Enjoying limited means of subsistence

Not so long ago I had a comfortable job. A place of my own with most the luxuries that a bachelor wants, a swelling bank balance, and money was not an issue. Now, less than a month since, here I am with something close to zilch in my bank (and going down), no car, a shared accommodation in a cramped apartment without a TV (ok, the absence of TV is by choice) and a near zero social life. Yet I dont feel depressed, no regrets, just a pinch of sadness thinking about what could have been.

This was a choice I made. I wanted to go back to college, and so I did. You could say I was prepared to downgrade my standard of living, learn harsh frugality for a PhD in return. But that’s not the point here.

What I am talking about is the human nature to accept and enjoy his subsistence on the diminishing means, and still be optimistic, resilient about it. Less than a month ago, I could afford a meal in any eat around in the world. And today, the thrill that I get from a buffet for $5 is as much as winning a million dollar lottery. Nothing’s changed really. Only the circumstances that’s all. I am no less happy now, than I was before. In fact, I think I feel a lot more relaxed now, than before. What is it that makes us this way? Is man masochistic by nature? Can he really “enjoy” only misery and pain? I know that happiness is just a state of mind, but what brings about such a state in the first place. This is not just about the experience that I am having. Generally speaking, the most affluent and well of often have a sob story to tell. But the poor apparent laugh a lot more in their lifetime than others. Are we only buying and earning hardships and sorrow without even realizing it? Or is it that, the more means you have for happiness, the fewer avenues you have to attaining it? Is this why often people simply give up all that they have made so long and start afresh? Or is the number of choices of being happy so many that people are often overwhelmed and cannot choose one, so they end up sad. To break this cycle they go back to square one where they have very few choices to make?

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