Saturday, August 9, 2008

Happiness or contentment?

A thought passed by my neurons sometime ago and it left me bemused.
So now a new opinion is made, [subject to change, conditions apply :-P]

Happiness is the most over-rated among the emotions.
No-one likes not having happiness. So, it comes and goes as it pleases and we wait longing for more of it to come by.

And then they say, happiness should be coupled with sadness in our lives; thats how we will know the "value" of being happy. But can we manage that? Give happiness the importance and it will be around rarer. When we are happy, we forget about the harsh realities around and choose to rejoice. Why do people do drugs? to get the high and feel at ease. Is that happiness? How do we define happiness? does happiness in certain things dominate other things?

I tag happiness of being over-rated because people choose to ignore that, it misleads us, too much happiness does. Happiness is not humour. If that was so, stand-up comedians would be the happiest people in the world. For me contentment is more important a virtue. Or when people say that they are happy, they actually mean that they are contented?

We always knew that "man is the most selfish amongst all beings", is this the reason why happiness is prefered above contentment? Or is the latter a very whole-concept and people prefer to look at things selectively, be happy about some of the things happening to them and forget about the rest of it, atleast momentarily.

I say I am happy....

*~* when I am full. Either with respect to food, or emotions, or relationships, or discussions, etc.

*~* when things are going my way, just the way I wanted them to be.

*~* when my questions are answered; [might be the same as 1 & 2, but is important to me.]

In other words, I am happy when there is contentment. So for me happiness is synonymous to contentment, and contentment comes by expecting less. They say, "when you smile, we know you are happy." I don't need a reason to smile. Call me a maniac, but if something is either funny, or cute, or reminds me of something, or makes me feel good, I smile :-) Not because I am happy, but because I considering smiling to be a part of being alive.

I came across an article on contentment recently and the jist of that write-up was, to be contented with what we have and not be contented with what we are. It made sense. Things we own, keep changing; they don't mean much. They bring joy for sometime and then we move on. But if we grow, as people; we learn, as appreciators; there is a zest to be better; we shall live better. When this is lost, the zeal to live will be lost. I can relate to this concept. Maybe somewhere we have to know our limitations and aim for what is achievable. But isn't it us who determine this "boundary" for our capabilities?

Dreaming leads to Aiming leads to Working leads to Succeeding leads to Contentment leads to Happiness.

Or did I get the very meanings of the terms incorrectly?
How do you define happiness?


Arv said...

you are right gal... no one appreciates happiness unless they find themselves sadness :)

Have a nice sunday... Cheers...

Sutta said...

'Happiness'. The word is far fucking deep than we can see.
But the sad part is, we can always be happy but can hardly be content. Because we are not afraid when we are sad, its when we are happy we develop the fear of loosing its charm. So even when you're happy, you're not living it and is afraid to loose it.
Which again means, discontentment.

Think about this.
At times in life we may give our best shot in order to attain something, but in the end do we got the same pay-off what we'd always imagined?

Thats where the word "discontentment" evolves.

Happiness and Contentment. These two jerks have eaten shit loads of my brain long back. I am too lazy to write it all out, but its really a very mind fucking concept! Too deep. Yes!

Alok Meshram said...

Have you ever lost your Happiness?

By lost I mean the idea that you can never be happy again. It's a state worse than being ridden with disease.

And hence I won't say happiness is overrated. I can never believe that too much happiness misleads us.

"Happiness" is not a result of a conscious effort to be happy, it comes from within. It's a state you enter when you are truly at your own. That results in us being at our most productive. Which leads to more happiness. This happens until we reach one of our limits.

Here is where discontentment plays its role. It makes you push your limits in order to let you back to being productive again.

I've always felt that happiness is a very internal emotion. But you must find what makes you feel happy, and hence you must find what you Love.

Express said...

@ arv
That is not what this post is about. and even I don't even knw whether I am right or not.
Happy weekend to u too!

@ sutta
Yes deep.
Actually I still believe that when people say they are happy, they actually are contented, atleast momentarily. But maybe everyone's definition of happiness is different, like everyone's definition for love is different.

But I can relate 2 wht u say. Maybe when we get that deep, I completely shall be convinced. Ah, posting things on blog does give u answers. Or atleast leads to think about.

Express said...

Quoting sutta,
"happiness is not a destination, it is the journey. So, it can never be achieved, but only pursued".

Also, heres another thing I realised. If you live in the moment you might be happy. But when you start planning and achieving ur plans, contentment dawns.

I relate to the deep philosophy, but u r too lazy :-(



Express said...

@ alok
Initially, you equate happiness to hope.
I liked the thing u said abt discontentment. But at the end u contradicted urself. If I have 2 find some'thing' that makes me happy, when I lose that, i shall lose my happiness; and then the cycle would continue.

Happiness is indeed an eternal emotion. It cannot be govered by things or events around us, and if it does, it is momentary, coz things and events do not last long.

and v r back 2 square one.

Maybe I didn't percieve well. Use different wordings nah

Express said...

@ alok
Swami vivekanand has said,
"There is no end of craving. Hence contentment alone is the best way to happiness. Therefore, acquire contentment"

exactly my sentiments!

Alok Meshram said...


You see a contradiction because you seek that some'thing' outside of yourself. Find that 'thing' within your self.

If someone were truly content, he/she would reach a static equilibrium. That sounds boring to me.

And no, I did not equate happiness with hope. Hope is a part of happiness, according to me.

Alok Meshram said...

P.S. Speaking of finding it within yourself, just think about your Love for Biochemistry, and you'll have what I'm talking about.

Express said...

@ alok
so we are talking on the lines of the penultimate paragraph of the post. Having contentment with what we have and not with what we are.

Does that sum up?

Hope is according to me the paradox of contentment, in a way. So if hope is a part of happiness, contentment is not. Intresting.

So everyone does define happiness in different ways. Is there anything you ve gotta say?

Alok Meshram said...

I believe:

Be content with your self. Believe that you can withstand any ordeal, any obstacle in the way. This is what I term as hope.

Don't be content if things aren't working the way you want them to be. If you do, then it's the end of the line. As the ad campaign says, "Zidd Karo".

Find what is it that you want to do. Work to make that happen, devote your mind to it. You will find yourself happy.

That is all that I wanted to say.

Express said...

@ alok
ur definition of hope is beyond me.

and w/e else u said, how is it different from not being content with what we are?

no offense meant.

Alok said...

Okay, I'll tell you the logic behind it: Hope is a belief that everything in the future will be alright, that it will be good.

Now there is extreme randomness in the universe. Something might happen that might completely destroy your life in the very next instance.

So what is it that keeps your courage intact, that makes you keep on going? It is your hope. It is your belief that you can withstand anything that comes across you, that in the end, you will win.

"Not being content with what we are" meant something different to me. It meant believing that we are not capable of doing something. I believe that the first step towards doing something is believing that you can do it.

Rajesh said...

I agree with u...its pretty right.. I jus cant think of a better definition...anyways ll sit, think n get back 2 u if i can think of a better one

Express said...

@ alok
but 1s a person is contented with him, the need for "hope" will b lost, don't u think?

@ rajesh
glad you could relate.
contribute if u can. I don't say that you have to differ with me :-)

Thanks for the comment.

Sachi said...

I so agree :)
To me happiness is all about having everything...And as per me, I have everything only when I fall short of keeping that :))
And I believe it's all about yourself. No matter how bad the life is, if you want to be happy no body can stop you and it goes true other way too.

I too have those happy moments :)
//when I'm full with discussions
//when things are going my way

Alok said...

That just goes to show that hope and being content with one's self are the same thing.

Express said...

@ sachi
Yea babay! happiness is all in the thoughts and not in the events that happen to us.
Glad you could relate

@ alok
ok, if you insist.

Aditi ''Jiggs'' said...


aaj kal i have stopped usin my brain on such stuff :P

so all ill say is i am happy wn
i soak my my feet in the knee deep water in the quad 'if the water is clean'. n wn i am not wearin my converse shoes :P

i am happy wn i sit with my frnds n laugh on the most stupid things :P

i am happy wn i take parth's case n he start laughin n he goes like fundooo u u u lolzzz

i am happy wn i am with alisha n she can make out wt i am thinkin by lookin at my face n we just giggle :P

i am happy wn shreya n i share all the gossip v both have n say he does like bass i knew it 6 months before

i am happy wn in a vvv boring lecutre arti n jui n shravari crak soem really silly jokes

n i am happy wn i see my name in print

well i have found happiness in smallest of things, i dont need to to own a ferrari to be happy
i am happy ridin a bicycle :P

n i am happy wn i tease abt ur good frnds :P

Express said...

@ jiggs
atleast u knw wht happiness is for you, :-)
dude, nothing else matters.

P.S. Its shreyaS LOL, he HAS 2 knw abt this!!!!!! and also the thousand things u keep teeling abt him ;-)

Anonymous said...

are u content? always be happy with what u get..never be content.and stop..ur life ends that day

btw image verification for this post was.."phoodu"

gunj said...

i agree with u babes!
happiness doesn really need all d attention d world gives it! its all over d place, but still ppl keep on analyzing it so much dat its just lost!

Express said...

@ paratrooper
Errmm, no. Not content, not happy either. well, nevemind...

Btw, how d u define happiness then?

@ gunj
Ladki, ur comment is bang-on! wht I could not convey in those many many words, u did in that comment.
How d u do tht?