The 4 Obstacles to the Pursuit of Happiness…Prakash Tewari
Every child is nothing but a bundle of joy, but as we grow up, somewhere, we lose that joy. A child smiles 400 times a day. When a child grows up and becomes an adolescent, he smiles only 17 times a day, and when he becomes an adult, he smiles occasionally and that too when someone else smiles.
The whole question is, how do we reverse this? How do we get back to the innocence we were born with? This is the quest. There are four obstacles that prevent us from being joyful like a child:
1) Desire – Whenever happiness has disappeared from life, look deeper and you will see that it is because of desire. And all that we desire is happiness! No person, animal or creature desiring unhappiness is ever born; never has happened before nor will it happen in the future.
When your small mind gets tired of running here and there, of wandering everywhere, it reaches the conclusion, “My desires have killed my happiness”.
2) Stress – stress is when one wants to accomplish a lot but lack the energy or time. Now to get rid of stress, either you have to reduce your needs or desires, or increase your energy. Within these options, what is most practical is not reducing your needs, but increasing your energy levels. Now how do we increase our energy levels? Through breathing exercises, pranayama, meditation, and yoga. All of these increase the energy levels of a person in a short period time of 15 to 20 minutes. There are number of breathing techniques that help us relax and get back a lot of energy.
Relaxation that you get from sleep is dull relaxation. Another kind of relaxation is conscious relaxation. That relaxation brings your energy levels higher. That is called meditation.
Meditation is not sitting and thinking something. It is going to the source of thought. So reducing and eliminating stress is the first thing.
3) Insecurity – there is so much love and compassion on this planet; there is a higher power which is all love and it will give you what you need and when you need. So why be insecure?
If you look at your own life, in the past, how many times have you felt insecure? All those moments you have spent feeling insecure, appear to be such a waste of time, isn’t it?
4) Prejudice – There are many types of prejudice. There is prejudice between generations where young people will not sit and share with senior citizens. There is a generation gap. There is prejudice about class, about gender, about religion, culture, language, and so on in many parts of the world; so many types of prejudices.
Wisdom is to rise above prejudice and see the whole world as one family. If everyone has this idea of a one world family, there will be no war, no crime and none of the problems that we are facing in the world today.
Once you get over stress, insecurity and prejudice, then you are like a child, full of joy, and happiness simply wells up in you. Happiness is already there, it is just covered by these four obstacles. Once all these four obstacles are removed, the pursuit of happiness is natural and easy.
Contributed by: Col. Prakash Tewari
Feature Photo: Rozi , Odisha