Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Art Of Being Happy

An article written for the Adarshan Bangalore Magazine...

Read it and be happy...

Wish you all a very merry X Mas and a prosperous and happy new year 2009!


Disclaimer: These are purely personal views and might not be agreeable to all.

While each man is free to choose his own I like the art of being happy the most.

While pondering over topics on which I could write for this magazine,
Amongst the many suggestions that came to my mind were articles on the economic gloom, the horrendous situation in Zimbabwe, the inexplicable terror attacks in Mumbai, then when I asked few people for suggestions they said anything is fine as long as it is happy. Now this set my mind racing - why does our mind seek all the negative energy in the world rather than merely enjoy the beautiful things out everywhere around us.

As my quote goes
99% of the time one needs to be happy and the remaining 1% needs to be spent in preparing to be happy” – MIM

If only we remembered that we are just transient passengers in this huge journey called life why waste our limited time to being unhappy and down? Our life span vs. life of the world is comparable to 1 sec vs. the seconds available in one year (1 vs. 31536000). Similarly our life time is such a small part of the larger picture that we just can’t waste time by being unhappy or depressed.
There is a whole world of difference between being sad and unhappy. The opposite of a happy person is not a sad person but is an unhappy person. It is not so that a happy person cannot ever be sad or depressed but this state is transient and will disappear soon. But an unhappy person will find it terribly difficult to find happiness and will make it conditional: I will be happy ONLY when /if and so the list goes on.

While being sad is not a crime- indeed being sad is also an emotion that every person must experience. The feeling of sadness is in fact a complimentary phase of happiness, the very need of one being happy is because one doesn’t want to be sad. But being unhappy is a crime.

Happiness is a mental objective; it requires the power of imagination. You have to imagine yourself as being happy in order to be happy, and yes, you just can’t wait for happiness to come to you. There is no magic potion to harness happiness within you and for others.

"The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things."
-- Henry Ward Beecher

Some of us are in a happy state while shopping, some while writing, some while taking photographs, some while gardening, some while sleeping, some while eating. We should however remember that there is a very small line between addiction and (responsible) happiness. I can’t claim to be happy only while I snort ten big lines of cocaine.

In times of economic woe such as these we need to be prudent, but real sense prevailed in me when I absent mindedly understood the lyrics of a Tamil song from the movie – Pudupettai – it translates to mean,
….what’s the point in saving up all your money without even enjoying a bit of it, tomorrow suddenly if you leave the world what’s the whole point? ….

When I look at certain countries with so many different kinds of issues and worries, I can never claim the luxury of being sad and ever complain about anything When people in Zimbabwe are eating the cow skin which was part of their 100 year old flooring, how can you and I ever complain this is not right, that is not right, I don’t have a good life etc?

Here are few basic happiness maintaining techniques
1) Decide to be Happy: No one else can take this decision for you.
2) Happiness should be a priority: Like you plan for your ambition, savings, growth etc you must plan for your happiness.
3) Path to happiness: There will be many a times when you are down, disinterested and feeling sad, don’t let this state prevail more than 5 minutes start counterattacking the sad thoughts, start questioning the real reason of those facts, start working around them to find out the way to overcome the sorrow and get happy. When you are positive, good things happen to you, when you are negative; you draw bad things to you.
4) Constructive energy: Rather than lose all energy by being down, raise your bar and focus all the doom and gloom to find unique ways to counter attack the problem.
[For 3 and 4 – in terms of thinking out of the box and other innovation techniques– try to define at least 10 solutions to any problem and then only choose one. This is because the human tendency is to always choose the first easily achievable solution which comes to ones mind]
5) Dream about happiness: The first step to achieve anything is to think more and more about it, dream it and achieve it. The brain apparently moves towards working out happy dreams in a faster manner.
6) Be appreciative: By just appreciating the wonderful small things around you, you can be very happy. Example if you see an spider which has built a huge web in your house don’t start screaming and calling commands for people to clear it, rather watch the intricate design of the web, take photographs appreciate the little ones hard work etc and then decide what you want to. By being appreciative you also tend to spread positive energy around, you appreciate one person he is in a better mood and appreciates some one else and the cycle just goes on.
7) Forgive and Forget: This doesn’t need any explaining and is very important for being happy.
8) Spread happiness: Try spreading the joy of happiness by means of social or financial contribution to the needy. Volunteer to read for the blind, to take classes for the poor children.
9) Believe in yourself and a higher spirit: Having a high self confidence and indulging in prayers usually works as great stimulant for happiness in many people.
10) Happiness is infectious: This has been proved scientifically that happiness grows in leaps and bounds when in the presence of happy people and good locations. Draw up a list of 5-10 things that make you happy, it could be watching you tube clips of tom & jerry or it could be viewing your photograph collection. Whenever you feel down or out run through the list and within minutes you are freed of your sadness.

One of the jokes I remember from my school days is
Why study? You study to learn more, the more you learn, the more you know, the more you know, the less you can store, the less you can store is the less you know then why study…

Why to worry? The more you worry the more tension you get the more tension you get, the more unhappy you are, the more unhappy you are, the less of happy you are…so beware…

Let me wrap up with some interesting quotes
Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them.
-- H. Jackson (Jack) Brown Jr.

The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be
-- Marcel Pagnol

Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in perfect harmony. -- Mahatma Ghandi

Don't live `for' happiness. Live `with' happiness". -- Indian Philosophers

Be happy and spread the joy of happiness, treat yourself for this wonderful year 2008 and enjoy the run up to a lovely Christmas and let’s hope and pray we have a even better and prosperous new year 2009. Wish you all good luck.

Monish M



Uncle Jose said...

Hi Micky,
It is very interesting to read your blog and let me tell you you have all the great ability of your father and much more.The looks of your mom and the gentle look of your"s is bound make you a star. Keep it going and do well.

Very impressive.
Uncle Jose

Ursula said...

Hi Monish,

That's a really lovely post on being happy, very peace-inducing to read. We all wish you an excellent 2009.

Richard & Ursula