In search of happiness…

We generally, look for happiness and joy in external factors or material things. But the matter of fact we need to understand is, we do not get real happiness through material things. Like once Dalai Lama said “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your actions”. Which means it’s not what we own, its what we do, matters. 

I remember one of my friends telling me if he buys the latest technology car, he will be happy. Yes, he was really happy until a new model released next year with additional features. He started to feel sad, he could have waited for the new features. This is a constant cycle and you will keep spending, but will never be happy. A classic example is mobile, new version releases every 6 months. If buying a new car or a mobile was full-time happiness, then we should have had a happy world around us. 

      In this world, I have not met a single person who doesn’t want to be happy. So where is this thing called real happiness? 

      Happiness according to me is a feeling which comes from within. We really need to look within than looking outside for happiness. This doesn’t mean we should not look for happy moments with family and friends. What I mean is if you are not happy from within no matter who is around you, it will not help. 

Nine Principles of happiness:

1)         Love yourself: The most important part of our life should be loving ourselves. But we dedicate our whole life for others; eat, live and die for others. The general practise when we think of ourselves is, complaining from the beginning of the day until the end of the day. We keep complaining about the way we look, that small pimple on the face, the skin colour, lack of confidence, to every possible negative thing we can think of ourselves. We forget that the only partner till the end of our life is self. So we should stop criticising ourselves and start appreciating instead. Love the way we are, everyone is different and special. Looking at what we are good at and improving on it is the key. We should not compare ourselves to anyone, we are good at our own stuff.

Try this: Do the mirror exercise every day; starting tomorrow look at yourself deeply in the mirror with eye to eye contact.  Appreciate yourself the way you are (looks), then say a few positive things about yourself. Try this for a week and see the difference in you. Be like Jessica.

2)         Do what you love: We should do what we love than forcing ourselves into things which we do not like but do it because of the compulsion. It’s not always about the money or the wealth we acquire, its actually about how long we can enjoy doing something. If you enjoy what you are doing you will do it better and for a long time. When you master what you love doing, monitory benefits and recognition follows. So, I am not telling you to quit what you are doing right now and follow your inner voice, slowly make the transition. Or you can do what I am doing, I am having a day job and I do these blogs in my free time. This keeps me happy.

Try this: Sit in a quiet room for about 1 to 2 hours every day until you find what is your strength. Then work on that strength in your free time, make it a passion. This will help you master the skill. When you master skill money follows.

3)         Focus on needs: Our lives off late has been revolving around what we WANT than what is the NEED. If we change the mindset and feel happy by fulfilling the needs, we will be happier than chasing the wants. Wants are something that will keep increasing and chasing it will put you in a vicious circle of sadness and disappointment.

Try this: For the next one year look at only fulfilling the needs and no wants. Not much change in your lifestyle even with the jump in your income. Look how simple and easy your life would be. You will not be worried about others and life would be happier. You would also end up saving a lot of money.

4)         Expectation: One of the big mistakes we make is to have expectations. The expectation of returns for helping someone, expectation from relationships, to expectation of appreciation from your boss. When we have expectations there are high chances of disappointment. If we do not get the expected level of response from the other side we will obviously be disappointed. If there are no expectations then whatever comes our way makes us happy. If nothing comes, then we are fine as we had no expectations. This is an important secret of happiness. This is common among elderly people when their kids do not treat them well in their old age.

Try this: For the next few months help as many people as you can without expecting any returns. Help your colleague at work, help your neighbours. This will make you happy.

5)         Family and friends: Most of the time we are competing with our friends and family members, we want to be better than them. We are also jealous of their growth and prosperity. Instead, we should celebrate growth, happiness, and success of others. Even we will have our opportunities, then they will join in celebrating our success. This means happiness all around us.

Try this: Celebrate every success among your friends and family from the bottom of your heart. Relish the moments you spend with them.

6)         The rat race: We are always in the rat race, starting from our childhood until our retirement. Being in the rat race will always disappoint us because either we are competing very hard with someone’s leg or someone else is trying to pull ours. We should always help each other instead, for happiness at work. It’s important we enjoy what we do, so we do it better. This will help us to stand out and achieve what we want.

Try this: Starting today just focus on mastering your skills than competing with others in the team. You will be a lot happier, and in the process, you will be the preferred choice because of the mastery. People will come to you for help.

7)         Be kind and Help others: Always we should be kind to others and others will be kind to us. This always is a win-win situation and keeps us happy. This means being kind to even people who are jealous or hate us. Engaging ourselves in revenge or what we say “give it back” attitude is going to only worry us. If there is nothing to give back, then what to worry about, we can just be happy. Helping people in need always makes us happy and content. The feeling we get when we receive thanks from the person whom we helped is special.

Try this: Be kind to all, to your maid, vegetable vendor to whoever you come across in the day. Donate money or food, teach the underprivileged and see the happiness in them. Kindness comes back.

8)         Keep a smile: There is a saying “Smile is a Mirror”. When we smile at someone, most of the time we will receive a smile back. In some cases, we even change the mood of the other person and make them happy. Smile is contagious.

Try this: Always keep a smile and smile at everyone you see. Initially, it could look odd, but people will always return the smile.

9)         Positive Attitude: The last but the most important one is a positive attitude.   We can experience happiness only if we have a positive attitude towards life. One thing we should strongly believe in is “All that happens, happens for good”. There are two parts to a positive attitude, one is positive thinking and the other positive action. Just by thinking positively and taking no action doesn’t bring happiness. How many times do we sit and worry more about the problem than taking that positive action? I will talk more in detail about Positive attitude and Positivity in my upcoming blogs, stay tuned…

Try this: Write down a problem you are facing and with a positive mindset, think of a solution (finalise only one, no plan B). Then put that into action. You will solve it so easily and you will be happy about yourself. 

For every principle there is an action, try a couple of them at first. Once it starts working for you, you build trust. Then you can try the rest and make it the happiness habits. All the best and do leave your comments below, I will reply.

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