push in the right direction.
And, surprise! I know that blissful direction where you can discover the key to the kingdom of your happiness. Or maybe I don’t. Who knows? But, I have a direction at least. So, if you feel congenial to the idea, then and only then give it a shot.
Ready for it? Hoping the reader replied in positive, I am going to begin charting out what needs to be done!
Well, sit in silence for the next two hours with a pen and a sheet of paper next to you. Draw two columns on the sheet. Now, on the left column, you are supposed to write the things that you wish to become, achieve or do in your life that would make you happy. These would come from your innate aspirations, desires and dreams.
Then, in the right column, write down things that are sapping you of achieving those dreams, aspirations and bliss that you deserve. And, as you end up filling the paper in the next thirty minutes or so, don’t think that you are done already and have got enough insights about what are the hurdles that you need to overcome.
We often tend to jump the gun and miss the most important things that can lead to sweeter fruits. Now the things you have written on the left side are things that your mind came up instantly. Like in the aforementioned case of Amy, it was to religiously exercise, follow a strict diet and attain a fit body.
The same way the right column, you would have listed down sundry things, habits or factors for which your mind has been telling you forever- “That’s what is wrong with you! That is why you are unhappy!” In the case of Amy, it was something like- “You are fat and bulging from every direction! Why would someone be attracted to you or wish to talk to you? Therefore, you are bound to be unhappy, as no one like you.”
And, here is the big news! Everything you have filled that sheet is just a piece of garbage. It’s all superficial layer of belief that had cluttered your mind from focusing on actualizing things that actually matter. And, the above sheet helped us to get rid of the clutter. Now, we can begin the real job. Congratulations and let’s move on to the part two of the exercise!
Take another sheet of paper, and now again repeat the exercise. This time fill up the paper with things that you did not write on the first sheet. And, now that the unwanted weight of the things from the first sheet has been purged off, now your real desires and wishes can be dug out.
Now, this will need you to apply pressure on your head. You will have to think harder as these things have been pushed deep into the dark corners of your head. You would have to look into the days of yore. And, you would have to look into the most intricate experiences of your life.
You would have to ask yourself- What were the things you yearned for when you were a 12-year-old? The things that you wished you could make a reality but inadvertently could not make it happen. Then you would have to raise the same question for things from back when you were a 13-year-old.
Maybe you won’t be able to remember things from that far in the memory lane. No problem, begin from wherever in your past your memories begin. And once you are ready, get the ink from pen jotting down your mission statement on the sheet of paper.
In the beginning, it might seem a strenuous job. But, eventually you will get the ball rolling, and your thinking machine will keep popping out more and more things. While jotting down some of these points your mind even make you chortle and tell you- “Wasn’t that obvious! You always wanted that! And, then you suddenly forgot about it. Dumbo!”
One after another, things would keep popping out of your grey matter which you had otherwise grown oblivious to. And, it is these things that are actually going to make you happy. And, since you will have to work hard to dig out these valuable wishes that were sequestered into your head, the rest of an hour and a half would be used to fill up this sheet.
And, don’t be bogged down by the time limit, if it’s taking longer for you to fill the sheet. There is nothing to be overwhelmed about! Every mind works at a different pace, with a different set of experiences that run one’s rationale. So, every mind is bound to take different amounts of time. Ergo, take your own time to figure out what you need to fill up that sheet with.
And once you will be done, the treasured secrets to happiness will be unveiled to you finally! The internal adjustments that you needed are right there in front of you. Make sure you don’t miss out to realize even a single one of those!
Wishing the reader all the happiness and greatness they can glean in from this beautiful world around them. To close the post, here is a maxim I discovered based on my life-
It’s was all hidden into me, and I kept searching for it everywhere around. I was a fool.