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Where is my happiness?

Here is the Happiness Equation from Swami Chinmayananda:

Happiness = Desires Fulfilled / Desires Entertained

It’s beauty lies in its alarming simplicity.

We are conditioned from childhood to think that the more our desires are fulfilled (i.e. bigger numerator), the closer we get to happiness. Our entire life is spent in pursuit of desire fulfilment – more money, more name, more fame and more everything else.

But this equation teaches us an infinitely simpler and sustainable way of being and staying happy. By reducing the denominator, happiness will come quickly, and the endless chain of desires begetting more desires will be broken. This is not to say we must immediately give everything up and start living like hermits. However, we can train our mind to be reasonable with its requests. This will come when we objectively evaluate for ourselves the validity of our desires. Such as – do I really need a 10 bedroom house? I can only sleep in one room at a time! Likewise for a garage of 10 antique cars.

The point must not be misunderstood. There is nothing wrong with lofty ambitions. However, the human mind is a complex beast, and it will soon compare with neighbours with 12 bedrooms and 12 cars, center the aim on loftier ambitions and eventually spiral out of control. This is the reason why seemingly rich people with everything that money can buy, can still be discontented, unhappy and depressed.

The ideal way then, is to be happy with what we already have (numerator increase), and begin to reduce our new desires (i.e. the denominator), and over time, we will ooze happiness, irrespective of the outside world.

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