Life has many facets: habits, aspirations, goals, significance etc. It is rare that there has been an artist who was also a good householder and a progressive human being. When I say a good householder, I mean one who facilitates the family in all respects. He not only provides for them materially but also emotionally. This is so, typical for a family man. But when we talk of an individual who doesn’t have a family, they too will have to find out their goals; what they want to do in life by controlling or changing their habits. In these circumstances it is difficult to imagine an artist who is totally devoted to his/her passion for art putting similar emphasis/importance on all the other aspects of life, as said above.
Therefore I think we must understand and practice the ‘Secrets of Happy Living’.
- The first secret, according to me, would be ‘Self Awareness’. An individual needs to be conscious of his own body, state of mind including thoughts, actions, ideas, feeling and interaction with others. Besides, self awareness has to be a continuous process. It’s only then that you can mould your thoughts, actions and relationship with others. Without doubt, this requires a constant review. The process teaches you how to go about finding solutions to the problems.
- The second secret is setting priorities. It is not only fixing the priorities but also scheduling them according to their relative importance. We must remember that when we schedule a task and provide a time slot, it is not necessary that time allocated will always be found sufficient. Time management is another important aspect to be reviewed from time to time. The discipline that you require for constant follow up requires a logical approach. It should have nothing to do with the moods of the person. When a particular task is not finished as per schedule you need to provide the next slot and abide by it. This protocol alone can bring about the desired results.
- The third secret is necessary to develop a keen sense of focus. To my mind doing only one thing at a time is the best approach. As far as possible there should be no interruption. Equally important is your total mind and soul into what you are doing. One has to start living in the present, moment to moment. Deliberate effort may be required for some time but then it becomes your habit and you start navigating you life as if you are flying an airplane.
- Lastly, the fourth secret is your speech. It is critically important. Because we have to interact with colleagues, family members and the society at large, we must choose our words and use them effectively. Any wrong choice or casual approach towards this very important aspect of human personality can be disastrous. Speech must always be clear; words should be chosen with discretion and spoken effectively. Speech helps to maintain and improve our relations in any environment.
To conclude I would like to say that a successful life in modern times requires us to know and practice these and any other secret that works for us.
Thanks for reading.
In general dictionary, there is no proper definition for happiness. One has to find out his own definition which works for himself. In simple words, it is a constant and continuous feeling of joy and contentment. It should not be momentary just like pleasure.
Whatever a person does, he ultimately does to find happiness. It is not a destination, but can be found in the journey of life. It is ones choice to be happy. Whether one has everything or not, it is completely his choice to make himself happy with what he has. It is not a possession to be prised, but the quality of thoughts and state of mind. It is a sort of action. When one is wise, he makes others happy.
Some of the authors and world leaders say that today, the biggest problem in the world is that, we are more interested in making others believe that we are happy than actually trying to be happy by ourselves.
It is just a belief that money and success can buy happiness. But alone they are useless. Your decision to be happy plays the top role. Money, success, your decision, etc. are just few of the constituents of happiness, which are to be placed on their proper positions.
Happiness can’t be bought, but just created, felt, expressed or experienced. If it could have been bought, all would have paid a price for it. The best method to create happiness is to do the things which you love. It contributes a lot. And if that is not possible, then love the things which you do. Choose to be happy in the work you do and it is only possible when you start liking them.
STEPS TO BECOME HAPPY:
- Think less
- Feel more
- Act more
- Frown less
- Smile more
- Laugh more
- Talk less
- Listen more
- Understand better
- Judge less
- Expect more
- Watch less
- Do more
- Complain less
- Appreciate more
- Be grateful
Gratitude is extremely important if one wants to be happy. Likewise, the person should not be over emotional but have faith. He should not give up but keep trying. He should not complicate but make things simple. Sometimes, he need not be serious but laugh at the problems. He should be as youthful as a kid. That will make him happy.
One’s happiness should depend on himself and not on other people or things which he may lose. One can never lose himself. Those who desire love, try to find a soul mate. But those who desire happiness, finds themselves, and then their soul mate finds them.
Happiness is never experienced with the amount of problems but the ability to face it. If someone can’t write happiness in others life, then atleast he should try to erase his problems.
BENIFITS OF BEING HAPPY:
- It boots motivation. It keeps one inspired and he is always enthusiastic. He loves creativity, have lot of energy, good health and create good vigilance. All this is possible only if he is happy.
- It improves productivity in one’s life.
- It reduces cardio vascular diseases.
- It is said that happy people have a longer life and are tend to attract more people. So they make good friends.
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Ability to say no and not to say yes when you want to say no
Being assertive is defined as the ability to stand up for your own rights in a calm and positive way without being aggressive or submissive, accepting the wrong. There are many situations in our life that will want us to stand up for ourselves. Our duty to self should never be compromised for the happiness and satisfaction of others. We have to ensure that there arises no situation where we concede to others and later regret for our act. In today’s time , we would be crushed upon if we don’t stand up for ourselves.
Saying ‘No’ to someone is always considered to be rude behavior especially in our country. We feel that it is our duty to fulfill the requirements of our friends, relatives and any other acquaintances even if we have to forgo our comfort or routine. But this so called generosity and humility is laughed upon nowadays. It is high time we change our perception of helping others before helping ourselves.
When you take more care of others than yourself, you should not be called generous but foolish.
Indian culture and tradition were formed centuries ago when everyone was soft and straight minded. More than anything else, there was a sense of truth and virtue in their behavior. But, today the scenario has changed and people have no more time to ponder about the generosity and kindness we possess. All they care about is to get their work done as quickly and as easily possible. People have no time to appreciate our generosity but they all are ready to step on us and get their things done effortlessly. . So the most intelligent thing to do to survive in today’s world is to step out of the so called good shoes and take care of ourselves before we get into helping others.
One’s first duty is oneself
Love yourself and respect yourself is something that everyone keeps insisting on, but we should realize that it is one of our primary duty to take good care of ourselves. Nothing wrong should happen to us. We should always stand by our necessities and requirements before heading off to favour the people around us. It is not a justifiable act to put others needs before ours and in turn suffer because of it. This is not an act of selfishness but of good sense. We are not denying helping anyone in spite of being able to in a comfortable way but we just place our comfort and happiness first.
Assertiveness trains you how to say “No” diplomatically, without offending anyone.
The core idea of assertiveness is to say no to things you don’t support in a firm yet polite manner. Saying ‘No’ becomes a very tough thing only because it usually comes across as harsh and sharp. We have to learn the art of saying ‘No’ to things diplomatically and in such a manner that the other person feels that you are genuine in saying no. The entire process of opposing other’s views become simple. We should always remember to maintain a calm yet firm tone when we say ‘No’ to others. Thus, they don’t feel offended by it. But they should know that they cannot negotiate further on that issue. Similarly we should openly express the reasons behind our difficulties in helping them out as there is a high possibility that they would understand and the entire process becomes smooth. We offend a person only when we say things bluntly and on a sharp note. If we could just put the same thing in a diplomatic, polite manner and with a friendly touch then things will fall in place automatically.
Generosity should not befool us
There is only a thin line drawn between favoring someone and being fooled by them. We should make sure that we are generous enough for people to be happy about and not go around laughing at us. This is the reason we should always priorities ourselves first and then help others. If we go on helping others without caring about our wellbeing, then we will always be ladder on which others climb on to become successful. We should be in a situation where, we have nothing to lose if we help others and this will lead us to be intelligently generous.
It is essential for us to remember that overloaded generosity may add up in our book of good deeds but it certainly is not the formula for success in today’s highly competitive world.
Thanks for reading.
Loved breeds happiness. And when you make others happy, you are loved. There is a close bond between love and happiness. How does listening help you in being loved and being happy? This is the subject of our discussion in this essay. The feeling that you are being loved brings you satisfaction. It enhances your self esteem and results in happiness. When others care for you, you feel important and when they listen to you, you feel significant and elated which adds to your happiness. Same is true when you listen to them.
Let’s deal with the subject by considering the following 3 questions:
What is good listening?
How does it help you to being loved?
How does it help you to be happy?
Question 1. What is good listening?
i)It requires you to put your agenda aside and totally devote to understanding and assimilating what is being said. You don’t listen to give a reply, but you just listen to understand. The moment you become keen to give a reply, your mind will start analyzing the speech from your own perspective. It will hinder your ‘objective’ understanding.
ii) Your attention should be fully in the present. There should be no thoughts about the past nor should you think about future.
iii) You need also to understand the body language of the speaker. And, this would include eye contact, posture, facial expression etc.
iv) Listening needs to be non-judgmental. You must not allow your likes and dislikes or personal prejudice to affect the meaning the speakers wants to project.
v) To be listened is so important for the people that many a times they will like to be heard rather than just granted the request what they requested.
vi) Active listening calls for you to listen about 80% of the time without interruption balance 20% of the time you may ask questions. This will indeed be an attribute of good listening.
vii) You need to make it known to the speaker that you are attentively listening. Thus, your nods with your head and words like ‘Yes’hmm ‘I see, I agree go long way to make be you an adept active listener.
viii) You will indeed enjoy your choice of active listening with the results that you will derive from the activity.
Question 2. How does active listening help you to being loved?
Now we can consider how listening actively makes others happy and make you in turn happy. They not only respect you but they love you if you actively listen to what they say.
The speaker feels that he/she are important when you carefully listen to them. They are reassured that you care for them. In turn they will care for you. The speaker thinks that they have some worthy ideas that is being expressed. And if you don’t listen to them with due attention, they will feel let down. But if on the other hand you not only listen but make it known that you have listened, the speaker will feel elated and happy and so will you be. Respect is always mutual, you have to earn respect. You have to make others happy to receive positive vibes making you happy in return.
Besides, better listening rids you of any bitter discussion. You understand that these are futile. Avoiding arguing, you also avoid bitterness which often is the result of trying to win an agreement. Active listening empowers you to hold your opinion without any offence. Because of your listening skills you are in a position to offer you opinion in a relevant manner. When your conversation with everyone becomes more meaningful, both of you enjoy it. Undoubtedly it brings happiness. Exchange of ideas in such a situation brings about a lot of learning on both sides. Continuous learning raises your self –esteem which in turn makes you satisfied with yourself and be contented.
In fact, even between the spouses the problem starts with one not listening to other. One feels ignored and the problem starts. Left unattended, it grows into unmanageable differences. If we are unhappy at home or at the work, place life is messed up. Children too turn rebellious because they feel that parents don’t try to understand them. In the fast changing world today maintaining good relations is more challenging than ever. Yet good relationship is emanating from better understanding which forms the foundation of respect and love.
So if you want to be loved by others listen to them and make them feel that they are loved. If you want to gain happiness distribute the same among others who will gladly reciprocate.
Question 3. How does Good Listening help you to be Happy?
Every living being has physiological needs and safety needs. Living being must have food to live and is keen to care for life. That part is survival story. No happiness is involved. But, after survival needs are fulfilled, psychological needs come to the fore for human beings.
As social entities, humans want to have a feeling of belonging. It’s an experience that they belong to a community, a family or a group gives them a feeling of satisfaction. If they are alone and uncared their psychological craving of togetherness disturbs them.
Good listening helps you to have cordial relations with your family and friends. When you listen to them they come closer to you, they experience that you are giving them importance. By listening you reassure them of their significance. Inwardly they feel obliged to you as you are fulfilling their psychological need of heart to heart communication.
As we discussed earlier ability to express your ideas give a great satisfaction. However, you approve of your ability only if the listeners pay attention, understand and when possible and needed, take action. Likewise when you are actively listening, the speaker feels comfortable and satisfied with his skill of expression. In turn the process fosters better relation and love for each other. This is particularly important among the family members and close friends. Besides, when you speak, you say what you already know. No doubt it satisfies your need for expression, but you don’t learn anything new. But listening gives you the opportunity to learn what you don’t know. Learning gives a great satisfaction and enhances your self esteem. When your self esteem is high you wish to do greater things. Self-esteem enables you to venture on the new turf, start new project. Maslow’s theory of happiness is recognized as the last word in respect of this great wishful emotion-happiness.
“There is a clear distinction between love and respect or esteem. The ability to feel self-esteem springs from being embraced by families and communities”. Further, you become more creative which again contributes to your confidence.
Good listening also helps you to mitigate your personal ego. Because when you are full of ego, you tend to behave as if you know all and therefore you shun listening, much less active listening.
Actualization makes you really happy. And what is actualization? Maslow defines actualization as “what a man can be, he must be. This need may be referred to the desire for self-fulfillment. So discovery of self, understanding the capabilities and then doing what it takes to actualize yourself will grant the best results. But this cannot take place unless you are a good listener. Further, survey reveals that you tend to perceive situations, people and their reality more accurately if you are good listeners.
With all the advantages described above there remains no doubt that listening and its resultant process will make you one, who understands the world and the people better. This understanding will make you happier, more than your expectations.
Thanks for reading.
- Have you written down your goals? And SMART goals?
- Do you keep in mind that striving for excellence and not looking for perfection makes you more successful?
- Do you realize that struggle and obstacles are the first steps of your story of success?
- Do you have a strong desire to succeed?
- Are you a person committed to your values and determined to win?
- Are you able to shoulder responsibility?
- Are you always prepared to do hard work?
- Do you remain composed in difficult time?
- Do you make it a point to learn from past mistakes?
- Do you always avoid resorting to excuses?
- Are you always courteous and polite without being subservient?
- Do you maintain your discipline?
- Do you believe in yourself and say ‘Yes, I can’
- Are you able to work without supervision or reminder from others?
- Are you persistent in your efforts and approach?
- Are you proud of your excellent performance, whenever it happens?
- Do you believe in continuous learning and have a mentor to help?
- Do you realize that for achieving high degree of success, you much stretch in your efforts?
We all want to be happy. Yet, many people in most countries are not happy. A survey of happiness quotient revealed people in these countries are leading stressful life. It is a worthy exercise, therefore, to examine where hides the problem. Which are the gateways of gloom in our lives? I have identified 7 major common causes, which I like to share. Besides, there could be personal reasons but often these common causes pose a major hurdle to happiness. These, 7, are:
- Inability to define the significance of life: It’s necessary to understand one. We have to be self-aware. We must have some goals which we should try to achieve. Understanding one’s duty is critical. Besides, it’s good to have one’s own dream. Unless there is a dream, there won’t be any effort to achieve it. The life’s significance lies in consistently reviewing these aspects. Once we do it, we find that life full of meaning and significance.
- Poor Health: In the competitive world of today, maintaining good health is not easy. Often there is imbalance between work and family life. In turn, it leads to an unwarranted stress. You start worrying. Unhealthy metal stability leads to poor physical health. There could be many other causes like improper food, lack of exercise, eating too much, or too little, inadequate sleep etc. The importance of maintaining good health by making necessary corrections in our habits should not be undermined.
- Negative Attitude: Clinging to the past failures or even happy moments lead to developing a negative attitude. At the same time worrying about the future, instead of planning and acting, contributes to further enhance this malady. Due to small difficulties or challenges, one starts feeling that he/she is not efficient, adding further to the negative attitude. Without doubt, negative attitude of anyone becomes the biggest gateway to gloom.
- Inability to take risks: If you don’t take even a calculated risk your success is hampered. As they say: no risk, no gains. This attitude also leads to cowardice. There is nothing to look forward to and life becomes mundane and dull. If you want to be happy, you have to be nimble and vibrant. Don’t hesitate to take calculated risks. Complacency should have no place in life.
- Comparison is Odious: Many a time one starts comparing one with others. Initially it may lead to envy. But later it becomes jealousy. Other negative emotions like suspicion and losing faith in God and Justice, reckoning oneself as a victim also creep in. Collectively, these become a cause of constant discontentment which in turn leads to unhappiness. It is necessary to keep these negative emotions out of one’s bound.
- Impatience: A man in a hurry (for that matter a woman) invariably feels that they are left behind. Impatience also leads to poor/bad decisions. The results become are annoying. Often times because of impatience we lose opportunities. Realization of the lost opportunity adds to the personal agony. Impatience is more of a habit which is difficult to change, but with consistent efforts, it can be changed. And it should be.
- Low self-esteem: If you don’t love yourself, nobody else will. It’s necessary to consider one as a worthy person capable of putting in desired efforts and bringing about good results. Self-esteem is necessary to generate initiative. This can only bring in creativity. This can only enable you to produce innovation- innovative product or service etc.
As said earlier there could be many other reasons for one’s unhappiness. I have detailed above as per my knowledge and experience. Life is a journey. The journey has to be enjoyed. If you feel that after reaching a destination you will be happy, you are following a mirage. It will never happen.
Thanks for reading.
Personality comprises understanding self, fixing one’s goals, physical and mental health and various other facets of the person as seen by himself/herself and as seen by others. Indeed, understanding personality is not easy. But it is extremely important. It is important for your success. More importantly it helps you to achieve happiness.
Each one of us must sit down and contemplate about life’s significance. It’s a kind of vision statement which one must clarify to himself/herself. The act of contemplation on significance will always help you to adopt and maintain a proper prospective.
Specifying Your Goals
By and large everyone has wishes. But these are not specific desires. Wishes become desire only when you specify your goals. Wishes do not allowed you to focus and take actions needed for achievements. These wishes often times remain wishes. Further unrealized wishes erode self esteem. It is imperative therefore to write down clearly on your goals. Goals would state the time frame goals should also clarify how you plan to achieve. Its only when you make a practical plan that you can pursue your goals.
Physical and Mental Health
First on the list of your goals should be good health. One can achieve physically good health by taking care of food, exercise and sleep. Human body is made to last for about 100 years. So we need to use all the faculties with discretion. We must not over use, under-use, but strike a good balance and keep on becoming more effective. Mental health is even more important. It refers to your thoughts, your behavior and your attitude towards others. It also refers to your attitude towards life.
Good Communication Skills are Critical
We all communicate right from the time we are able to speak. In fact babies start communicating immediately after birth. As we grow the social considerations keep on shaping our communication skills. Besides the influence of people around, parents, teachers, friends and others we meet also create an impact. We can develop and maintain good communication skills only with regular review of our ability regarding communications.
Application of Mind
Application of mind enables you to analyze any situation. It enables you to review your performance even in challenges. In fact, human sufferings imparts great life’s lessons One should be willing to learn these lessons. Knowledge acquired through reading books, attending training programs and interacting others play an important role. One should never be judgmental. However it’s necessary to apply mind and to form opinions about anything that concerns us. This process helps us to become more decisive to pursue our goals.
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Yesterday evening we (entire family) went to watch Cinderella. It’s a movie made 50 years ago. Yet we found it fresh and captivating. An oft repeated children fairy tale enthralled everyone, the little children as well as the senior citizens. Cinderella’s inherent kindness with courage to withstand adversity brought for her fortunes.
Kindness indeed is a virtue which however small in action never goes waste. It enhances self-esteem, but more importantly, kindness brings happiness. In our morning walkers’ club, often the subject of how to improve the morals in the society is discussed. Though India is known for its tolerance & kindness, yet today it is felt that citizens show scant respect for others.
Everyone complains about the conduct of our people. Undoubtedly with the uncanny behavior no one has anything to gain but a lot to lose.
Courage is another aspect of personality which helps you to have a positive attitude. Someone wrote, ‘life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. How true! A person who lacks courage can hardly live life. They just exist, like other living beings. Life comprises a series of events. Some are to our liking. Others are not so good and certain others very disturbing. The Bhagvad Gita teaches us that all such events good or bad have to be borne by each individual. If you have courage, you may face these without fear. But if you lack courage there could be some horrifying experiences even though the events remain the same.
One may belong to any religion, they usually pray before any dire encounter. Prayer has a certain power. In fact courage is not the absence of fear. Human beings when faced with an unexpected untoward situation are bound to face fear. When you decide to embark upon a challenging situation, you are fully aware of the danger involved. You may be struck with fear but you still go ahead. It only means that you have conquered that fear. Courage is not absence of fear. Courage is nothing but conquering the fear.
Great success can be achieved by someone who adds perseverance to courage and kindness. When you do that even the most difficult tasks can be completed with ease. In fact lives of all great men clearly illustrate that they had courage, were aware always kind, and they all persevered.
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In my last posting I had mention that as a 1st step we must identify enemies of our Happiness. These are broadly speaking of two types.
- Enemies of happiness residing within ourselves.
- Enemies outside. These could be people; this could be a tasks which you don’t like or environment.
In today’s posting I like to tell you about enemies of Happiness which are within are our own selves. I have listed eight. There could be more. Based on these 8 you can prepare your own list. Because Happiness is of prime importance to all of us, we must apply our mind deeply to correct the situation. Following is the list of enemies of Happiness residing in our own Body and Soul.
- Anger 5. Attachment
- Fear 6. Hesitation
- Jealousy 7. Procrastination
- Indecision 8. Greed
Today I will talk about 1st four i.e. Anger, Fear, Jealousy and Indecision.
My personal experience and those of my students who have shared with me reaffirm that these four enemies are big Happiness Spoilers in our lives. In order to have appropriate benefit of our discussion, I suggest that you may mentally go through the pages of the book of your life. Then identify which were the moments when these four villains have spoiled your happy moments.
I received a mail from one of my readers to shorten my blog. I ‘ll talk to you further on this tomorrow.
Thanks for reading.