Divya Gupta is a lawyer by profession and also the curator of girlintheskinnyjeans, an outlet for young women to help them have a stronger voice, a passion for love, life and an urge to travel. In her latest blog, she shared why everyone should stop running after happiness and start embracing life. Read on. 

It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it. No matter what. How did he know that?

When Will Smith’s character, Chris Gardner got the job in the movie ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ I swear, I bawled like a baby and still do. His happiness was providing for his child, for being there each time and making something of himself. Imagine this, ten years down the line Chris Gardner reached his peak, did not get job satisfaction anymore, and he was not happy.

What Is Happiness?

pursuit of happiness

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The question is, can a state of continuous happiness exist? Sounds quite arduous, being happy all day, every day. Or is it an emotion to pursue by just being the best version of ourselves? Getting irritated, feeling hungry these are emotions we experience, maybe so is happiness? One day when your pimple gets disappeared it would make you happy, on another day a quarrel with a loved one, quite unhappy. At its purest form, I believe, happiness is a transient emotion.

We have spent endless hours, therapy sessions, chocolate bars in the pursuit of happiness. What if rather than treating it as a destination, when I have the perfect job, ‘I will be happy’ when I fall in love, ‘I will be happy’; we should accept that happiness is not a goal and instead focus on embracing life, the good and the bad. As women we have achieved so much, we can now vote, no more need for those dreadful corsets, woman empowerment is at its highest today, however, every day we still grapple with something as simple as ‘being happy’.I have left jobs and taken flights far away from the pollution to keep myself happy but I still struggle with this elusive emotion. Don't Miss Pamper Yourself To Keep Your Body And Mind Healthy

Women And The Pursuit Of Happiness

In my pursuit of happiness, I texted some beautiful women to help understand what they perceive as happiness and voila my struggle was answered. 

“To me, happiness means being able to continuously expose myself to appreciation, being appreciated, and living in gratitude. Identifying the opportunities available to me as a woman excites me, and arises a sense of deep gratitude at the same time. Happiness also means mastering my self-efficacy rather than self-esteem. There is nothing more empowering than the ability to feel like you are worthy of producing the same results as a man. Given the current trends of an increasingly supportive millennial rush of women empowerment, we should be the happiest generation of women in History.”

– Anuva Jain, Education Consultant.

women happiness

“Happiness is not just a feeling, but a state of mind. At the most basic level, it is being comfortable in your own skin and content in your own company. It is the knowledge that you are complete and that you are enough. Personal happiness is also in the enjoyment of the little things, however insignificant they may appear; such as having a night in alone to finish a good book, or walking the long way home to enjoy the spring flowers in the park.”

– Emmelia Booth, Civil Servant.

“Happiness to me is a simple perspective change to knowing the truest version of yourself, it is that varied. And basically living an authentic life full of compassion, hope, and forgiveness.”

– Saleha Sapra, Urbanist.

“In the pursuit of happiness, we have given the power of ‘our happiness’ to someone else. We believe that only if I get that something, or if I have that someone, I will be happy. Happiness is reading a good book. Happiness is watching an old movie. Happiness is drinking a glass of good wine. I am responsible for my own happiness, and I owe it to myself.”

– Pragati Gupta, Business Woman.

happiness freedom

“Happiness is the freedom to be me.”

– Charu Chitwan, Lawyer.

“Happiness is unexpected kindness.”

– Keertna Sapra, Tea Sommelier.

Maybe it’s best to now and then pause in our ‘pursuit of happiness’ and just live. Live for ourselves, live to be loved, live to give love and then wake up and do it all over again.