I hope you have all been good and well. In this letter I’d like to share a little secret to experience a life of happiness.
Throughout our life, starting from a young age, we were taught that happiness lies in the big things in life. So we innocently trust this and begin to internalise and live this understanding. We begin to imagine and dream of big achievements and great success. We strive towards becoming something special and well known and aim to own big things such as great mansions to speak of our amazing success in the name of happiness. In this way, we continue to become like slaves of our own imagining. I remember reading a quote hanging on the wall at my Master’s ashram, “Increase your desire and live like a beggar, reduce your desire and live like a king”.
We all strive with great effort from the word go, to advance forward and climb great mountains of achievements, competing ruthlessly but always ending up knocking on the doors of sadness and discontentment. In failure we fall into the river of sadness, and in success we drown in the ocean of never ending worries and expectations. And day by day, year by year, happiness just seems out of our reach. This has always been so, because happiness is never in the big things but always in the little things.
Little things such as helping an elderly person cross the busy road, vacating your seat for a pregnant lady standing in the train, noticing the giggle of new born baby in a pram, connecting with a stranger, laughing with a friend, noticing the fragrance of a rose in a neighbours garden, listening to the orchestra of insects while camping in the tent, wishing a traveller well. Learning to notice and appreciate these beautiful little happy moments in life is why we were born. To develop the awareness to see and enjoy these little things in our life is the true challenge for every human being.