The importance of happiness


“Be happy
You will get what you like most. You will be what you like best.”

– Sri Chinmoy [1]

This is an extract from a poem by Sri Chinmoy on happiness. This particular line struck me as being quite revealing and informative.

Usually, with human nature, when we don’t get what we want, we feel unhappy. Then when we are unhappy, often – consciously or unconsciously – we make others unhappy. But, when we create this unhappiness vibration, it becomes hard to get what we want and it becomes impossible to be the person we want to be.

We need to break the cycle. We need to let go of our unhappiness and instead choose a very different approach. It is this approach of choosing happiness, which will help us to be the person we want to be. When we can create this good feeling, people are attracted to help and co-operate. It is this positive energy and infectious happiness, which will enable us to get want we want out of life.

Be happy, you will get what you like most‘ – An interesting thing is that Sri Chinmoy says that if we are happy, we will get what we like most. On the first reading, I thought, it read ‘Be happy, you will get what you want‘. But, of course, there is a considerable difference between getting what we think we want, and getting what gives us joy.

For example, we may have a great desire for people to act and behave in a certain way. When they disappoint us, we feel miserable because they are making our lives difficult. We don’t get what we want, and we are unhappy because we feel others are making our life unpleasant. However, a different approach is to be detached about expecting how other people behave. Rather than vainly hoping others will be the person we want them to be, we should concentrate on being happy with the situation we are in. With this changed happiness, we get the opportunity to be happy. Rather than being miserable because outer circumstances are not to our expectation, we are happy.

It is this cheerful happiness which means we get what we like most. The goal is not the outer circumstances, the goal is our happiness. If we can cultivate happiness, we will get what we like.  What is the point in chasing false unrealistic goals if we don’t get happiness along the way?

We can all recognise times when we are not our real self. We are grumpy, mean and selfish. We don’t like this part of us, though we sometimes struggle to get out of these bad habits. We may feel we have a right to be judging other people, we may feel we are justified in complaining and feeling aggrieved; but this attitude gives us a feeling of insecurity and lack of fulfilment. It certainly doesn’t make us feel happy. When we see others caught up in this kind of rut, we don’t like it. The person we want to be is generous, self-giving, cheerful and able to offer positive energy to those around us. When we get into this cheerful state of mind, we feel we are being the person we want to be. When we are happy, we automatically find it easy to be compassionate, kind and self-giving. We can brush off minor quibbles and grievances. This largesse and generosity of spirit, gives a real sense of fulfilment and satisfaction. It is this inner happiness, which enables us to be the person we want to be.

Suppose, you need to suggest something to a friend or family member. Perhaps you need their help or you need them to change their behaviour. If you try when you are unhappy, you will tend to repel them. Rather than doing what you want them to do, they may do the opposite – unhappiness can easily create conflict. But, if we can inspire them with our happiness and make them feel happy, then they will be receptive and more grateful for our suggestions. If there’s one way of inspiring other people, it is through our own cheerfulness and happiness. Happiness is infectious and when they can be uplifted, they will be a better frame of mind for resolving any problem.

If someone makes you unhappy, don’t try fight back with your unhappiness. It will be counter productive. Don’t let the incident bother you. Tell yourself, if you can maintain your happiness, you can achieve undreamed of things. Of course, it’s easier said than doing. But, happiness is a real secret of success.


[1] Extract from: Be Happy, Songs of the Soul, Sri Chinmoy

Photo: Tejvan

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