The past few months have been very confusing for me, to be perfectly honest with myself. I’ve always known myself to be a person of positive direction and goals, and these are what have been carrying me throughout life really. This is the outlook that has given me (by Allah’s hand) success in a lot of my endeavours, whether it be spiritual, academic, physical or social.
However, recently it began to dawn upon me that my life was becoming little more than just fulfilling my responsibilities as a student, as leader and as a person, and that my happiness was becoming increasingly contingent on future events that I expect to happen.
“Perhaps happiness will come when I get into the university of my dreams”
and a long list of things that follow.
I find it difficult however to shake off the truth that I never know if the plethora of expectations I have of myself, events and other people will ever come to fruition. As much as one would like to believe otherwise, the multitude of factors involved in achieving anything means that nothing is certain. People? People change, even the ones we love the most, which renders it unwise to depend on people for support or fulfilment.
I realised how much of my life is lived pursuing happiness, which inevitably inculcates in myself the idea that happiness is something constantly strived for yet always out of reach.
And that was the problem.
Because if the grand scheme of things did indeed complement this paradigm I had in my head, I would have no problem being happy right now simply because I have achieved much in the past.
No, this does not mean that I remain satisfied with where I am and therefore not work towards achieving greater goals, but shouldn’t I, at the very least, in this moment, feel content?
In the midst of such confusion, I spoke to a good friend of mine about exactly this, who largely felt the same way and told me that it would be grand for us to aim to be happy in the precise moment we’re living right now. It is indeed true that the majority of us ‘hang our happiness’ on the future, or rather, our expectations of the future, which inevitably leads to great stress, a very fixed and closed mind, and at times, despair.
Reconciling this became primary to me.
As much as the grandeur of such a prospect struck me at the time, I also wondered how exactly such an easier-said-than-done thing could be accomplished, to which my friend answered:
I thought for a moment about what that meant.
And then knew that that was indeed what had to be done.
So that’s exactly what I began doing.
After flushing the toilet.
Cause I was having the conversation on the phone while I was in the bathroom.