One common notion that many of us subscribe to is, “It is not always essential to be happy. Sometimes, you have to be ready to be unhappy so that other people can be happy. That is called giving and loving.”
Maybe you think so too.
Well, what's the answer to this then? Is it OK to be unhappy sometimes to make others happy? To what extent is it OK? And if it is not OK – then won't you be very happy but also very selfish?
To be happy and frustrate others? Or be frustrated yourself. (Photo: Photobucket)
Here's a simple, interesting and also a fascinating truth:
You can truly help others ONLY and ONLY when you are happy. You CANNOT help anyone on this earth when you are sad. Period.
OK, you don't agree? Come let us consider a simple situation.
Let us say you are unhappy and walking on the street. You see a homeless man sitting on the pavement. When will there be a larger chance of you talking to him? When you are happy or when you are sad? If you are sad, obviously you will ignore him and let him be as he is. Any thought of helping him will NOT cross your head.
At this time, a friend calls you – someone who needs your help. He says, 'Can you help me with this, this and that...?' Will you be able to help? You will curse your friend to have chosen this moment to call. You may grudgingly help or you may not help at all.
How would you have reacted if you were very happy? You might give this friend much more than what he asked for. You might have helped that man on the road more if you were happy.
Here are some more examples.
When will you help your spouse/mother/children/room mate in the kitchen or in preparing dinner – when you are happy or when you are sad?
When will you keep your room clean and tidy, when you are happy or when you are sad?
When will you protest against an unjust thing happening right in front of you – say people attacking a person on the road or a woman being abused – when you are happy or sad?
You may still help when you are sad – you may still make a difference – but it will be much, much lesser than what you could have done were you happy. Come on, is it not common sense that a person will help better when his batteries are charged at 9/10 compared to when his batteries are charged at 3/10? Of course he will. There is no doubt about that.
A person I know did not marry the girl he loved. He married the girl his dad liked and he hated. Why did he do that? Because he wanted his dad to be happy.
Here's the result today. He is perpetually sad today. He has made the life of his wife (and his daughter) miserable because they do not have a real husband or dad. His ex-lover is not happy either. What about his dad? He is still just the way he was an year ago – sort of OK. He's not jumping with joy either. And to top it – this sad guy is not making any career changes he wants to make or doing anything else in his life – he's just sad and depressed.
And yes – the truth is he chose this situation the moment he chose to be unhappy and make someone else happy. That's not possible because you lose all your power when you decide to be unhappy. You can then NOT make anyone else happy.
I know this sounds cold – but once you've tried explaining to your dear ones that they need not be unhappy, let go. Let them be unhappy. Let them whine and feel you suck and that you don't care.
The truth is – it is not you but they who are being selfish without realizing it. Pursuing one's own happiness is the most natural right in the world. In trying to take that away from you, are they not being selfish? They want to feel secure and they want to control you. That is not possible, so they are unhappy.
On the other hand – please note that you being unhappy for their sake is not an option at all. FIRST – if you are unhappy, of COURSE they too will be unhappy because you people are not that detached from each other are you? Also, if you are unhappy – every part of your life will suffer and in order to please 1 or 2 people, you will stop yourself from helping potentially tens or hundreds of people. Your impact on the world will be null and void if you are sad.
Also note that even if you sacrificed your happiness “for someone else”, it will be a bottomless pit. The other person/s will want you to continuously sacrifice your happiness again and again. It just won't ever end.
And to top it all that – ALSO note that your capacity to help these very dear ones for whom you are sacrificing your happiness will decrease. If you are happy, you can comfort a friend when he is going through a tough time. If you are yourself sad, what will you offer to the friend? More sadness?
The point is this: Choosing to be unhappy is like being a game character who is decreasing his power or points. Whom will he help? No one. Realize that the more power you have, the happier you are – the more you will be able to serve others. The sadder you are – the weaker you are and the closer to ZERO HELP TO ANYONE you are.
Go ahead. Choose to be happy. You are NOT being selfish. You are being selfless actually – because you are helping more people and more effectively that way. Choosing your happiness is not selfishness. Trying to snatch away someone else's happiness, trying to make sure someone else suffers – that is selfishness. You are NOT doing that at all. Do you intend that a person suffer because of you and feel pain? If not, then you are not selfish. You are cool.
Something amazing happens.
You start helping more people than ever. You start becoming more selfless than ever. You start filling the maximum people with the maximum possible happiness. You live up to your potential. Of course you yourself also attract much happier opportunities.
I am writing this article right now – and as you are reading it – you may be affected by it. Thousands of people will read this article in the years to come and the lives of many may change. But the truth is – if I was stuck up and sad, where would I have gotten the energy to write this article from? I wouldn't have had that much energy – I would have slept or lazed away my time or played a video game. Because I was happy, I was able to reach out to other people.
No matter what – do more of what makes you deeply happy. Hang out with people who make you feel happy. Choose to make your life happier. You are not selfish. It is OK to be happy. In fact it is the MOST selfless thing to do.
Have a happy and exciting day today. :)