Sitting at the Bangalore airport I overheard a conversation between two people lets name them P1 and P2 which went somewhat like this :
P1 : Oh my god who is this beauty in the photograph?
P2 : She is my girlfriend.
P1 : Wow!! Dude teri to life set ho gayi what a babe.
P2 : Nahi yaar abhi kafi tensions hai job ko lekar life me.
The conversation above is a daily banter amongst many friends, but it elicits an important paradigm of human nature: Jubilation or sorrow are not absolute. A little detail look into the events bringing joy or sorrow to your life will invariably beget a thought that none of the events in their absolutism were capable of making you happy or sad.
As a matter of fact I believe any kind of feeling of happiness or contrition is subject to three important dimension. Ill try and cover them one by one.
1. The grass is greener on the other side:
Voyeurism is an activity which has been an integrate part of human life be it the ancient chinese civilization where people used a sea-saw to peep into neighbour houses or be it the latest form of voyeurism in form of social networking. The reason why one man likes to peep into other's life is because it gives him a chance to compare their assets. Thus any event giving you a relative advantage on your peers will make you feel better when compared to equally distributed gain over a larger population. And mind it in above case the ecstatic feeling is irrespective of the material gain. Same goes for the feeling of compunction.
2. Incongruity is the biggest sin
Let us start our discourse with a simple sentence, Ram won a lottery of a 10 million dollars. This makes our fictitious character Ram a lucky guy doesn't it? But what if I now tell you Ram is a 95 year old man and might die any day now. Not so lucky now? By this not so sanguine example I just wanted to prove a point that any event given it happens at the opportune time will be desirable or undesirable subject to its effect on a person. Wrong timing has a propensity to obliterate the effects what so ever they may be.
3. This is not my first time
This is probably my favorite dimension because it subsumes Adam Smith's theory of demand and supply very well. It simply states that more the number of elations you get in your life the next happiness looses its value relative to the previous one given they stand at the same relative position when you go for grading them. For sorrows I am not sure if it holds true for every one.
Thus it becomes quite pellucid that all three factors working in tandem will lead to pertinent happiness , and even if one of the dimension is out of its place it becomes completely preposterous to declare any thing as a debacle or transcendent elation. Even though two opposite words , in real life which side you will be standing on will depend only on scintilla of differences between good and bad luck, a good and a bad decision. So next time when you have a proclivity to be arrogant because of a success or become too morose due to a failure. Just think that your big success might be a peanut for some one which means you are still not the best. Or your failure could have been the last failure for some which in turn means your worst hasn't yet come. Take all you get as a humble gift, and give what ever has been taken from you as if you are a king and donating an empire to some one poor.