Over the course of my career, thousands of people have come to me with various problems and challenges in their lives. My career began as a physician, and in the beginning, most of the people whom I met, had some form of illness such as heart disease or cancer. One day I was sitting with a patient, who had heart disease and I happened to ask him, ‘Why do you want to get better?”
The look in his eyes told me, ‘What kind of ridiculous question is that?” He said “Doesn’t everybody want to get better when they’re sick?” Yes, I said,” but why do you want to get better?” He replied, ‘If I get better, I can go back to work and make more money.” For some unknown reason, I persisted in asking him why. “Why do you want to make more money?”
Apparently amused, he agreed to play the game and said, “Because I want to send my son to a good university.”
I asked him why he wanted to send his son to a good university. I kept asking him the question, “Why, why, why?” In the end he answered, “Because I want to be happy.”
Since then, I have played this game not only with sick patients wanting to get better, but with anyone who wants anything. You can try this yourself. Ask anyone what they want, and when they tell you what they want, keep asking why, until you hear the ultimate answer: “Because I want to be happy.”
Happiness seems to be the goal of all other goals, and yet most people seek happiness in a roundabout way.
We have material goals as in wanting a better house, a better automobile, or items of luxury. We have goals that deal with relationships. We want to feel safe; to feel that we belong; we want to be able to express ourselves freely and creatively. Some of us might want wealth or fame; others might seek power. But if you ask people why they want these things, the ultimate answer remains the same: They believe that if they attain these things, then they will be happy.
The happiness out of the material possessions and personal achievements are very much short-lived. One can’t go on possessing and achieving that fast. One must search for it in the numerous sources with a speed good enough to be prevailed by anything that can take away the happiness from him.
I have tried to find when do I feel happy. One will laugh when I reveal that. I feel happy when I get to know of a good book or come across a good article on a subject of my interest. I feel happy when I hear about someone who have achieved even against all odds. I feel happy when my friend, Shri Singh, an advocate by profession, talks of his winning a case because of his arguments that impressed the judge. I feel happy when a media enterprise takes an initiative such as ‘India Poised’.
I believe we must look for happiness all around and in all the incidents of our life. Perhaps, there is no other course to get to the happiness as goal.