Happiness is not something that someone gives you. Happiness is something you give to yourself. But what do we try to give ourselves?
We strive for money, material possessions, social status and position, physical comfort and pleasure. We search for such things to such an extreme extent that possessing them becomes an end in itself as if this is our one and only goal. In the process we incur stress, lose our peace of mind and attain only unhappiness. We forget that these things can at best be a means to the ultimate end called happiness. It is not that material possession or social status is not important. The question is to what extent are they important?
I quote from the Upanishads: â€œWhatever exists in the universe is pervaded with God. Keeping God with self, enjoy existence with abandonment and do not get attached. To whom can worldly treasures belong?â€ In brief, there is no harm in enjoying the possessions of existence as long as you can remain unattached with them. If you link your happiness with any worldly thing, because of the temporary nature of the worldly things, you are likely to remain unhappy. And you would keep losing your peace of mind in the effort to gain them.
It is not the worldly possessions that are bad, but attachment to them. Further, one is also not saying that the worldly possessions and happiness are mutually exclusive, and you cannot have both at the same time. â€” The 4-Lane Expressway to Stress Management