What is our purpose in life or how to live our life are questions which bugs me times and again. I have reached a somewhat stable answer,though. Our purpose in life is to live, and how? With happiness. Simple. But this happiness is a tricky thing. It's a state of mind at a particular instant. And the state depends on many things including the past states (unlike the Markov process!). I always wondered can't we be always happy? Can't we obliterate sorrow and pain? The key thing to achieve it is to control the mind. Does this mean the brain should rule over the mind? How do we control it? How?
It ultimately boils down to being indifferent to external and internal stimuli which can change our state of mind. Or will the concept of self fulfilling prophecy be effective in achieving happiness? If we think we are happy or will be happy always, we actually be. Some people try to temporarily cut off all the channels that may give rise to a negative stimuli. But this is not a reliable way of attaining perpetual happiness. So how the lesser mortals be happy? I liked the message in the movie Kung Fu Panda ...Believe and you will be what you want yourself to be. Drawing upon this message, I might say believe that you would be always happy and you would be.
Many messages about the secrets of happiness float around. Like:
- Live in the present, neither in past nor in future
- Empty all hatred, jealousy etc from your heart and you will be happy
- Don't worry etc.
All these are true, but observing them is difficult than rocket science. What I observed is that happiness displays a cyclical pattern - happiness cycle (like business cycle). Like a seasoned manager I believe we could just accept the temporary stints of unhappiness, hold our nerve, and let it smoothly pass over. Each of this unfavorable periods make you more seasoned (like the current financial crisis hopefully make the fin-gurus more prudent in making decisions!).
So one of my resolves for the next year is to be happy always and live a good life (even if my girl-friend dump me!).
Time to sleep. Wish all the readers of this post a very very HAPPY new year 2009.
* JBS BaroC is IIMC's music band