Happiness is unbelievable. Everyone believes you if talk about how you are in desolation or feeling hopeless, if you’re miserable or depressed. It seems so natural, maybe because we all can relate to those moments. But, rarely do people believe you when you talk about your happiness—it seems unnatural.
I look around, here in Nepal, at the trees, the rhododendrons blooming, the sun warming the Himalayas, the honeybees buzzing around our breakfast. I see the stars at night; I hear the birds early in the morning—all of them, all those things, glistening with pure happiness. Just because they exist, they are happy. They have no reason to be unhappy. It seems as though only man is unhappy.
Ironically enough, man can be happy. Man can be happier than all the natural existence that surrounds him. Because man has one thing all those things don’t—a conscious. With a conscious, you get to make a choice: happiness or unhappiness. But somehow, most of us have let this freedom, this responsibility of being happy waste away. As we age, we start assuming that we need certain things to make us happy, certain possessions, certain philosophies. We often turn to religion to cure our unhappiness.
“So many religions are there because so many people are unhappy. A happy person needs no religion; a happy person needs no temple, no church—because for a happy person the whole universe is a temple, the whole existence is a church. The happy person has nothing like religious activity because his whole life is religious.” (Osho)
Happiness happens when you fit with your life. If you love the work that you are doing, if you love the way you are living, then you are meditative. Then nothing distracts you. We are distracted by so many unnatural motivations: money, prestige, power. We end up dragging ourselves into a life of unhappiness—instead of being a dancer, she’s working as a teller at a bank, instead of being a doctor, he became a businessman due to a parent’s pressure. These are just simple examples, and we all know someone who fits the part—if not ourselves. We end up choosing something from the outside, to bargain with something on the inside.
Try to understand why you are unhappy, if you feel that you are. And never lose sight of that. Be alert and aware of your own inner motives, about your inner destiny. No one can decide your destiny for you because they are not you. The way you have learned to live, the pattern at which the rest of the world follows, it seems to lead many people into a life of unhappiness. There is something wrong with this pattern. People predominantly look to money. I believe money should only be used as a means. If you are unhappy, money will not make you happy.
One thing is certain: you can never become anything other than yourself, and unless you become yourself you cannot be happy. It is very convenient to follow society. Instead, be an individual and pay for it. Life is possible only through challenges. Choose the hard way—to be an individual is one of the most difficult commitments in this world.
I wouldn’t be breathing here if it weren’t for my decision to choose a way that appeared very risky at the onset. People had their doubts, I had doubts. But I was willing to step off the beaten path; I was willing to choose happiness over unhappiness. It doesn’t matter anymore where in the world I am, as long as I love what I’m doing and who I am doing it with, as long as I know who I am, where I come from and where I am going… I choose happiness.