Once, when I was five, I remember having seen a small toy; a small bike that I instantly wanted really badly. I had made a big fuss when my parents had refused to buy it for me. But ultimately I got it. Then I remember having seen a small toy car, which I wanted again. Again, I created a big outcry at home and ultimately got it too. Over time, I saw better things and made bigger demands at home. Now I’m 17 and I’m starting to wonder whether it’s just me or everyone has this problem of never getting satisfied with someone they have.
Wonder and lust for new things, the irresistible desire to get hands on something new, something one hasn’t had before is the nature of human. Humans have always desired to get new things, the peak of triumph they’ve never reached before. This is the law of evolution. It’s our nature to search and get new objects of pleasure, to achieve higher, like our ancestors did in search of weapons and food. But, now in the present context, it’s a tedious job to get everything we desire, especially when everything has a value. We may get what we want when we’re kids, but as we grow up we’re expected to be matured and stand on our own feet instead of demanding. But however matured we may grow, the desire for new things will never go away.
People are addicted to many things, just because it’s a pleasure that gives them ‘out of this world’ pleasure. Smokers get addicted to higher degree of it, teetotalers turn into heavy drinkers, those with bike want a car and those with a car want something bigger, say a helicopter. A person falls asleep after his tired and bustling day, expecting to attain something new, something amazing of his dream tomorrow. Over time, he gets what he wants, but by then he is already dreaming about getting something more expensive, better, and more comforting. This lust eats away the joy of having achieved the opulence of his dream. This cycle goes on and on forever, and he’ll never get a day or night of peace, until the day he dies.
You work day and night to pursue your dream job, your career, your dream partner, a small family, happy kids and a happy life. As you achieve all this slowly and steadily, your expectations with yourself increase. And one day, as you attain everything you ever desired for, suddenly it all means nothing to you. The dream that woke you up every day pushed you to strive further, suddenly is nothing but a mere reality you cannot change even if you want to. You’ll be happy for a while, but nothing lasts forever. You start to get depressed. You can’t eat. You can’t sleep. That obsession of achieving higher, of getting everything you wish for, it kills you every night. And you can do nothing but try harder.
But every day isn’t Sunday. You can’t get everything you ever dream about. And as the guilt and regret build up inside you, all you want is a break from your life. You have new dreams, new desires, new lusts but you’re too tired to try further. As you wake up and rush to your work every morning, as the deadlines crush you from all sides and as your life gets more and more strenuous, you get more and more depressed. Your love, your children, your money, your career start to mean nothing to you. You wish to escape from this rush. You wish to go somewhere far away. You go for a holiday. As the holidays come to an end, the lethargy and anxiety of having to go back to work get you depressed again. You visit your psychiatrist, you take anti-depressants, and you try to blend in with your everyday world. You try to escape all this but in vain.
At last, you are left with no alternative but killing yourself. Ever thought about it? Doesn’t the mere thought of your own dreams killing you scare you? Sadly, this is the reality. The world you live in is a maze. It depends on whether you take this maze as an adventure or a problem. The harsh reality is, as easy as it sounds, it isn’t an easy adventure. You have to struggle, you have to fight with it every day. And your inability to cope up with your problem or appreciate your own struggle leads to dissatisfaction with your own life.
So how to get away with this problem? Firstly, this article is clearly based on what I’ve faced and known, and it may be biased due to my own perspective. Being dissatisfied is not someone particular person’s problem. It’s the human instinct to find the ultimate pleasure and happiness we are always looking for. That’s why, the only possible solution to this, as I’ve known, is self-abstinence. The human mind isn’t limited to getting satisfied by something.
The more you have, the more you want. So the best way of being satisfied is appreciating what you got. Even the smallest thing will give you the happiness you’ve never had. “संतोषं परम् सुखं” or “Satisfaction with what you’ve achieved gives you the foremost pleasure” is what Veda says. But this does not mean to stop thinking high. You must aim to the stars to at least reach the clouds. Besides aiming high, it’s important to respect what you’ve achieved. There are a million distractions around you. It’s really difficult to be happy without complaining or thinking about things that could never be yours. Or regretting the decision that you never made, that would otherwise have taken you really high.
Live the moments of your life. Be happy when you’ve achieved what you should’ve. Even though if it didn’t meet your expectations, learn to embrace it. Philosophers have tried to define the success by the virtue of hard work. But the world doesn’t run on philosophical assumptions. Entropy changes, so do people. Not all of your hard work bear fruits. Not always are your labors appreciated by applauds.
As I mentioned earlier, the world is a maze. Even if you aren’t satisfied with consequences, take it as an adventure. Take it as a new lesson learned. Be happy about it, even if you aren’t. Happiness cannot be found in possessions, achievements, other people, relations or businesses. We are misguided by thinking that happiness is outside us. And if this or that happens, then we will become truly happy. This is not true at all. Nothing outside us will make us permanently happy. Ever. Happiness is a state of being. Happiness is the satisfaction inside us. The true level of satisfaction. You can achieve it. I can achieve it.
And yes, never stop struggling to achieve. Dream high, fly high. But never forget that the higher you fall, the more you’re hurt. This simple line of reality will help you pass through many sleepless nights and the fearful thought of not achieving dreams you’ve pursued to break through.