The simplest joys of life are those that come as a by-product of something else. When the mind is too busy planning the big things, joy manifests itself in the little things, and acts as its own reward. Be it in setting small milestones and achieving them instead of focusing on huge long term goals, or the simple act of making a to-do list that actually has doable things and striking them off one by one is a mood booster.
While planning takes care of the bigger things over longer periods of time, laughter actually does come in the little things. Even goof-ups in the huge plans make for good memories after the steps have been executed. When the Pandora’s Box called life unfolds, hope is the only thing that is safely ensconced, thereby making sure nothing else goes amiss.
If there were an index for the level of happiness felt for different things, spending time well and truly for oneself without intervention, and making others smile in unadulterated joy would take the top two spots. A lot of parallels and comparisons could be drawn from the daunting source called life experiences, but in the end, true joy would have made its way to the deepest corners of the heart only when the soul is truly happy, or the heart is warmed with a loved one’s smile.
Time and again, happiness has found its way to my heart in these two forms. The former allowed me to appreciate myself more, and come out better with each introspection in solitude. There is unmatched peace to be obtained by pampering oneself. The latter has made me realise that life is above and beyond all material things, and being the reason for a loved one’s smile is the best reward. The memories are the seeds for further happiness, and patronuses that would drive even the darkest dementors away.
The joy of a gift well-received, the joy of a surprise revealed at the right time, the joy of seeing a natural smile bloom on the face of a favourite person, and even hearing the smile in their voice from miles apart warm hearts more than what material things would. The warmth of true happiness has no match, and leaves a pleasant feeling for many days, dispelling anything else that comes below par.
Life’s lessons are aplenty, but the theme in focus is almost always similar. Life is in the little things. Life is what happens to you while you are busy planning what should happen.
It is, after all, Hestia, who gets all the offerings from this mortal world in Greek Mythology. By not being overly focused on her place at the council of immortals, she made sure she was immortalised in the hearts of those who mattered. And that is an indication of what should get priority in a power-crazy, monetarily driven, hamster wheel race that life seems to become.
Seeking happiness is not about running blindly behind that elusive garden gnome named ‘Happiness’. It is more a process of learning to find happiness in the little things that actually happen. As I have recently learnt, seeking happiness is a redundant term for another simplistic life philosophy. Generate happiness wherever you are. Happiness is not an elusive life-goal to be pursued tirelessly. It is the flower that needs to grow and be watered by positivity to sustain. It is far easier to generate some for yourself than put it in an inaccessible place and then go searching for it!
Life happens as it does. The journey is what makes it worthwhile, not the destination.