This is the third blog in ‘The Happiness series’ in which ‘Love’ & ‘Passion’ were covered. Once the series is completed, perhaps we will have created a ‘Happiness Bracelet’ which each of us can own for a happier self & world around us
#3 ‘Simple Principle’
Pursuit of wealth to acquire greater material comfort, occupies our mind space disproportionately. We harbour an opinion- that greater the physical comfort, the more is our happiness. Unfortunately in my opinion this is incorrect, as creature comfort is a temporary feeling of fulfilment. Why is it so?………..Because a feeling of wellbeing lasts till we identify our next reason for dissatisfaction, despite having no cause for complaint, or till we tire of the comfort we have acquired. The cycle repeats itself and we again feel unhappy and so strive to be wealthier. The outcome of this is that we are continuously pre occupied with our attempts to acquire more material pleasure. Consequently we don’t pause in our routine stride to spend a few moments looking around us.
I had been no different and kept acquiring more expensive toys with growing affluence. Each car and gizmo was more expensive than the earlier to achieve happiness. Each time there was a feeling of accomplishment which lasted a few weeks or months. But one day, a few months back, I taking photographs in the back yard. While returning into the house, I saw the glass vase which was placed on the dining table. The sunlight through the window had lit up the vase full of flowers. It was a serene moment while nature was showcasing it’s splendour. It was not dramatic but I unexpectedly found myself appreciating a simple moment.
There is a larger world out there, where the overwhelming majority are barely existing. They grateful for whatever little they have been given. The only choice they have, is to take pleasure from little moments because the dollar does not go far. Deriving the maximum joy out of life around us or inexpensive pursuits can be termed as the ‘Simple Principle’.
Make time to search for the simple moments around us and you will begin to learn that the essence of life’s simplicity. Gradually your life will become uncomplicated and instead of physical comfort you will experience the pleasure of happiness.
However be cautioned that ‘Simplicity’ is a state of mind which enables you to see what is not obvious – and it takes time to train ourselves to understand the ‘Simple Principle’. Go ahead and practise before time runs out……..it nearly did for me at around 1130 hrs on 1st July 2011.
This is the second blog in ‘The Happiness series’ in which one aspect ‘Love’ was discussed. Once the series is completed, perhaps we will have created a ‘Happiness Bracelet’ which each of us can own for a happier self & world around us.
#2 – ‘PASSION’
The dictionary defines passion as ‘strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor’, and most of us are of the opinion that we have experienced passion sometime in our lives. Unfortunately we tend to confuse ‘infatuation’ or strong ‘interest’ in some object or activity which captures our imagination momentarily. We spend considerable time and effort on examining the object of interest to learn more about our affinity for it. Once our initial curiosity is satisfied or there is some obstacle in sustaining it, most of us move on with the routine of their lives. But in the recesses of our minds , there is a continuous subconscious search for a passion to give meaning to our life. The questions that then need to answered is – how to identify a passion which will make us a happy person?
Experimentation with some aspects within our being, which lie latent in our thoughts, is the first attempt at identifying our passion. Sometimes it is a short indulgence which needs to be sustained for a while before it becomes a fulfilling habit. In my case it was an accidental stimuli which motivated me to write. There was a story to be told which I was postponing for years because of the perceived effort. It meant coming out of the comfort zone to face disappointments like poor writing skills, lack of readership and the effort for making time. After 2 months of sustained effort and numerous ‘writer’s blocks’, I was able to complete the book in mid February 2015 (an extract is on my blog tiled ‘6 Bananas – stepping stones to success’). I was happy at this accomplishment especially after a large part of the book was enjoyed by few serious readers. Today I am going to start the second book . I have discovered writing is an enabler and has ignited a passion which makes me happy. I am able to express myself freely and hope that my books influence people positively.
So my advice to everyone who desires a meaningful life is this – search inside yourself and identify something which you always wanted to do or felt deeply about. Then set out to achieve it sincerely by focusing you efforts and mustering all resources you can. Don’t worry about the outcome and have the strength to withstand criticism because it ignites the passion even more. Passion could also be a service to the community like teaching (which I do) or helping the elders or anything else that makes a difference to someone’s life. It need not to be a Herculean task but those little things you do which brings a smile to the receivers.
Passion makes us focus ourself on the ‘giving’ aspect of our being – an infinitely pleasurable activity which makes you happy because it contributes to the society we live in and sometimes further beyond.
One of the few aspirations common to all mankind is the pursuit of happiness. Attempts have been made to define it but none has captured it completely, so neither will I try. However everyone agrees that happiness is a temporary state of mind. So let’s explore some aspects of our lives which makes us happy.
This is the first article in ‘The Happiness series’ in which one aspect ‘Love’ will discussed. Once the series is completed, perhaps we will have created a ‘Happiness Bracelet’ which each of us can own for a happier self & world around us.
#1 – ‘LOVE’
The strongest emotions we experience are Love and Hate, antithesis of each other and with equally powerful consequences when used as a means. The difference between them – the outcome.
Love is a positive emotion which makes us enables us to reach out to the other in gentle ways. It reinforces trust, belief and protection in the receiver. It inspires us to achieve more goodness and when it is spread by each of us, happier communities happen. The first experience of love an individual is the warm embrace of it’s mother. The feeling of selfless emotion which a mother shares with her child is rarely equaled later in the individual’s life. But as we grow older, we start to experience different expressions and intensities of love for different relationships in our lives. Unfortunately we tend mistaken temporary joyous emotions, caused by passing interest and common identity, as love.
The biggest happiness is when we are able to spread love without expecting a ‘love dividend’ ; or when we experience the selfless love of another. This can only be achieved when there is belief in personal goodness, despite the unending conflicts and differences in our societies. It is true that those who cannot love genuinely will never be able to experience love when receiving it.
#1 way to be truly happy is to love selflessly, wholeheartedly, tenderly and do a good deed each day.
(#2 way to be happy? – watch out for the next blog as we make the ‘Happiness Bracelet’)