In the past few days, I have been thinking a lot about happiness and what it should entail.
I mean, everybody has their own opinion of what happiness is but I think that there’s one thing that I truly want to achieve before I can say that I am truly happy:
Money is not a concern.
I mean, every single day I observed that the things that we want to experience and do are always limited by money such as going on a holiday or trying out that new restaurant at that scenic place. Now, let’s say that we remove that factor of money. Wouldn’t we be able to live freely, unlimited by the confines of our financial levels?
Wouldn’t we then be free to do whatever we set our minds to, whatever we truly want to achieve?
I guess so.
But now, here lies the question of how we should go about doing that.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re religious or not, you’re young or old, you’re healthy or sick, you’re male or female or what race you are, death comes for all of us.
It can happen anytime. It can happen when we’re just sitting on the sofa watching some television or when we’re jogging out in the park, heck, it can even happen when we’re sleeping.
Death comes for all of us, one way or another. It is the only future that we can expect to happen and will happen.
Many of us fear death, we fear it not because we are unsure of what will happen to us next but we fear death because it removes us away from all the earthly pleasures that we have been enjoying thus far. No more movies, no more games, no more sex, no more fun. Say goodbye to that soft, comfortable bed, say goodbye to the wine and the alcohol, say goodbye to the parties and the music, say goodbye to even the food that we eat. Say goodbye to all of that. Say goodbye to all the pleasures that we enjoy on Earth.
This is a reminder for all of us, especially so for the people who chase worldly wealth for death will rob you poor because when you’re on your deathbed, you will not ask to see your money nor will you ask to hold that piece of jewellery instead, you will ask to see your loved ones, to touch their faces, to wipe away the tears from their cheeks, to hold them close and feel their warm breath against your neck as they try to hold back their tears.
Love your family, love your friends, cherish your loved ones and the memories you have of them for death is the destroyer of pleasures but not the destroyer of the love forged between you and your loved ones.
Yesterday, I went to watch ‘Me Before You’ starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin and it was beautiful. Without giving you any spoilers, I find that the story is cute and sometimes heart-breaking. ‘Me Before You’ is about a girl, Louisa Clark (played by Emilia Clarke) who was hired as a caretaker for William Traynor (played by Sam Claflin) who suffered a spinal injury after an accident causing him to be paralysed from the neck down. A romance developed between them as Louisa Clark tried her very best to make William Traynor change his mind when she found out that he wanted to have euthanasia.
To me, Louisa Clark struck me as a confident person who is completely comfortable with the way she is and she exudes the complete meaning of being self-aware. She understood that she might not be the brightest person out there and she learnt to accept that. Instead, she bet on her strengths: family-oriented, loving, do not care about the opinions of others and hard-working. She helped her family where she can by sacrificing her studies to work, she love helping others and treated them kindly, she embraced her weird fashion sense without the care about what others think and she hustles her way into completing tasks ensuring that they are done the best she could, completely contented with what she does.
Even though she might not have the world, she is completely contented with the way she is and that amazes me because that is what I believe happiness is all about. Happiness is not about the amount of money you make, or the number of houses you own, or the places that you are able to visit but happiness is about being completely appreciative of what you have and doing the things that you love. Be it running, or reading, or spending time with your family, if that is what makes you happy, do it.
We need to stop chasing the material world when we want to be truly happy. Just do what you love and nothing else. It is possible to be contented with the simplest of things!
It can be anybody, your wife, your son, your daughter, your mother or your father. Anybody that you loved so dearly is lying unconscious on a bed, confined within four white walls of a private hospital room. Your loved one has tubes of various sizes connected to various parts of their body, into their trachea, the veins and even their bladder. The constant beeping of the heart rate monitor is the only sound that can be heard in an otherwise tensely silent room. Every beep that sounded makes you a little bit more nervous. Your loved one with their eyelids closed, pale skin and tensed posture, you would not know that they are still alive if not for the regular movement of the chest when they breathe.
Your loved one has been in that state for a week now. You had tried everything in your power to seek and understand the illness that had befell them. You had hired the greatest of doctors, called for the most excellent equipment and paid for the most expensive drugs but to no avail. Your efforts seemed futile.
You are rich, powerful and known to the world as the wealthiest man alive who is able to raze industries and rebuild them anew. You are known to be in control of several monopolies each costing billions of dollars but now… all you could do is stand there, powerless.
With your eyes puffy from a week of sleepless nights and surviving on cups of coffee, you stood there with shoulders slumped forward as a sign of defeat. You have never felt so helpless.
What is the point of having all the power in the world when you cannot even save the life of the ones you love? What is the point of being rich and wealthy when you cannot share it with your loved ones? What is the point of living in a huge mansion if you are the only one there? What is the point?
At that moment, you realised that nothing else mattered more than to see them smiling at you again.
What is the difference between us and the successful? What is the difference between you and Elon Musk? What is the difference between you and Mark Zuckerberg? What is the difference between you and Gary Vaynerchuk? Yes, you might have differences in terms of skills and the types of opportunities they got but apart from those there really isn’t anything different between us and them. They are not genetic freaks with superintelligence that allows them to make instant money just by doing one simple task, no, they are normal human beings like us and like any other normal human being, they worked hard to become successful.
You might say that they might have special opportunities that allowed them to be where they are today but that is wrong. You have opportunities, I have opportunities and they have their own sets of opportunities. Opportunities exist everywhere and it is up to us to grab them when we can. They made use of their circumstances to their own advantage and they leverage on them.
We, in our time and age, have the largest opportunity called the Internet. For the first time in history, the information from all the major libraries can be found instantly. With such a powerful technology, we have more opportunities than ever before. Learn it, use it and leverage it to your own advantage.
There is no difference between us and the successful, nothing major actually. It is just because that we subconsciously create a belief that these people are special and their standards are unreachable that made us think that they are some sort of genetic freaks. Okay, maybe there is a difference…
Like normal people, they worked hard and sacrificed to reach where they are now and that is where we differ between us and them. Most of us, including myself, are trying to find that specific technique or a specific skill that would make us instantly rich, thus, we looked over the fact the thing that people are preaching: hard work and sacrifice. Okay, maybe ‘looking over’ is a too nice of a term. I should instead say, we DENY that hard work and sacrifice have to be made. We reject it because it requires real work and we do not want to do it. The successful people instead took it step by step, the path of hard work and sacrifice; they may not know whether they would succeed but they know that it is a path that they need to take to reach to where they want to be.
I guess, this can be applied to everyone from the first world countries.
In our peace and prosperity of our countries, in the comforts of our own homes with food on the table and a variety of drinks to choose from, with water running from our taps and clothes that fill our wardrobes, it might be hard sometimes to realise that we are not entitled to anything at all. We are not entitled to having food on the table, having a well-paying job or even having a roof over our heads. Sometimes we forget that we need to put in the effort to get that food on the table, that career that we have always wanted and a house of our own and thus, we complain to the government on why don’t we have enough food, why don’t we have a high salary or why don’t we have a place to live and question their competency of being the government.
We need to remove that sense of entitlement from our heads because deep down, we are not first-class citizens from a first world country, we are merely a common human being who will not have anything unless hard work is put in and we go through the right way.