The key to happiness: Stand your ground

Published: March 8, 2012

The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved, even if it’s ‘just’ by ourselves.

Whoever told me, happiness just magically comes your way, should’ve been tripped headfirst. Because it really doesn’t sneak up on you, it doesn’t tickle your toes and makes its way into your heart and head. Happiness is a 24/7 job, and a tough one at that. It’s a time-consuming process. A tantrum throwing toddler that constantly seeks your attention.

Call ethereal happiness a self-created sand castle on your personal shore. Every now and then waves of grief and anger will constantly wash over it, and more often than not, strong winds of disappointment will topple it over, but you’ve got to keep yourself on your toes, prepared and anxious to build it over and over again. Even when you’re cold and hungry, alone and lost, or bit by a morbid jellyfish, you’ve got to stand your ground, give it one last pat of finality before letting it all fall down again.

And fall down it will. Even if it’s cemented and glued, taped and walled. It’s still bound to fall again and again and again and again and again. But you can’t keep yourself fixated over the fall. Because if your castle doesn’t fall apart every now and then, there will be nothing to work for, nothing to build, nothing to look forward to, nothing to prove and nothing to lose. And without the painful fall or loss, would the final product feel worth it?

And in this constant struggle, it helps if you’ve got someone on the sidelines who honestly believes in your ability to keep at this very irritating task. But more times than not, there will be no one to cheer for you or catch you when it staggers to the ground. And in those times, it is absolutely essential to be your own cheerleader, your own believer, your own friend.

At the end of the day, the supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved, even if it’s ‘just’ by ourselves.

Saba Khalid

Saba Khalid

A blogger for Rolling Stone magazine, a contributor to Kulturaustauch and Musikexpres, Saba is an Institute for Foreign Affairs (IFA) Cross Culture scholar for the year 2012 who also teaches creative writing to young aspiring writers. She blogs at letherrunrunrun.wordpress.com/

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://thedabbabrigade.wordpress.com Riffy R

    Wow, I love how this is written! Absolutely love it. Recommend

  • Ayesha Pervez

    I love the last para! So true :) Recommend

  • perplexed

    easier said than doneRecommend

  • irfan siddiqui

    Is this a attempt to gain sympathy after that mental health article?Recommend

  • Err

    @Author: Excuse us this Dalai Lama stuff please. These things are best written in diaries……Put words like happiness and love in a complex, turgid sentence and you think you have made sense. Well, sorry no….Kindly don’t write on issues where you don’t have to make sense…..Really makes one throw up this kind of write-up!Recommend

  • Talat Haque

    To achieve any degree of happiness you’ve got to get your views right on ordinary things like self-confidence, self-esteem, anger, love, hardships and which essential [minimum] things constitute happiness ………… its an attitude deliberately cultivated ! ……… begin by examining life! [Socrates] Recommend

  • Bill

    @Err: Spiteful much, my friend? Please know that although all positive and negative comments are welcome, courtesy goes a long way. One man’s considering a sentence as turgid and complex, is the other’s man simplicity at its best. Have a good day. Recommend

  • PK

    Waste of time…. what was the purpose of this article. I thought the writer would be giving an example or something more but all she did was a use of good vocabulary nothing more…Recommend

  • Err

    @Bill: “Because if your castle doesn’t fall apart every now and then, there will be nothing to work for, nothing to build, nothing to look forward to, nothing to prove and nothing to lose.” How does this line makes your day? What is this? These are things prophets and shamans talk about because they know that they don’t have to prove their point. Really it felt as if I was with Jesus when he said to the Samaritan woman: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.” This kind of writing tries to cash in on emotions and offers nothing…..Really one could believe all that Paulo Cohelo tripe only if one wants to FEEL better….Recommend

  • Haya

    I would just like to add an opposing view to the mainstream ‘pursuit of happiness’ that has flooded the youth and left them with one haunting question: Howcome we are not happy? According to Allama iqbal, the nature of man by default is that of sorrow, while happiness is always temporary that goes as easily as it comes.
    Our youth is bent on attaining happiness any way they can which is leading to their carefree behavior and a reckless attitude. We all would like to be happy, but grief brings with it wisdom and understanding. Sorrow makes us stronger so that we may strive in the face of adversity.
    So the question should not be how to find happiness, rather how to be content with our state; how to use every situation to our advantage to develop our personality and grow into better individuals.Recommend

  • Rufus

    dude, great symbolism and imagery. The work of a true writer. Can’t wait to read moreRecommend

  • Uzma

    Thank you for writing a rare good quality blog. Its refreshing to read something about life lessons/ experiences from others rather than the usual “I hate Pakistan” tiradeRecommend

  • Parvez

    ….sometimes stuff like this needs to be said. Enjoyed reading this.Recommend

  • khizer

    BEAUTIFUL loved every word <3Recommend

  • Ali

    When you stop expecting anything from anyone, your happiness will increase. When you expect something from someone you are setting yourself up for dissapointment.

    I agree with Haya in that:

    So the question should not be how to find happiness, rather how to be content with our state; how to use every situation to our advantage to develop our personality and grow into better individuals

    But I disagree that mans natural state is sorrow.Recommend

  • Tahir

    Liked the articleRecommend

  • Hala

    loved the article
    we are responsible for our own happiness
    happiness is not every second of every day being perfect
    its knowing that you will be ok even when things go wrongRecommend

  • http://usamarehman.blogspot.com/ Mohammad Usama

    Ya i liked it as well
    everyone has a right to express whether you are ERR or the writer Saba Khalid!!

    so no one must try to impose things rather accept and appreciate or criticize positively!Recommend

  • http://Birmingham Elementary

    One of the best books written on the subject of happiness is “conquest of happiness” by Bertrand Russell.Worth reading,highly recommended!.Recommend

  • http://www.happinesspodcast.org Happiness

    It is great to have you back as I’ve always found your posts interesting and informative. I would also like to share my thoughts that is- Happiness is just a state of mind of what you are thinking. If you think positive then you’ll defintely become happy. And lastly happy new year….Recommend