Friday, 2 February 2018

Are you happy? 5 Ideas on How to Be Happy




Read an apt quote by Heath Ledger which basically says that people are more concerned with what things I have - career, house, marriage, children. But never do they ask "are you happy?"

I have always felt that the usual greeting "how are you?" is never really for knowing about your problems or happiness. People expect "I'm fine" as an answer and nothing more than it.

I am taking a course on Happiness nowadays and loving the words of Dr. Rajagopal Raghunathan, who is a Marketing Professor in the University of Texas.

Like him, I too believe that happiness is personal. And, only when you are truly happy will people begin to notice it and ask its reason.

However, happiness is like an illusion. You think XY is happy when in reality XY is not. It is believed that happy people make more money, remember and talk about good things in life. But this statement is not true always. YZ is at a very high and prestigious position and is envied by the world. But YZ takes sleeping and anti-depressant pills each night and wishes to hide in a small town for peace. Why? Because happiness and career success do not coincide. Atleast not everytime. So, is the case with happiness and long life. But if you are living a long life, are healthy and have money to spend on things that provide you with happiness, then happiness and long life coincides in your case.

Similarly, to judge that married couples are happy. And, those with kids are happiest will also be false. Maybe the couple is having adjustment problems and only after divorce they found happiness.

Thus, we see that there is no reliable measures of happiness.

But how to be happy?

  1. Engage Yourself in all Areas of Your Life - It means joyfully participate and accept everything that life offers. If you keep on complaining then life will never seem good. Complaining is a habit. One who has it will complain about weather, pollution, running children in park, rising prices, and absolutely everything that is happening around them. Such people distrust also everything.
  2. Don't Sacrifice Happiness - a lot of times we sacrifice immediate happiness for a long term happiness. Or shift our happiness from one thing to another. Imagine you are at a store and loved a red bag which is for 3000/-. You have made-up your mind to buy it. Suddenly, your friend comes and tells that there is another bag worth 3000/- which comes free with a pair of shoes. In a matter of seconds, you shifted your interest towards the shoes-bag combo hoping that it will give you more happiness. However, what you actually did was save money and went ahead to purchase a shoe you never even considered buying while walking past the shelves. And, the red bag which generated happiness in the first case was left in the store. We sacrifice happiness everyday. Moreover, several times a day. You wish to eat omlette for breakfast and see only one egg. And, you decide to keep it for next day and eat something else for now. All, these are instances of sacrificing your immediate happiness.
  3. Kill Jealousy - Jealousy comes when we begin to measure our success and happiness with that of someone we assume has more. Some may argue that when taken positively, jealousy helps one to get competitive and strive harder in achieving goals. But I defer from this view and argue that while you are being competitive you are only inviting more unhappiness and feelings of under-achiever. In the process of getting to the place where the superior is, you criticise and hurt yourselves. What you are forgetting is that, growth in life takes place only when you positively motivate yourself and recall good things about yourself. This will also save you from getting into depression.
  4. Be Courageous and Open to New Ideas - unless you are diligent and open minded you will never be able to tap your potential and areas where happiness is lying. Getting a hobby is a great idea. As we grow we stop spending our time on hobbies. We stop playing, reading comics, sewing, painting, or anything which we loved doing in the younger days. Once you begin you will rekindle your spirits and see that your hidden wishes are still existing and you continue to feel happy while pursuing your hobby.
  5. Learn from children - children are never far from happiness. Given a toy, they will be happy and be engaged for few hours. Then they will play with the package it came in. Adults try to stop them and offer the toy and throw away the wrapper. But it shouldn't be the case. Happiness is the main thing here and not the source from which your kid is getting from.

We should too practice it. And not let the society made notions of happiness distract us. Society teaches us to value money, beauty, etc. But if we allow us to stop thinking that way, happiness can be found in cheap and inexpensive ways as well.

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