If Only – The Enemy Of Happiness

Posted by Kalyani Baride in My Story, Society
December 18, 2017

We all are aware of what ‘if only’ means. These may be mere thoughts but they do a lot of damage because they are sneaky and greedy. I am certain that every person thinks these ‘if only’ thoughts every now and then – I do. Some of us may think of these to a greater extent, others may laugh and move on. Some may have managed to be happy with what they had, and with practice, discarded these thoughts even before they could pop up.

Speculation is a synonym for thought. Speculation – as per dictionary.com – means “The consideration of some subject,” or “A single instance of consideration.” The meaning is quite apt here. I have observed that such speculations creep in our minds on two occasions – when a person is in a big pit or when a person has everything they need.

Well, no human being is ever satisfied, but there are certain things which they desperately want and they have those things but in different forms! I have always wanted a boyfriend who would love me more than anything in this world. I have wanted friends, best friends who would not judge me for my looks or financial status but understand the purity of my heart, my loving nature and my talents. I have always wanted to follow my own career dreams and not be forced to follow my parents’ dreams for me. Out of these, I have the best boyfriend ever; I have soul sisters, girls whom I never thought I could be friends with; but, my career was incomplete.

The reason I say ‘if only’ thoughts are sneaky is that they have perfect timing in ruining a genuinely happy moment. Just the other day, I had an ‘if only’ thought in the middle of a house party. My best friend, her boyfriend, my boyfriend and I were sitting together after a good meal, sipping our drinks and making plans for our next travel destination. That is when I realised that these thoughts are the devil’s minions. I believe in God and the devil. The devil knows exactly when to send such destructive thoughts to your mind. They are like rockets that travel at light speed and explode like a time bomb. I realised how wrong it is to think about what we don’t have.

I relate such thoughts to the devil is because they are a destroyer of happiness. We need to learn to be content with whatever we have and not give up on our hopes. Where such ‘if only’ thoughts destroy, hope helps us achieve stuff because we desire it.

My father is not a billionaire and that is not going to stop me from achieving my dreams. I hope and believe that I will be able to achieve those billions on my own merit. I will make sure my kids do not say, “If only my parents were billionaires…” I am not as gorgeous or beautiful as Sushmita Sen or Julia Roberts (they are my favourites) but I am fantastic in my own way. My boyfriend, friends and family agree on that. I did not start saving money as soon as I got my first salary because I did not understand the importance of it. But, better late than never, right?

The definition of happiness is being happy. Being happy is a feeling of pleasure or contentment. ‘If only’, on the other hand, is, “used to express a wish, especially regretfully.” Ouch! I hate regrets, because there is always a choice and you need to be brave enough to make it. So, if you choose to buy a car instead of a house or marry a person selected by your parents instead of the one you love, don’t forget you made that choice.

Having regrets mean that you are incapable of making those decisions which you think are going to make your life perfect. When I found this definition of ‘if only’, I was hurt because I kept reflecting on these thoughts. By allowing such thoughts, I was giving them control over my mind. They were ruining my perfect and happy moments like they did at that party. I have stopped regretting because whatever is happening in my life is my decision and allowing regret is stupidity. We are where we are because of the choices we have made.

All I want to say is, “Nobody is perfect. Nobody!” But there is no harm in trying. We learn from our own mistakes and trust me, it is easier said than done but we’ve got to control such thoughts. I have started controlling them. I don’t have any magic mantra to discard these thoughts, nor do I meditate to keep my mind clear. All I do when I get such thoughts is that I simply look at the bright side – towards the things I already have. Then I smile and say to myself, “Yes, I have it all and it’s perfect.” It does not work instantly but I am a patient person. Training my mind is one of the hobbies I acquired recently and I am going at it like a kid learning to ride a bicycle. I fall, I cry, I get up and start over!