As a Student, I had always thought doing an activity will make me happy. Playing instead of reading, chatting instead of doing home work would always make me happy. I always thought – getting a cycle would make me happy. When I saw my friend in Scotty, I thought that would make me happy. 90% would make me happy, a good job will make me happy and so on.
It was a big shift in perception when my Guru Mahatria explained, “Happiness shouldn’t be a result. Happiness should be the process. There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. Happiness isn’t a destination. Happiness must be the journey.. The way to the picnic should be as enjoyable as the picnic itself”. Experientially I realized that when everything is done out of happiness, it makes things better and makes me be at peace with myself irrespective or results. .
It was a warm Wednesday – a beautiful Spring morning in Minneapolis. I listened to a YouTube music video as part of an assignment to write an article and these 3 Words – “Because I’m Happy”, were repeatedly running in my systems few hundred times in the last 72 hours.
Every Wednesday from 11 AM to 1 PM is our Weekly Project Meeting at our Vendor office, which is 15 minutes drive from our office. It was one of those rare days when we finished the meeting around Noon. I had to send a document to my friend in India and initially thought I will send that courier in the evening. With the sudden availability of an additional hour mid-day, I thought I can send the courier on my way to my Office.
Looked at the address of nearest FedEx and calculated I had enough and more time to send package and get to Office. Enjoying the warm weather on a Sunny day, I was driving towards FedEx. It was a Street with trees on either side and looked gorgeous. As I was driving, looked into the rear-view mirror and saw a Police car was flashing lights behind me, indicating to stop.
I was unsure what happened. I waited for the Cop to come to my Car and in next few minutes, an Officer came up to my Car and waited for me roll down the windows and said Softly “Sir, I asked you to pull over because you were driving at 41 miles per hour and in this street, the limit is 30 miles per hour. Can I take a look into your License and Insurance. I will check few things and you should be all set to go in few minutes”. I realized I did not even look into the Speed Limit in that Street – I was so engrossed into looking on the sides and totally my mistake that I was speeding over the limit. I handed over my License and Insurance card and the Officer went to his Car to check on the History. In next few mins Officer came back, and handed over my License and Insurance and along with a ticket. My mind started thinking a lot about this as this was my first and only traffic ticket in 3.5 years of driving in US.
I started my Car from there and started driving towards FedEx. As I parked my Car at FedEx – I got a phone call from my Health Insurance company. I was calling them for a week to resolve some charges and it took a while for them to look into and here they called me. I wanted to finish this call first as I thought it would be a bad idea to talk and drive and get another ticket. So there I was in the parking and talking to Insurance for few minutes. After the call, I was so happy that all issues were resolve. Now, I looked at my watch and realized it was starting to get late to reach my office. I did not want to rush to office and over speed again.
Once I reached Office, I laughed and realized – I went all the way from the meeting to get a Speeding ticket and come to office. Looks like it was time for me to get one and I had to take a detour to go and get one and reach office – most importantly, not completing what I wanted to do – send the courier.
I was sharing this with my friend and he asked how I took it so easily – the next word that I said was “Because I’m Happy” – in spite of anything that happens – “I’m Happy” and that will continue. I took the whole incident as an example of how it all works together. Nothing happens by my plans. I am just a Toy in his hands. The time for my first Speed ticket has come and I got it – in spite of all this I am perfectly calm and fine “Because I’m Happy”. I then said to my friend “May be I owed money to someone at some time and now through this incident I have paid $145 to close that loop”. Some major realizations for me through this experience
1. If I’m Happy all the time – no external force can control me. I experienced what my Guru always says “I am the Creator of my own feelings and that even GOD cannot change it. If GOD cannot change it, I will not let any one human change it”.
2. I had to go all over the way to get my ticket – time for it has come and there is no way how situations leads to make it happen – Yes, I totally understand, it was my mistake of not looking at Speed limit – but I understand how things work together.
3. When I start living my life out of Happiness, even a Speed ticket can be seen happily and a lesson be learnt out of that.