There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. The last is much the worst, the last is a real tragedy . . .
– Oscar Wilde
Reading the above quote can be perplexing. Not getting what you want, can certainly be a tragedy. But how can getting what you want, be a greater one?
I’ve always been a goal-oriented person, a person who loves challenges and works with the end result in mind. The problem with this approach is that when you are constantly working for a planned future, you somehow forget living in the moment. We tend to place so much importance on our goals, put them on a pedestal of our “future happiness” that it creates a sort of imbalance. It makes setbacks and failures, excruciatingly hard. Achievement of the goal is so hyped, that even when we actually do achieve them, the sense of happiness we thought it would bring, is just so fleeting. I’ve been at both ends of the spectrum.
On so many projects, when I couldn’t get the desired outcome, I would be left in tears and disappointment. Little did I know that sometimes not getting what you want is also a wonderful stroke of luck. Because there are far bigger and better things planned by destiny. I remember back in 2014, there was a job interview I was absolutely keen to crack and I got a rejection call from the recruiter. It absolutely broke my heart. Failed relationships, careers that didn’t work, trips that got canceled – life brings disappointments in various forms.
On the other hand, there have been massive successes, achievements, and dreams that came to reality. Things I always wanted and now could get for myself. And when I did actually got these things, goals to reality, it didn’t quite bring as much or as long the happiness which I associated them to bring to my life. It was quite the opposite in fact. Getting what I always wanted, pushed that sense of happiness I was chasing farther away. The actual feeling doesn’t quite live up to the psychological hype created in my mind. I’ve also had instances when after I get what I was so madly chasing for a long time, I no longer need/ want it because it isn’t something that gives me “what I was looking for” – happiness and contentment. We usually want something, only until we don’t actually have it!
So then, what is the key? What is happiness? Is it even real? Does it even exist? Like if we say that failure isn’t the real killer and success isn’t the assured, then what is this mystical happiness?
THE REAL JOY, IS THE JOURNEY ITSELF, RATHER THAN THE DESTINATION.
It is so important to be grateful in the present moment for what we already have and choosing to be happy despite what we think is missing and what we think might make us happy – because to be honest, it won’t!
The real joy is the people and relationships in our life. The path and this travel! Nothing in life is permanent, the only thing we have is the present moment 🙂