Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Pursuit of Happiness!

We all are busy with making ourselves BETTER. Passing exams BETTER than the one who sits next to your desk, earning BETTER than your neighbor, getting a BETTER salary than your friend, trying to spend a BETTER life than what your ex is spending, finding a BETTER girl/boy than you had previously. Yes, we all are very busy with making our lives better. When we were born, our parents wanted us to spend a better life than they spent/ or were spending. From our birth to this moment we all were going after something better. Something better which we thought is we are reaching every passing day, but it never happened. Actually what happened was, when we didn't have something we shoot at something more than that and when we reach that more than thing, we tend to shoot another by standing in that better place. So we all were in a rat race which we can never ever finish or win. Yes, I am referring to you also. While you were reading this blog, let me say what you felt. "I am going to write a better blog than this". If you were a foe of me, you must definitely be saying to your own self, "Yes I am going to be a better person than this bugger." May you be my friend,my foe or my fiance or one of my past, I am asking you to stop running and ask yourself!

" Am I really going to end wanting myself to be BETTER?? What is the end of this??"

STOP running! Wait for a minute and have a discussion with me.My coffee table is ready!Come sit.Join with me. Can I ask you a question?

" Are you that BETTER person whom you wanted to be good few years back? So are you satisfied of your self?"

Your obvious answer would be, "YES ofcourse I am a BETTER person now.Far more better than whom I supposed to be" But wait I can hear your conscience shouting. "NO NO! Still you are not that better person. You have some more to achieve! What about your degree? What about completing the PgDip in SLIM? What about CIMA exams? What about your MBA final dissertation??" See you are still not the better person. You have a lot more to do and a long way to go.

It is ofcourse good to dream of a better person. According to the "Law of Attraction", what you dream is what you become. So dream bigger, you will become bigger or at least big. But the unfortunate is while you were so very busy with becoming a better person, you were completely ignoring the the happiness of your life. "Are you really happy?" Or I would ask, Were you ever happy? If the answer is YES! For how long? 1 second? 2 second? 1 minute? 1 hour? Tell me that you were more!!

Yes, while we all were very busy with going for our so called targets, we all knew that there is no happiness inside us. We all are victims of a rat race which the former generations offered us. They raced like rats and they poisoned us with the same poison of the conspiracy of a BETTER person or a BETTER world.

Stop running and think for a moment. What is happiness?? Is it getting the degree? Or taking the doctorate or passing all the exams of your professional qualifications before your fellow people do? You and me both know that when we go for one target, we make some other targets and keep us going forward in the rat race. That's the harsh truth!

Let me define what life's happiness is! Life's happiness is not having reasons to be happy or reasons not to be happy ( or in other words sad) Am I confusing you? Let me explain it to you further.

Let's say you are happy in this moment. Now you are happy because you were sad a moment before. Or if you are sad now, it's because you are happy before. Happiness and Sadness are 2 different concepts which are relative. So it's always about the perception of you towards the things in life which makes you happy or sad.Let's say you failed an exam! Now you are sad. Because previously, before the exam results come, you weren't a failure. But now you are a failure. But before the exam results come, if you never EXPECTED results to be good, you will still be happy because you accept your failure as it is. OK! Now let's say you have passed the exams. But you were EXPECTING big grades. So are you happy now? Still you are NOT! Because you expected to pass the exams with flying colors since you didn't get those you are upset. But wait. But if you were expecting to fail the exams, but you have passed it very marginally, you must definitely be happy. Aren't you?

By the above example I put you forward the most importance concept of this discussion which is EXPECTATIONS! If I say it's all about life's expectations which defines whether we are happy or not, you will be surprised. Let me take a Marketing Theory and explain you the Pursuit of Happiness in a different way of how it was defined by Will Smith in the movie Pursuit of Happiness.

In Marketing, there is a very primitive, but one of most influential theories of my life called the E2 cross. Let me explain you the Marketing theory before going for my definition of Pursuit of Happiness.

As you can see in the above illustration, from the right side of the intersect point, the customers are delighted because

Customer's Experience >> Customer's Expectations

From the left side of the intersection, the customers are unsatisfied because,

Customer Experience << Customer Expectations

At the intersection the customers are satisfied since,

Customer Experience == Customer Expectations

So it is the sellers/businessman's duty to make sure that they are offering a product or a service which their customers are delighted. Or atleast satisfied. The beauty of Marketing is that the marketers can play with the actual and perceived experience of a good or a service. Let a particular good's actual experience be lesser than the actual expectations.The customer is dissatisfied. But if the marketers, the magicians of customers can increase the perceived experience of the good than the actual experience, then the customers will be delighted. The beauty here is without actually modifying the attributes of the good or service, the marketer drives a customers from unsatisfaction to the delight by his wits.

So after some hardcore theories, let me again focus on the main purpose of this article which is to define the perfect pursuit of happiness. This E2 cross can be applied perfectly to our real life situations to define the margins of happiness and sadness.

Let me take you as an example. Let's say there is this friend of you, who is always very polite and gentle, whom is always the first person you want to see when you enter to the office. Everyday he/she greets you  in the morning. So oneday you go to the office and meet that person, and here you go! You serve him/her with a smile expecting he/she to do the routine greeting. But today, that person didn't even look at you, didn't greet you and simply didn't even bother of your existence. And you are obviously very upset. From the morning till the evening of that day you were bothering, thinking, lamenting about what happened in the morning. During the whole day you were sad.

So what went wrong?Were you sad just because of that person didn't bother you or said Good Morning to you? Ask your self? You will obviously say YES! But what I am saying is you were upset because you EXPECTED that person to greet you in the morning. So,

Your Expectations >> What you experienced

which at last made you ended up with sadness. You can never blame that person for making you sad. It is you who defined what he/she should do which is completely uncontrollable from your hands. So basically you were sad not because of that person't act, but because you had high expectations of you towards him.

Let's say you have this enemy of you who really wants to slap you off in the morning. So you meet that person, and here you go, he doesn't even look at you or say Good Morning. He not at all bothered you. So now you are happy. In this case

Your Expectations << Your Experience 
( Because its always better not to being slapped than not greeted right? )

See! Even in this case, the person you met did the same thing of the previous example. They both didn't greet you in the morning. But in the 1st case you were sad whilst in the second case you were happy.
So yes, it's all about a matter of perception or how you look at the things in life which makes you :) OR  :(

Never ever give someone else to define who you are, whether when and where you are happy or sad. Your life's happiness is in your hand and you should be the person who decide whether you are happy or sad on a particular day. So lighten up. Rethink of your life. Rethink of what you were doing all these time!

We expect OUR past to come again to our lives, we expect people to be always honest with us, we expect people to be gentle and mild to us, we expect people to treat us equally, we expect people to give us recognition which they never want to give. So let the happened be happened. Let the people to do whatever they want to do. It's all about the level of expectations which defines your happiness which is the ultimate goal of everyone living in this world. Always try to have low level of expectation in life. So when you get something, even a small, you will be happy.

So connecting the dots of the article, we started talking about the conspiracy theory of having a BETTER life which we can't do in our lives because a BETTER life is something which we can't ever stop finding. Inside the word BETTER lies the concept of EXPECTATION which defines whether we are happy or sad in a particular moment. The lesser we EXPECT the happIER we are! That is how E2 cross can make you all time smiling person.


Nayadara Thirimanne said...

Your insights and writing style is awesome brother. Keep going!!
I also like to add something, but I doubt whether it is practical for males who are born to bear more responsibilities than females. I believe I am a happy person, because I live in the MOMENT. I am spontaneous, I don't plan things. So good things can delight me and bad things can hurt me but can't let me totally down. Because I want to enjoy the next MOMENT. We have given practical instructions by our sacred philosophy Buddhism, on how we can transform life’s difficulties into valuable spiritual insights. If everybody practice that, there won't be a desire to be BETTER. Because you are busy with enjoying being YOU. I don't know, that's my insight :)

Malith Sureweere said...

Dear Nayadara,

No need to reply to your comment it is quite obvious that you have already understood the core idea of my article which is about living in the moment and enjoying what is happening in the moment itself.

Yes, not only the females but males can also practice this. They may have future goals saying to get a degree or buy a car or buy an engagement ring to his fiance, but still they can live in the moment while not worrying too much of what happened in the past and what will happen in future. Especially, if there is a bad incident which is bothering you in the past, this concept of living in the moment can really help you to be HAPPY!

Keep reading my blog Nayadara. I am sure you will be more interested to read my up coming writings also.