It’s been six years since I’ve had any conversations with this man but immediately he picks up the phone, he goes,
“I’m glad to hear you’re doing well.”
Wait, who told him that? Oh I see: I’m employed in a company that’s well known with a title that’s quite hoity-toity. That must mean everything is hunky-dory then.
But, Honku, did you also hear I tried to kill myself twice in the last year? You know what, never mind.
It will never make sense to many if you appear to have the giant job, the classy car, the fancy flat– the accoutrements of “success” and still have problems with happiness. What is that! No! Be humble, sit down. Be grateful, man!
The ideal of progress everyone of us know is the rich, powerful man. Big agbada, plenty entourage, loud mouth. Oga himself!
That’s what the parents, the school, the church always show as the image of success. That’s why nobody aspires to happiness as the ultimate achievement. We believe the things we were taught to chase– aka being Oga himself– will definitely deliver joy to us… Until they don’t.
Anyway, sir, back to your assumption: I’m actually doing very well.
These days, my mind is less cluttered. My anxiety is barely there. Colours are richer. My smiles are more authentic. These past three months have been very reinvigorating, thankyouverymuch.
Which is why I believe no one can teach anyone to be happy. You don’t start a class in happiness! It’s not like you pull a lever and snap! New mood!
There has to be a choice and that choice must be triggered by a personal inciting incident. You’ve got to want to discover happiness that can survive outside the temporary attachments you’re hauling about. The stuff you can’t deeply enjoy unless you’re really content.
And being in a happy state doesn’t mean you’re constantly walking around with a dopey grin on your face. Come on now, you’re not a walking dead! You’ll still be pissed off at things and people at times. You’ll still feel grief, sadness, disappointment, and euphoria like a normal human being. But now you know what’s going on with your feelings.
At least that’s how it works for me.
And here’s the thing. When you find happiness, all you want to do is help others find it too. You now know that with more happiness in the world, the world will become a better place.
Now you realise that nothing gives joy more than helping others.
Ironically, this is also the classic definition of a viable business: helping others solve their problems. See? Win-win!!
So, quickly, here are two pithy quotes:
“To Be detached is not that you should own nothing. It’s that nothing should own you.”- Ali ibn abi Talib.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”- Mahatma Gandhi.