We have all heard of “Every cloud has a silver lining”. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Every suffering ends with a beautiful reward. Two years back I realised something very interesting. While it is true that “Every cloud has a silver lining” it is equally true that “Only clouds have silver lining”. Silver lining cannot exist without clouds.

Happiness is relative:
One cannot even see the silver lining (even if it is there) without going through clouds. This is because we perceive everything in relatively. Imagine a person born with the silver spoon who has always travelled in a luxury car and a middle class person just bought his car. Who would enjoy the ride most? The former will not even acknowledge his silver lining and the middle class guy will be on the top of the world.

Happiness is Self Esteem:
So when you want something and go from “don’t have” to “have”, you are happy. However this happiness will not have much significance unless you have gone through a challenge to bring about that change. The bigger the challenge the greater the happiness. Darker the clouds, shinier is the silver lining. Take the same example above, one middle class man receives the car from his in-laws as gift and other person earns it as a reward of his exceptional efforts. The later would perceive the shinier silver lining since he has passed through the clouds. The silver lining is not out there somewhere. It is within us. It’s our self-esteem. When we feel good about ourselves we are happy. With or without car.

Bring it on:
This is where it gets interesting. Then why we all put all our efforts to make our lives comfortable, when the happiness lies in challenges? When think of it, that’s what every successful person in the world has done. They have come out of their comfort zone and embraced the challenges in the world. They plan and look forward to bigger and better challenges and not just the rewards. For them the challenge itself is the reward and reward is just the by-product.

So bring it on. Bring on the greater challenges in your life, for greater happiness.

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