I have been writing about my impulsiveness and impatience for several years now. I was unknowingly justifying each of those moments and always wrongly, till I came to read, “Happiness by Design” ( a book by Paul Dolan). I have read few chapters from several other books on ‘Happiness’ including one from Dalai Lama. But somewhere deep into the philosophical explanation offered, I missed the message. Very next instant, I the slap the book close and place it back on the book shelf.
Contrary to my experience, ‘Happiness by Design’ has a very logical explanation to ‘Happiness’ defined as Pleasure-Purpose Principle. The author asks its readers for introspection. Is it more to do with pleasure or purpose or balanced between the two?
The first chapter of the book offers me enough wisdom to re-affirm whether my leanings are towards ‘pleasure’ or ‘purpose’:
- For last few days my irritability has been at its peak. Now, I know it’s because of lack of ‘purpose’ that I am experiencing. I will find a ‘purpose’ soon.
- My trips to Ranthambore lean more towards as ‘pleasure’ trips.
- My hobby of photography instead leans more towards finding ‘purpose’.
- At work, I value ‘purpose’ more than ‘pleasure’. So the pressure is on my employer (not on me) to ensure I have a well defined ‘purpose’. No amount of comforts except ‘purpose’ can bind me to an organization.
- Reading for me is again more with a ‘purpose’; to use the knowledge somewhere with even larger purpose.
I get upset with ‘pointless’ efforts or efforts that become ‘pointless’ later. I get upset when the ‘purpose’ in me is not visible to others and instead end-up treat me as one who is either seeking ‘pleasure’ or avoiding to commit to a ‘purpose’.
My memories of happiness are when I was impulsive; when I did not think hard; when it was in an instant I head for a trip; when I end-up calling a school friend; when I ping on Whatsapp to tease and jolt the recipient whom I have special feelings to be close to.
It’s happiness when I find my daughters hugging me instantly. It’s happiness when I feel cozy on bed with my large arms around my daughters. It’s happiness when I lean more towards my spouse. It’s happiness when I have my love’s head resting on my chest.
I will henceforth not search for more wisdom on ‘happiness’. Instead, I will focus on every moment I live and make it living upto Pleasure-Purpose principle.