Post on: September 7, 2023
There once lived a grumpy old man in a village. He was the epitome of a quintessential complainer. Anything under the sun did not escape his scathing remark. The villagers kept away from him as being in his midst was physically and mentally draining.
As the years went by, he became grumpier and he was coarser with his comments. The milkman, newspaper deliveryman and postman who had direct interaction with him for the day-to-day activities, bore the brunt of his unhappiness. The rest avoided him like the plague.
Out of the blue, something dramatic happened. There was a rumour circulating that the old man had stopped complaining. Everyone could not believe their ears. However, like all rumours, they thought it was something promulgating with no basis.
But the milkman who had delivered milk to him testified, “I could not believe my ears when he dished out a piece of positivity when I was doing my rounds this morning. He even cited a motivational quote to uplift me when I told him my work was a thankless job… I am speechless.”
Feeling excited, the villagers went to see him. They wanted to know what was the magic wand which changed him overnight. They asked him, “What happened to you?”
The old man replied stoically, “Nothing happened to me. I am still the same person. It’s just that I turned 80 a few days ago. All these years, I had been chasing happiness and it was a futile attempt. Now I’ve decided to live without thinking of attaining happiness and enjoy life. This simple truth has made me happy.”
Most of us can identify with the grumpy old man. We tend never to be satisfied. Once we have made enough money or career advancement, we make a comparison with our more successful counterparts and demand something higher. When dwelling in a flat, we desire to live in a condominium. After achieving this, we cast our eyes on the elusive terrace house in the prime location. The list goes on and so does our unhappiness. It may be good to be competitive and a high achiever, but perspective is important too.
You have to constantly remind yourself not to keep up with the Joneses to feel belong. Instead of measuring your happiness and success compared to others, think of it in terms of your self-growth and advancement. Are you moving in the right direction in your life? Are you aligning towards the values that will bring you towards the accomplishment of your own goals?
While delving into this subject, I came across a quotation which aptly describes how the old man could have felt after his moment of epiphany — “Happy are those who take life day by day, complain very little, and are thankful for the little things in life.”
Looking for happiness in the wrong places is sheer drudgery. There are boundless possibilities that each day presents itself… be discerning and seize the day! Live a purposeful life… happiness will follow.