Self-fulfillment vs instant gratification: Happiness is a habit.

The general trend is to enjoy what appears on your phone or laptop screen more than what you contain within yourself. This is where it is essential to distinguish between self-fulfillment and instant gratification. On social media, it is about how content one feels about their social media presence. Self-fulfillment is a habit that is nurtured by appreciating you and what's yours.

Coming up with something interesting to do is not the same as doing what you really love. The content that you read online on a daily basis will have a significant impact on your perception. Inadvertently, you become what you consume. The more time you spend gratified with likes, comments and subscriptions, the more you depend on an external source of happiness. Perception is the pedestal that bases reality and nurturing your perception is a product of your eccentricity. By realizing the difference between self-fulfillment and instant gratification, it is understood that you are the primary source of happiness that unfolds with every endeavor undertaken. When there are way too many social media posts, interactive videos and blogs available online, it is essential to pick the right material. A vast majority are usually inclined towards hearing what the rest of the world has to say. A fine example would be how "Covid19" posts are the most consumed online content during this current global pandemic in 2020. Another example would be how social media trends like SMS lingo have become widely accepted as good literature.

Many prominent thinkers have risen with powerful ideas that have provided a deep insight into human nature. A true social responsibility is to understand the teachings of great men and women before us, in order to understand our own lives better. One such philosopher from ancient Greece was a scholar by the name of Socrates. We all know how the story of Socrates ended, poisoned by his students, slain for the victory of an authoritarian regime that could not catch up to his powerful ideas. This was a heavy price paid for the wisdom imparted to transcend the battles of many generations since. It is only right that we address Socrates's charismatic truths that have continually stood the test of time.

My favorite quote of the great Greek scholar is one that speaks of the secret of happiness. The reason being that his quote on the secret of happiness is a true reflection of the human nature and it's susceptibility. A deep association between self-fulfillment and being joyful is beautifully stated by Socrates, when he speaks about the secret of happiness.

"The secret of happiness, you see is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less."

The quote is a revelation for most people who find it hard to enjoy things that do not align with the privileges of rapidly advancing conveniences. We all want to have the best life while compromising on very little. The greatest success however, is to realize that life isn't a result of our achievements but the ability to rise above failures.

The natural human inclination towards comfort is often fired up by a strong desire to seek more. Socrates clearly states that the capacity to enjoy what we have determines overall happiness for a good reason, and that is to expand a person's perception beyond the ordinary confines of culture. What might be considered socially acceptable shouldn't have to be the deciding factor of life. Just because you are capable of thinking up a wild dream does not translate that dream into a physical reality. Far more courage is required to embrace the truth than to enact a web of fictitious representations. Mindfulness is necessary to acquire true happiness and mindfulness begins with a firm grip over your reality.

Reality is very much based on perception that you can either saturate with negative thoughts or positive thoughts. The choice is deeply personal and instinctive at times. Socrates speaks of optimism in the face of lacking something more, not the negligence of an inner desire to achieve more. While there is nothing wrong with aspiring to achieve a better education, buy a better car or start a new business, it takes solid effort to express optimism when things don't work out they way you planned. In such cases, optimism will serve as the bedrock to working harder and achieving your heart's desires. Optimism enables success, even when the odds are against you. Self-fulfillment plays a vital role in staying optimistic. Realizing that the goal is not to accumulate more wealth or social relations or even degree certificates, but to indulge in the inner ability to stay strong, even when you lack any of these things. Because, the only way you can make room for more is by freeing up the space occupied by thinking of what's less.

Human reason tells us that we are all capable of wild desires. Our kind is blessed with the ability to tame these desires. Man's achievements speak loudest as the congruence that comes from taming a wishful manner of thought. To explore beyond the ordinary and examine the works of prominent scholars such as Socrates, the test begins with a reflection of one's own character and virtue. To delve into the secrets of your heart, you must first realize the unfathomable virtue, a limitless expanse of the human conscience. In such manner, the results of happiness is as boundless as the curious endeavor to seek knowledge. It is self-fulfillment that determines your ability to enjoy your successes and not the other way around.

Socrates, through his strong philosophy has always spoken of a deeper angle with which one must perceive the ability to fulfill their deepest desires. His quote on the secret to happiness emphasizes on joy as a strong suit and the ability to perceive the lack of certain things, not as a drawback, but as something to nurture happiness. Most of what we think is essential to a social status or the current trend, could be a mere mirroring of society's impact on thought. When you can embrace your originality, you begin to unlock opportunities that would bring out the best in you. Fabricating a list of must have's is very easy when everybody is talking about it on the internet. To see a clearer picture would be to realize what you really want for yourself. Instant gratification is not the answer to unlocking the desire to be happy. Continuous appreciation of yourself and your loved ones, is a great start.

Achieving everything you set out to achieve is a matter of strength from within, derived from your individuality. The crucial aspect is to express your desires rather than to be caged by a byproduct of human consciousness. In many cases, the ideal solution to clarity would be to step outside the bubble of social convenience and perceive the fundamentals of personal belief. This is one reason why religion plays a vital role in the lives of many people, seeking answers in pages of literature and ancient teachings of great scholars. We don't all have the solutions to all our problems but we have the ability to control choices and determine what's best.

To feel content with your choices is a paramount necessity, especially when times can be unpredictable. Each of us require an inner voice that can guide us through turmoil and misfortune. The ability to enjoy the little things about yourself will not only shine light on your strengths, but increase one's appreciation of newer opportunities. Gratitude must remind you of the road you've taken to reach where you are today. To reflect upon yourself is as crucial as the curiosity to seek newer knowledge. In a nutshell, perception is a governing factor and the manner with which you choose to approach the idea of happiness will determine how satisfied you are with the life you are living.

Happiness is not just instant gratification or visible successes in the form of a trophy or cash. Happiness is the ability to accept reality with the intent to cherish every bit of your life proudly. A powerful habit to stay happy, is to remind yourself that more is merrier but only in moderation. Social media has worked wonders, but it will never surpass the need for inner reflection. Not everybody would desire the best for others or even themselves at all times. Sometimes, you have to reflect on your inner self and draw a fine line between desire and intent.

As Socrates reminds us, the intention to stay happy is far more valuable than the things that define one's happiness. Make it a point to take the time out and cherish aspects of your character and your belief that makes you whole. After all, happiness is a habit.

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