Every human being wants something. Some people want money, some want fame, some want a promotion, and the list goes on. While a few of these people will use fair means to achieve their goal, most won't mind resorting to unfair means to get what they want.
Have you ever stopped and wondered why people want all these things? Or for that matter, why you want what you want?
All of us want to be happy, and we try various ways to achieve this state. We strive to fulfill our desires and reach our goals. A lot of us believe that if a certain incident happens or if a certain person changes his or her behaviour, we will be happier. But when we finally get what we wanted, what we feel is just a temporary pleasure. After a while, we want something else. If you look back, you'll realize that what you aspired for was not what you really wanted. Then what was it?
Material things can never give you anything except temporary pleasure, which fades away very soon. After you fulfill one dream, another one comes up which you try to fulfill again. And thus, your life becomes just a journey of fulfilling your dreams.
Let me cite a small story in this context. A big cat saw a kitten running around in circles, and asked it what it was up to. The little kitten replied "My mother told me about happiness today, and I have realized that my happiness lies in my tail. So I'm trying to capture my happiness."
"Listen, little one", the big cat replied, "When I was young, I realized too that my happiness lay in my tail, and like you, I also spent hours chasing it, but I could never catch it. Now I have learnt that you can never catch your tail. If you just forget about it and walk on, it follows you wherever you go. Now I don't run after my happiness, instead, it follows me."
Same is the case with our lives. We chase after happiness all our lives, only to realize in the end that we could not be happy because we were busier chasing it all the while.
The first step towards long lasting happiness lies in realizing that buying new clothes, having more money, or keeping up with the 'in' things will not give you any happiness. It comes when you accept who you are and what you have and are satisfied with it, while striving to give your best to every situation.
Real happiness comes with gradual detachment from ones surroundings and desires. When you do your duties as expected of you, and leave all your greed behind, the satisfaction you feel will be unparalleled. Your life will be, in Milton's words, 'paradise regained'.