How to realize your Ultimate Dream? Happiness!

Happiness is your own individual decision

Total freedom to your pursuit of Happiness

Age no bar for Pursuit of Happiness

Everyone in his/her life pursues various objectives and goals with the ultimate objective of achieving happiness. ‘Pursuit of the happiness’, these words initially used by US president Jeffereson Devis. Subsequently they were made popular by Martin Luther king in his famous speech ‘I have a dream’. No doubt, everyone has a right to pursue happiness in whichever way the person likes. However, very often we are so much involved in daily routine that we are carried away by the string of events. In the process, we lose focus on what we are trying to achieve. It will be a good exercise for each one of us to reflect on  these words and work out and define what is how you plan to pursue your happiness.
Firstly, we must understand that happiness is not just momentary pleasures of life. I do not say that pleasures of life should not be there. But that these should be only a part of our larger plan, which should addresses some or all of the related features of happiness. The following aspects are of immense importance in an individual’s life.
Your attitude to life. One must have a positive attitude. Life is full of ups and downs. There could be challenges, successes and failures. Positive attitude means just to accept these as a part of life. You become a witness or an observer of what is going.  At the same time, use your discretion to take decisions. It’s only then that we understand that we can remain composed and maintain our poise in turbulent times. In fact, it is necessary to maintain our poise even in the happiest time. None of the two situations last forever. Like every night is followed by the day. Every day is followed by night. But in life it may not be in the same order and the durations may also vastly differ.

Importance persistent efforts towards achieving your Goals for Happiness: In order that you pursue happiness, you must define your goals: in all of the following aspects. When we are working towards achievement of our Goals, we feel satisfaction for the efforts made. Besides, persistent efforts are bound to produce desired results. This process of efforts, and achieving encouraging results of our Goals make us happy, Continue doing this and be happy. Happiness is a journey not a destination.

  1. Health goals. Good mental and physical health is extremely important if you want to lead a happy life. Doing what is necessary to keep good health is everyone’s duty. Regular exercise, following proper food routine and maintaining positive attitude can ensure that you are moving towards your health goals from day to day. Yet, it is a continuous process to pursue throughout the life.
  2. Career/ financial goals. If you are successful in your career it expected that you will also do your financial and remain comfortable but you have to fine tune of your objectives and follow the plan as devised.
  3. Your family is undoubtedly equally important and should feature in your pursuit of happiness, according to our own Indian tradition. The importance of finance and family are critical in your pursuit.
  4. Then comes  your social goals. What do you want to contribute to the society and what you actually do, determines how successful you are in following social goals. Here again,  you need to define and then follow your plan of action. The amount of success you achieve in your social goals will add up in your happiness. It will also determine how the society perceives and respects you. In other words, it means your reputation is reflected by what and how you contribute to the society.
  5. For leading a fuller, complete life you must pursue some hobbies. At least one. It could be music. It could be painting .It could be some sport. It could also be travelling, writing etc. But the important thing is that you have atlaest one hobby on which you able to spend some time. It must not only for name sake.
  6. Last but not the least your spiritual goals are also important. We all know that no one has to stay here forever. Sooner or later we must depart. We don’t know where. This uncertainty needs your spiritual pursuit. Whichever religion you may follow, you must define your spiritual goals. These will eventually define how you are remembered after your departure.

In the end I would like to say that understanding life is so important that its significance must never be undermined. Ups and downs are inextricably intertwined in our day to day life. Acceptance scores our expectations is something we must all remember in our pursuit for happiness.

 
Thank you for your reading.

Listen to being Loved and be Happy

young-girl-whispers-to-mother
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.