Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner (Q): How to be happy without depending on others?
Acharya Prashant (AP): First of all, one begins by seeing that the happiness that is obtained by depending on others has certain transience about it. That helps us be disengaged from that kind of happiness. Otherwise, if one is certain that the source of happiness is in the world, lies in the others, then the very possibility, the very inspiration to seek differently doesn’t arise.
So, we begin by honestly examining what we are anyway usually doing. We are continuously seeking happiness in this or that and we are succeeding, and we are continuously seeking happiness. This means the success is incomplete and short-lived even if it comes. We highlight success as our achievement, and we downplay the failure as a law of life.
So, if you obtain success, that is happiness, using your efforts, what you want to selectively remember is that you tried and you succeeded in getting happiness. That the happiness faded away is conveniently forgotten or even if it is remembered, it is remembered as something unavoidable, something to do with some unjust universal law.
We have surrendered to the cycle. What is the cycle about? “We will work hard to attain happiness and then the happiness will wither away and because it withers away, we again try hard to get more or same happiness”, and the cycle continues. We have made peace with this scheme of things. We have told ourselves this is the universal order and success lies in incessantly chasing happiness, getting it for a while, losing it, reclaiming it, again losing it. That’s how the Ego has defined success and its satisfaction.
What is the definition? After you lose happiness, go for it once again, don’t be demotivated. Even if you fully well know that the next round of happiness is going to be equally fleeting as the previous one, still invest yourself fully, remain harnessed, remain fully occupied in this endeavor. And if you are fully occupied in this, then there is nothing that is available to observe what you are doing. When you have totally given yourself, committed yourself, as we said surrendered to the cyclical process then, of course…