So much is written and spoken about happiness these days but it seems a lot of it adds to over all confusion rather then clarity on the subject. Another problem here is the most simplistic version of happiness also have undertone to sell something like yoga or book or life style or acquiring virtual user base (hmm I am founder of one such site – laywi.com)
But still I would try to put my thoughts on the subject, rather I would try to share my on going learning around the subject.
So what is happiness to me
Living a life which I think I desire – easier said then done in today’s word – when we are getting bombarded with messages, opinions all the time from all directions like TV shows, blogs (like this), celebrity shows, New paper articles, social media, books and so forth.
But my desire of happy life have to be sensible and constitute the following –
1. Socially (relationships) well engaged in a society one lives as that’s one of the innate need we cannot replace or ignore to be happy.
2. Security (financial aspect), absence of security causes of a lot of grief in life, of course one should know when security cross over to luxury. Here we are just referring to basic needs! Luxury could be another goal but not basic need to be happy.
3.Well-being (I love the WHO definition of well-being, it is “Well-being is a state of complete physical, mental and social well–being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.“) and
4. Personal achievements (recognition in one’s social circle) – feeling of pride and sense of achievement.
Reason I consider these 4 points essential is due to the reason we now know that 50% (roughly speaking based on various genetics and neuroscience study) of our happiness is dependent on our genes or inherited from our forefathers. But rest 50% we can change, of course it takes efforts and these efforts make our life worth living – Purpose for one’s life.
Whats the problem
Happiness is not merely absence of misery or problem in one’s life but actually pursuits of goals which are directly related to happiness and contentment. For my decades qualified people like psychiatrist believed that if we remove misery from people’s life then they would be happy but result was just zero – people didn’t have misery in life but still no happiness – reason absence of problem or unhappy moment does not make one happy – it just empty feeling and people soon slipped back to misery. So Misery and happiness aren’t extreme end of same system but two separate system. We all have seen a severely disabled person or a poor person in life but still happy – that because they pursue happiness even in presence of misery or problems.
Another point here is people living in western society are generally more happier then they realise – we regularly try to measure our happiness from different criteria everyday that make us less happy, less in control and take away sense of well-being! We need to have a definition of happiness and well-being which is consistent between years and does change every day or week though it should change with decades as we mature (happiness for young person is different than for middle aged person to old person).
So don’t wait for problem to get over, start today on your goals which bring happiness.
What’s the solution
As it goes “Its simple to be happy but difficult to be simple”. Simple itself has so many meaning in society today – like shunning materialistic life fair to certain extend but if everyone goes for non-materialistic approach, worlds progress would come to stand still. Remembering money or material is not a problem but greed for money is. Honestly speaking a lot scientist have made more difference to life then religious institution or Bill Gates (not with Microsoft but with his philanthropic endeavors) makes more difference to world then monks.
To some people “simple” means, shortest path or easiest approach, laziest option or effortless course of action.
“Simple” does not mean any of above but simple is, something which is easy to understand but not necessarily easy to implement. Human desire to fly was simple but execution was complex (invention of Airplane).
1. Define your life (would take time to arrive where you stand today)
2. Examine your current standing – Evaluate 4 important areas of life (as above)
3. Write you vision (Where you want to be in 10 years time)
4. Make a plan to bridge your today and tomorrow (vision) … for happiness lies in expecting and achieving, on progress, in journey to your desired destination but not in possessing something or shunning something. Happiness is a state of being which is congruous to society we live in but still leaving our own definition of life and happiness.
If you need something from somebody always give that person a way to hand it to you. ― Sue Monk Kidd
People usually ascribe identity to people by the way they make them feel. If someone helps you out, you attribute it to them being a good people, if a person is always late to a meeting, you tag them lazy, irresponsible and not considerate of others feelings. More often than not people usually project their personal preferences on to the outside and hence make assumption about its working. This is what is precisely called perception. Different people with from different backgrounds perceive situations differently. Compatibility between two people can be defined as the level of empathy and tolerance we have with the person in question!
Although not all of us can be the closest of pals, but we can develop a sense for tolerance and empathy for the others who differ from us in their thinking or otherwise and a step further would be to be able to learn from them and their experiences. To be able to understand how another person perceives their world can help us grow tremendously. It can enable us to challenge our existing views and test their validity at a point in time. Some people would call this keeping an open mind.
Relationship are as much hard work as our careers or acquiring an education, sometimes a little more challenging because the parameters of success for different relationships are unknown, so one doesn’t know where the work ends. Truth be told the work on relationships never end, but what does happen is that a sort of trust is developed and you learn to be patient with results of your hard work and develop faith in each other. This is precise when the relationship actually becomes a meaningful relationship.
These meaningful relationships become an extension of us outside of us, and we change as people forever. But how does one develop a meaningful relationship? It is not an easy question to answer. Wise sages would tell you be to be patient and forgiving, both qualities mean to be selfless . The more you try to understand the perspective of the other person, the more you understand their motive of being the way they are. Understanding is knowledge and knowledge is empowerment.
Most of us deal with 4 main types of relationships in our lives, Family, Professional, Community and Friends. Although essentially they are all the same, the approaches to managing them is different. Because all of them yield different results for us. Professional relationship satisfy our need for recognition, Family our emotional needs , Community our identity needs and Friends are our support system outside of them all.
It is important to learn to deal with all them and create a balance so we live wholesome fulfilling lives the way we want.
http://www.laywi.com, is a website catering to all your relationship needs. The follow up blog to this one, will be talking about how you can use this multipurpose website to manage all your relationship and manage them as you want them.
Consider the whole world as an organism and us as bits and pieces of that organism, how we function we each other determines the health of the world.
Next read , manage familial relationship on http://www.laywi.com.