There are two ways to be unhappy - to either not getting what you want or either getting it. How can getting something you desire make you unhappy? Think about it - how many times have you felt the anticipation and excitement of an impending trip? Then as the holiday progresses, don't you dread the ending of it? True, you will have a myriad of memories all captured in smartphones and other smart gadgets, but nothing comes close to actually being there in the moment. Thus, you got the holiday but you end of being sad at the end of it. Or let's say you succeeded in getting someone's attention - you are faced with the expectations in the relationship (because of a mental build up), then as time goes by, your fascination and your love for the person increases and you feel afraid of investing too much (in case you seem clingy) or worse losing the person. So you see, you got your heart's desire but are you happy? Gosh! Life is not supposed to be this complicated!
We always feel that the solution to wanting something is getting it, then you think you would feel contented. But it rarely works that way. Either whatever you were hankering for fails to live up to your expectations or it does amazingly well and you get so afraid of losing it. Know what could be worse than this? The realisation that what you were craving for wasn't the actual thing or person but the novelty of it! Something to think about, huh?
Don't freak out - there is a scientific explanation for this. (Phew!) The brain's reward mechanisms are designed to give us bursts of dopamine (dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers) when we pursue something, not when we get it. We are chemically rewarded for being in a state of unfulfillment. Interesting and if you look at this fresh info from a consumerism angle, don't you think profits don't come from constantly trying to satisfy customers but more from making sure that they never stop seeking? Constantly providing people with new styles, new recipes, new books, new ideas ...
A different school of thought woud place emphasis on what the Universe is trying to do. Sometimes failure can be Universe's way of helping you on your way. Probably by not giving us what we want, it is actually nudging us in the so called right direction. Or a religious person would conclude that our Higher Power is giving you a chance to surrender to him to achieve a deeper personal spiritual connection.
So what am I trying to say here?
That is if sometimes somethings don't go our way, it helps to believe that it is a false promise of fulfillment. In fact, we would be a lot more happier and fulfilled if we understand our wants rather than desperately trying to relieve them. Question - what if even after understanding our wants, we still feel unhappy that we didn't get them?
My home is
usually in a mess and has dust settled on almost everything. But I believe laughter and love will win the day. In 20 years, my girls won't remember how messy the house was but will remember the time we spent together and the love they felt...