Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit. Hosea Ballou
Look around and you will find lots of laughter, plenty of smiles and chuckles and ample hilarity and mirth around. You make the pleasant discovery that there is an abundance of Happiness around and it is there everywhere. You might also make the painful realization though that you just don’t seem to get enough of it and this is also both hurtful and worrisome realization. Perhaps we might also make an insightful observation that it is just a matter of finding it if we seek it earnestly . The problem though is in where we seek happiness.
The first problem is that we pine for happiness that seems to be unfairly nestling in other people’s lives in plenty while eluding us unfairly. We selectively choose what seems to be the elixir of happiness for others be it material possessions, wealth, power and fame. The fact is that wealth, fame, popularity, power and possessions are mere indicators of a certain measure of success but do not necessarily bring happiness. Happiness in fact is the feeling one enjoys when one knows how to deal with whatever success one has got. E.g. For a below average student passing the exams is a major achievement and he/she should be taught to enjoy that moment rather than be unfairly pressurized to improve performance to meet the grades of the person who stood first.
The second problem is that we are blinded to the happiness that is available to us for we do not seek it within us but probe and prod all around us. The secret to happiness lies in relishing and savoring every moment of our life for all the riches in the world cannot recreate it, bestow it or extend it. Good health, strong family ties and bonds, a well groomed upbringing and the capacity for hard work and enterprise are the riches that we really need to value and appreciate if one has to be truly happy. E.g. If one can cycle to work it is perfect proof of excellent health and more importantly provides one the opportunity to remain fit, helps us contribute to a clean environment and saves us the stress of daily driving and rush hour traffic, parking woes etc.
The third problem in identifying happiness is our inability to be positive. If one is positive one becomes optimistic and happiness often masquerades as opportunities which someone with a negative mindset views as problems. To accept the reality as it exists and to then seek the positives in it leads us to the path of happiness. E.g. If a personal financial resource crunch did not give you the opportunity to pursue the studies you passionately wanted to pursue rather than brood on it focus on making your mark in the current course or work. The success you attain will soon make you even more happy and sooner than later, excellence will be noticed and will never go unrewarded too.
The other effective ways to remain happy is to be in the company of those who radiate happiness, to channelize your energies on those ethical activities that give you maximum pleasure, to enjoy the pleasures of jokes, comedy movies and humorous stories and books. Of course spending time with children, the aged, the challenged and the sick would be the real icing on the cake of happiness.
Remember: “It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” Dale Carnegie
- Consciously make an effort to praise all those whom you come across in your daily life. If possible also share a joke, spread some good news and / or share some chocolates/ toffees/ biscuits etc. with those around.
- Jot down the name of one person known to you and qualifying as under
- A close family member
- An office colleague
- An old school mate
- A person whom you envy
- A well know personality you know a lot about
Now against each person write down 3 qualities they posses/ display that you really envy. Also jot down 3 points that you perceive to be their limitation/ weakness/ problem areas. Now jot down 3 of your good qualities/ strengths that they do not posses. Finally jot down3 points that give you real happiness.
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