As we enjoy the initial moments of a New Year, our thoughts mostly would revolve around things that could have gone better for us in the bygone year, hoping that all unfulfilled goals we set for ourselves are achieved in the New Year. Life, in any case, is mostly guided by what we propose and what the Almighty actually disposes. Even if we do not believe in any supreme force, the fact remains that the universe has its own way of reacting to our wishes. Show me a person who has always got whatever he wanted and whenever he wanted, and I will show you an apple tree that also grows lemons.
As living beings, we are genetically designed for self-preservation and as human beings, we are also programmed to have various complex desires and aspirations which are not seen in any other animal species. In fact, we are different from every other species by not only our ability to think or process complex thought processes but also by how we are constantly striving to improve our lives to get whatever we desperately want, even beyond satisfying our basic needs for survival. As a matter of fact, the evolution of our species from being hunter-gatherers to where we are today has happened primarily because of our insatiable instincts as a species for always striving towards making life easier and comfortable, to combat the challenges that harsh weather conditions throw at us, to be able to adapt to new climatic patterns, lifestyles and eating habits, and, in fact, a long list of accomplishments that has propelled us to explore space, and advanced science and technology to address our present challenges.
But the fact remains that come what may, we will never give up our hope for a brighter tomorrow, a future that will give us all that we aspire for. This is a basic instinct that drives every person, a very ordinary daily wage earner to a billionaire, seeking something better then what is presently available. Interestingly, it is this very nature of us humans that also spurs us to create our own complexities. The failure of getting all that we desire creates dissatisfaction, and if we cannot handle our disappointments effectively, we may be actually distancing ourselves from happiness which, in any case, is illusive.
We know that all wishes never get fulfilled. Students will have to handle disappointment when they miss out on some academic goals by just a fraction of a mark. We have all seen how even the most deserving can be ignored in the corporate world and people may fail in a business for the most unexpected of situations, like a pandemic. Overnight our lives can change if, say, a loved suddenly passes away. Life can spring many a surprise without any hint or warning at all and therefore, we must be prepared to face the unexpected or do not get too attached to our aspirations. We also fail to emotionally handle disappointment. This does not mean that we take everything casually or only blame destiny for all that goes wrong with our lives. Our ability to appreciate the fact that things can go wrong, people may not always live up to our expectations, people we trust with our lives may fall short of our expectations, even mundane ordinary routine events may all go haywire for no fault of ours and we can be in deep soup many a times for no fault of our own, is very essential. This is precisely what life is all about. The good mixed with the not so good or even the terrible form a bizarre cocktail of joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain.
It is true that we like to follow the footsteps of those whom we perceive to be successful and happy, achieve what they have. But, many a times, we do not realise the price they must have paid to reach that position or their actual state of mind. Everybody has to handle their bag of joy and sorrow. Every journey is unique and we have to accept the fact that we have to enjoy our own journey the best we can, anticipating the unexpected at all times. The challenge always, therefore, is to find happiness in what we have, while we pursue our dreams for an even better tomorrow.