In India, whenever you are blessed on any occasion, the elders and well wishers almost always say ‘Live happy’. The blessees say OK or nod their head and feel good but they fully don’t comprehend what it is to be happy. They are too occupied with the event on hand – marriage or their upcoming honeymoon and the joyousness of being married, whatever the event or the current occupation is that is keeping them elated. But rarely have I seen any material that prescribes what is needed to be happy. The message is out there, but a concise collection is something I haven’t come across. This is because the prescription is unique to each one of use, maybe. I have spent almost half my life to realize that I need to make a list of things that will keep me happy. By happiness I mean sheer joy of living – energy outpouring everyday in and out in whatever life brings on. This list is by no means universal but very specific to me. Here is what I think it is – this might change over time, but as of now it is the below. It doesn’t mean I have mastered all of it or accomplished all that it takes. I could be working on these or some of these till the very day I breathe my last, but it is good to know what it takes.
1. Take up a job or do work that keeps you happy. This is foremost. Whatever it is, your whole life should be augmenting this single goal of keeping you happy. You have to figure out what makes you happy in life – the earlier the better. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming someone – be it a star singer or a engineer or a doctor just because that profession has a lot of promise of money, fame, etc. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses, you should be able to decide what work will work for you. This takes a lot of maturity. Sometimes, one can easily recognize the god given talent they have innate in themselves and pursue that. But others aren’t so lucky.
2. Face every challenge that comes your way with a positive attitude; an attitude that you can overcome the challenge and resolve it. Overcome doubts by whatever means necessary – talking to others, reading, self-analysis, preparation, etc but don’t give to doubts or fears and let them not unnerve you.
3. Care for others. If you can’t emote with others, you have lost the battle for life right away. Caring, trusting, feeling, giving, respecting – all will make you stronger.
4. Don’t isolate yourself from others trying to stand out much like a competition requires. If you are good at what you do, then you will stand out naturally, but don’t try to be one-up on the other for the sake of winning the competition. Winners all know that everyone gave their hearts out to win and there are no losers.
5. Conquer your negative emotions – such as anger, hatred, lust, etc. I found if I got angry at even a simple thing, I would need to start afresh after compensating for it. If you can overcome a challenge without getting angry, you have gathered the energies to propel you forward. That tiny bit of anger will destroy all the positive energies coming your way.
6. Exercise moderation in everything – be it eating, sleeping, working, etc. In today’s life, it is hard not to overwork, not to overeat, not to over entertain, etc. Knowing when to say enough is enough keeps your mind and body healthy.
7. Keep learning – once you stop learning or let go of your attitude that you can learn, ego takes over and destroys you without you knowing it very soon.