There's a Thick Line Between Peace and Happiness!!!
Apart from many other things on Earth, one thing that I have noticed very keenly is that people give too much importance to Happiness. Everybody's life revolves around this word... what can you do to make yourself happy?, what can you do to make your loved ones happy?, the food you eat should make you happy, you should exercise to keep you (healthy) and happy (release of endorphins), work that you do should make you happy, you should have happy thoughts, all teachers/motivational speakers talk about finding a way to happiness, even all the fairytales end with 'happily ever after'.
It is a thought that came to my mind when I was introduced to a holy book called, "The Bhagvad Gita", which made me ponder upon the word 'happiness' and it's craving around the world. The book's core message is that you should not be attached to anything or anyone, you should not worry about the rewards and you should keep yourself free from desires. That is a path to freedom and that is a path to enlightenment.
To me, somehow it made sense. If you look closely, it will make sense to all of us as well.
What gives you happiness? - Achievement of things you desire.
What happiness gives you? - Peace to your mind, body and soul.
But the problem here is; we are living in the world of abundance and temptations which go hand in hand. The happiness that you get post achieving a thing you desire will always be short lived. There is never happily ever after because another thing will be next in line that we would be tempted to have and with the advancement of technology, we now have access to the things which are available even at the other end of the world. So, now you can imagine the line actually never ends. Thus, you will keep looking for peace (that happiness is supposed to give) but it will always seem far-fetched.
Now if you look at the nature of the words, "peace" and "happy", you will find that the word "happy" is an adjective. It will always be dependent on something else to be in existence while "peace" is a noun. It is complete in itself. So can we look directly for peace which is already there as a whole instead of going through the vicious loop of achieving happiness. Well, I did my research and the answer (to my happiness!!!) is "Yes".
Yes, there is a shortcut to peace but nobody gives it much importance in this world which is highly influenced by materialism. There is a big argument that favours the 'desires' stating that it is those desires that give humans a reason to exist, a reason to work, a reason to be motivated and without desires, we will be in the state of nihilism and that again doesn't make any sense. Ok, point noted. But this point is completely based on false premise. If you deep dive into the words written in The Bhagvad Gita, you will find a key message - it doesn't say that you should not own anything, it actually says that nothing should own you.
Once we understand this, we will know that happiness is an emotion (a state of attachment) which should not be our sole destination (desire), instead we should seek peace (enlightenment) which gives our mind, body and soul a state of stillness where we do not get affected by the crippling waves of emotions but we become an untouched observer (free... the state of Nirvana). Then, no matter what the next thing is in line, you would not desire for it... you may only work towards achieving it without any expectations in return because you have already attained what happiness could give you. Peace. And it is a well known fact that the work that you do without any expectations will always be a self less deed which by default, will always be a good deed and no good deed ever has a bad conclusion. Believe Me!!!
So what is that shortcut to peace?
Well, to be honest, I cannot take you on that path because it will vary for you, me and everyone but I can tell you that it starts with self reflection which helps you identify most important questions in life and it is followed by an effort of finding the answers to those questions with an extremely effective method called "Meditation". This one word may not be very satisfying to you but it holds tremendous power in it. People who don't meditate cannot even fathom what amazing things it can do to their brain. It is one of the most superlative practice that you can (need to) follow to break that thick line between peace and happiness. It is then you will find your very own shortcut to peace.