In my day to day experiences and interactions with people around me, this how I define Status Quo – “A state where no one is happy.”
Either it is – job satisfaction, being less paid, career advancement, relationship issues, body image issues, or simply a lack of clarity about the future – it seems that our generation, the millennials, always find a reason to be unhappy with the present. Even a mindless reason like, having no clarity about our future can make us feel stressed, disappointed and dissatisfied with the present. Isn’t the future supposed to be like that, unknown and unpredictable? But we always find a way to ruin our present, no matter how well off we are.
For me, old photographs are a great way of reminiscing fond memories of old times. And, many a times when I look back at a particular picture of myself from good old days, I realize I was in a really happy place back then, but I never appreciated what I had and used to constantly worry and be unhappy with myself. Oh, how badly I want to go back in past and tell my younger 20-something old self to take it easy, be happy and not so hard on myself; that life is not just about achieving career milestones, it’s about creating more memories and less regrets. But I guess, this is what happens to most of us, a quarter of our lives goes in chasing ambitions and money and then, BOOM, we start getting older and realize we haven’t lived the way we wanted yet. Enter, a lifetime of regrets and depression. During many such discussions with my friends and close ones, we have discussed mid-life crisis, which usually hits 40-somethings, and we aren’t even mid-30s yet! Wonder if the age at which mid-life crisis occurs is getting lesser. Sounds crazy, I know, but it’s true.
Is it so hard to be happy with your present being? Have our ambitions and materialistic desires crippled us of being grateful and living in the moment?
Thanks to social media and messaging apps, the constant need for likes and to be in touch with everyone, means comparisons with peers have never been higher for any other generation. Even in our own minds, if not openly discussing with others, we keep contrasting our hits and misses in life with everyone else’s – from our kindergarten playmates, school and college friends, to the colleague sitting next to us in office. Sigh! We need to give ourselves a break and be kinder towards own self.
Despite all our education degrees, work and life experiences, what most of us fail to remember is that everyone has a different life journey, and may learn the same lessons (or different ones) as others, but in a different way. You may not be living in swanky apartments overlooking the sea, or in an upscale neighborhood; or traveled to places and stayed in exotic hotels; or accumulated exquisite belongings, but you can still have the most beautiful experiences and a serene, happy mind. Being ambitious is a great thing, but knowing when to switch off your brain from formulating future plans and – living in the moment, being grateful, appreciating what you have – is a wise thing to do for happy minds and healthy hearts.
In today’s fast paced world there are corporate trainings and books on how to be happy, that really sounds insane. Being happy shouldn’t be this difficult.
Here are a few more lines I will tell my 20-something self, if I could time travel.
Make sure you have an interesting story to tell at the end of it all, even if it is with a lesser bank balance and limited, or zero worldly accomplishments. ~ Yours Truly 🙂
Love the current version of yourself, no matter however twisted and complicated that version you think is – fat, idiotic, underpaid, unattractive, boring, without friends. Because, it is this very basic 1.0 version that you dream to upgrade one day. And you got to love this fundamental, twisted version and, every other version of you, for that matter. ~ Yours Truly 🙂
Needless to say, my resolution for the new year and life is to be in the moment and savor every second of it, not mulling over my worries, past, or future.