Does seeking Happiness mean being Selfish ?

Many a times we find ourselves in a situation where we have to decide between happiness of our loved ones and our own happiness. Well, even though it’s a win-win situation both ways, the decision is still a critical one. Let’s see why.

Happiness is an inner joy. It is a situation where your smile, is a true reflection of the happiness in your heart. But at the end of the day, what matters is, the satisfaction of doing something you like or at least liking whatever you did. So that answers to questions like “did the activity complete my goal? Was it a step towards it?” are affirmative. The second phase of questions is “Are my loves ones happy with the work? Would they be happier if I did something else?”.

Well, if you are happy and contended with what you did and know that you couldn’t have done it better, the people around you would be happy too. It is not a question about what you could have done but about striking a balance between what you can do and how much you delivered on your potential Consider a situation where you would have listened to an advice and done something different. Maybe you would have been successful there too. But, if you don’t follow that advice, then you will end up doing something which you wanted to do and will get the opportunity to prove yourself. Leave alone the success, the attempt will be an achievement in itself. But does it makes you SELFISH?

Let’s see a few instances where we feel that our goals are making us selfish:-

Free advice - Is it worth taking?
You will find a lot of people ever ready to advise others out of their “wisdom”. But you have to learn to filter out the useless ones. Sometimes, it is out of respect that you have to follow something. However, it is essential to evaluate the long term effect and predict the consequences to decide whether the risk is worth taking. Ensure that you do not harm yourself, just to keep someone else happy. This is when you start thinking that your decisions may hurt others and misinterpret this as yourself being selfish. Yes, you are probably going against someone’s wishes but at the end of it, all that matters is how it turns out and you will be happy to learn from your own mistakes rather than learning from a piece of advice. Eventually, they will also realize that your decision was the best for you.
Remember “there is only one way to be successful- to spend your life the way you want it”. And wanting to do the right things doesn’t mean being self-centered.

Is it a crime to be happy when a close one is going through a bad phase?
The answer is NO, it’s perfectly fine to be happy. Many of us may wonder how we can even get close to being happy in such a situation. You do feel bad for the person and sympathize too but you need to be at least in a normal state to make sure that you are in a position to comfort and guide the person who is going through a rough phase. All of us have to go through ups and downs. “Life is a mixture of happiness and sorrow”. But losing your own reasons of happiness will only make the situation worse. Though you cannot control such bad things, but at the same time you can make sure you don’t ignore people or things that made your day brighter.
Not being sad in someone’s sorrow doesn’t mean being ignorant or not caring. There are other ways of caring, starting with, being a support.

When success (happiness) leads to hurting a dear one in the process.
When you want to succeed in something, it requires passion, sincerity and a lot of hard work. All this requires a lot of time. Where do you get it from? From the 24 hours of your day- from the time you used to spend with your partner (or any other relation). Often, it leads to complaints about not caring enough or not being the same caring person you were before.
Sometimes, the success of one relation needs the time and energy of another relation. Most of us can start ignoring other relations when we find our “true love” or any other relation. And want to take out time to spend with them. In such situations you expect others to understand that you value all your special bonds and need some time for the new ones to settle in. At this point your actions might be channelized towards demonstrating your care for the new person.

Happiness,Is it Selfish to Pursue Happiness?,self seeking joy
Is it Selfish to pursue Happiness?
This is when they call you selfish. At this point the people who are feeling ignored, will be too sensitive. You will have to balance your efforts on both sides( after all it is the age of multi-tasking). Explain your situation and also their importance in your life. Be sure of one thing- you are doing nothing wrong. At some point in their life they would have also taken a similar step so sooner or later they will understand. “Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.” However, ensure that you are fair to the person and they do not feel let down by you. Because later on if you realize that the creation of one relation ruined the older one, it can make you feel guilty and can ruin the existing relations as well.

When our happiness depends on someone else’s actions
Globalization has led to a tremendous amount of focus on quality. Unfortunately, we want this in our personal lives as well. Surprising? Well, it shouldn’t be. It is in human nature to be demanding. In a situation, when your happiness depends on someone else, you will expect a lot from that person, especially if he/she is close to you. And when you feel that the person is not doing enough, you get irritated and feel that you could have done so much more if you were in his place. The person involved is interested in your being happy and will do whatever it takes for it and is also under a lot of pressure to do his/her best. The slightest bit of irritation from your side can lead to a doubt about the importance of the person and whether it is bigger than the desired happiness or success. They might not think you are selfish but can feel that you are also unknowingly being too crazy for it and not caring about the relation at stake(you may not even realize that it is at stake). Some might slowly distance themselves from you and the rest will tell you how much they did for you but you never cared.
There will be situations when we might also think we are being too selfish just to achieve the goal, but believe in yourself and that you have always wanted the best for everyone. You wouldn’t have contemplated if your intentions were selfish. Your family, friends, loved ones will always want the best for you. Most of them will put in the right kind of efforts too. After all,they are the ones who will stand like a rock solid support beside you always. Develop an understanding and be sure that they know how much they mean to you.

“Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions.”
There’s a fine line between using people and getting them to help us. All that we should do is, keep the right intentions and the right reasons for doing things and evolve an understanding that will stand with you throughout. Most of you reading this article will want to do the right things to be happy without hurting others. So you are already on the right track as you have the best intentions! So the rest of the journey would be great too because its not always selfish to seek happiness......

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  1. The content was really good and true, but it should have been broken into parts.

  2. I am glad you likes it... will try to keep future articles short...

  3. These situations are really test times and the impact your loved has on you, decides to what extent are you willing to sacrifice. This is why, you should always be grateful for those who devote even the tiniest for you. Your article is really a true picturization of how complex decisions might be in such situations.

  4. @Calgary Wedding PlannerThanks for the appreciation :)
    Well its sometimes a riot between what you want for yourself and what you want for your loved ones, both of which rank highest on your priority list. Thus the confusion :(