Happiness is something that we are all after and still few seem to have it and they too have it for a limited time.
What is interesting though is that what keeps us away from happiness or happiness away from us is our ‘desire’ to be happy. One of the attributes of this desire is propensity to control & direct our external circumstances and behavior of people, system around us to our liking.
Being satisfied with our life, our circumstances is in one sense a pre-requisite to happiness. This satisfaction can be looked at as a neutral stage that comes before the more positive and vibrant stage of happiness. However, if things or circumstances don’t go our way, we are not satisfied and that erodes any possibility of being happy.
Considering it will always be difficult to control so many external variables including people, majority of us find that our circumstances are not always the way we would want them to be. What we want does not happen and what we don’t want to happen does. This is what lends life its defining feature for a majority: unsatisfactory or discontenting.
Thus, if we make controlling our external circumstances a pre-requisite, from a pragmatic stand-point, we are bound to be discontent and thus unhappy most of the time.
However, if we flip the paradigm and free ourself from this burden of controlling, dictating our external environment and rather focus on controlling what we can – our internal circumstances – then we are far better placed to be content and even happy.
This is one sense is also a corollary to the central teaching of Bhagavad Gita – that we should focus our attention on the action, which is within our control, and not be affected or influenced by the outcome, in which a lot of stakeholders play a role.
Thus, the route to happiness is created by curbing the desire to be happy and the desire to control our circumstances.