The Pursuit of Happyness

Abhishek Gupta
3 min readJan 7, 2021


This post is blabbering of a lost mind, of a mind trying to figure out. Over 2020, I have tried various times to publish as Abhishek, but that never happened, as I as NavGurukul always took priority.

It has been a strange year — full of ups and downs, and one dominated by my work identity. It started with the exit of Rishabh, which left with me with no option but to work on a more robust org structure. Then it was Coronavirus. The misery and helplessness that I felt because of it, I had to do something. Work became an obvious outlet. Something wrong happening in my life, put that energy into the work. My counsellor helped me see this pattern, but it is so much harder to let it sink in properly.

NavGurukul has been one of the most amazing parts of my life journeys, one that made me cry, that made me feel proud, that made me share love and happiness, that made me dance, that made me fight. But I have to realize that I am not it, and it isn’t me. And for me, perhaps that’s what 2021 is going to mean.

When I left the for-profit ecosystem about five years ago, it was pure selfishness — to find my own happiness and balance. I could finally choose work that ticks all the four boxes of Ikigai — work that matters, work that I can be paid for, work that I love, and work that I am good at. It was an amazing feeling. But life doesn’t stop at Ikigai.

I often look at people and think if they are happy. What keeps them happy? What makes them sad? I wish I had similarly looked within this year. My work exhaustion led to a strong disconnect, that needs my immediate attention. It wants me to spend time to go beyond the framework of Ikigai and find things, especially the small ones that give me happiness.

This path requires me to unlearn …

When I started walking on this path, I started creating my own set of judgements — against stuff, against systems, against people. It helped me to fuel my crazy ideas, that I never thought I would be able to push through. However, I think they have served their time. My ideologies don’t help me come closer to you than I could if mine could allow me to accept yours without judgement. I was uncomfortable with the anger of others, and my own anger was building up. At the same time, I don’t wish to be apolitical or not be angry ever. Balance is what I need to figure out.

All of this is for my own happiness. And trying to be happy in the future or lamenting about not being so in past, wouldn’t serve me. What I need is to examine within me — what replenishes me, what discharges me. I need to work many microdoses of happiness. There is no way, I can escape pain, but I can avoid misery by building a better approach to life. And while that work can’t be restricted to a year, but a year can definitely be a time to seed the right habits.

So hopefully, 2021 would be to

  • find my balance between my mission & happiness in the present
  • enjoy what is right out there
  • be at peace while tangibly contributing to our society in a bigger way
  • read more, dance more, sing more
  • love and experience joy!