There have been several periods of my life when I felt I was not happy. I sat down and made a list. And then I attempted to run a multi-variate analysis to determine what were the causes of my unhappiness. Haha, there’s the business school graduate in me attempting to show off!

Was I unhappy because I didn’t have a ‘steady’ relationship?
Was I unhappy because I didn’t have a great group of friends that stuck together?
Was I unhappy because of something my parents were doing, or not doing?
Was I unhappy because I wasn’t being treated the way I wanted to be treated by some people?
Was I unhappy because I wasn’t being appreciated enough?
Was I unhappy because I felt people around me were exploiting me?

All of these were true at various points of times. And all of these ‘variables’ contributed to me being unhappy. But as I sat down and analysed, none of these seemed to be the root cause. They just looked like triggers. It’s just like, exposure to bacteria is never the root cause of an infection. We are exposed to bacteria all the time. According to Ayurveda, the cause of a disease is actually a drop in our own immunity levels. That drop enables the bacteria to wreck havoc. They are just the triggers. Our immune system is the cause.

My father always told me a simple thing that now makes a lot of sense. But of course, as a young lad I never paid attention! He would often say “Only when you are acting upon your full potential, you will be happy". As simple as that.

I know I can be fit.
I know I can write a book.
I know I can launch a business.
I know I can score a distinction.
I know I can learn a new language.
I know I can organise a college fest.
I know I can do a project to clean the river.

I know I can. But I am not. I am not happy.

My analysis of myself, and 100’s of youth I meet everyday, has led me to this conclusion. Nothing in my environment can be the direct cause of my unhappiness. Or even happiness for that matter. That lies in my own hands. Literally, my hands. I need to use my hands, and DO something. Take on a project. Create a team. Find resources. Work on things that matter to me. Push myself. Get help. Research. Sell. Innovate. Solve. Fail. Succeed. But, I need to work on what I know is my FULL potential. Anything less than that, and the bacteria will certainly attack.

What is it, that you know you can do and should be doing, but are not doing?