7 Essentials of a Happy Life

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Who doesn’t want to be happy in life? Happiness is the most pursued goal in anybody’s life. But where to look for it, and what to do? We have many examples of people around us who might be very wealthy or with celebrity status but still aren’t happy. Because happiness is not in some material possessions, financial position or even your status in society. Wisdom is knowing that happiness is already inside us, we just have to look deep within us and make a choice to remain happy. Take some time out of your seemingly busy life and think what makes you happy.

Looking at the scope of this writing only some of the essentials of happy life could be summarized here.

1. Passion – Do what you Love

Passion is the intense emotion which gives you the fuel, the energy to perform with great enthusiasm what you’ve always wanted to do, to live the life you are born to live. You can never be happy unless whatever you do, you do with passion. It covers all dimensions of one’s life whether they are concerning relations, intellect or occupation. When you have passion, life moves to an entirely different level of fulfillment and satisfaction. Passion allows one to weather the storms of life no matter how hard they are.

As Maya Angelou said “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.”

2. Love and Gratitude

Love is a strong feeling of affection, a great interest and pleasure in something. Most people seek its expression in romantic relationships but there are many kinds of love. Love may be kinship or feeling of familiarity, friendship, romantic or divine Love. Love is unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of others. If there is only one great happiness in life, it is to love and be loved.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” – Dalai lama

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3. Courage – Face the Challenges

Courage is strength in the face of pain and the ability to do something that frightens others. It is to act in accordance with one’s beliefs, in spite of criticism. Courage is a choice, a decision to pursue one’s dreams and make them come true. In life one will face defeats, challenges and difficult times, and only courage to face all these will take one across these. If true happiness comes from fulfillment of heart’s desires then one will require to develop a lot of courage because life will keep on throwing hurdles your way and you need to keep emerging a winner, and if you fail, remember what Robert G. Ingersoll said “The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.”

4. Spirituality – Know Yourself

Spirituality is the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material things. Spirituality is search for the meaning of life and the ways to connect with something bigger than ourselves. Sometimes people confuse spirituality with religion, which it is not. Religion is attached to practices whereas spirituality is looking inside oneself. Studies have found that people who prioritize spiritual, altruistic or family goals over material successes are a lot happier. True happiness comes to one who realizes that we are all one at some level. Spirituality tells us what we can or cannot control, it allows people to learn to experience gratitude. A spiritual mind is never disturbed under any circumstances, and remain equipoise d in Happiness and Distress. Therefore he is always calm, quiet and patient. Spirituality teaches one that he is beyond this material body and is thus freed from the conception of false ego.

5. Be a Giver, not a Taker

There is a Chinese saying that goes: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” Yet today most of us are busy struggling to find happiness in gathering up achievements, spending money and running after the physical goods. When we help someone we develop a relation with them and have a sense of fulfillment, and helping does not means to help in money matters only but all gestures, may be small like helping someone in chores or to stand with them at times of difficulty. Giving gives you purpose and a purpose driven life makes one happy. Helping others will only serve to open your world in so many ways  you can not even imagine and make you a lot more happy.

As Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”

6. Optimism – Think Positive

Optimism is hopefulness and confidence about the future or the success of something. Optimism is the attitude of positive thinking and belief that you only are responsible for your happiness. The quality to see good in everything and trust that more good things are going to happen in future though you may not see them right now. Hope is the single biggest emotion that keeps us marching ahead. Optimism takes no account of present and depends on how one can visualize her/his future and enables them to hold their head high during difficult moments. When life hits you hard, Optimism only can lift you up by feeding your brain that the circumstances are temporary, local and changeable. If you approach life with a sense of hope and optimism, you are more likely to have great possibilities realized and positive results.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller

7. Grow – Find your Purpose

Continuous growth and lifelong learning are what separate people who sustain their effectiveness from those who do not. Develop your insights about yourself and your areas of growth. Progress and growth keep people satisfied and hopeful for life and make them happy. In difficult times too one needs to embrace pain and struggle because with these come growth and happiness.

In William Butler Yeats’ words, “Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth, we are happy when we are growing.”

Every aspect of human life is governed by a number of emotions and feelings, but happiness is a prime feeling  which makes one’s life worth living. It is a choice that comes from within, and we ourselves are responsible for it. No one or nothing, however precious in the material world can make us feel happy about ourselves.

Everybody exists, but only few live. Let’s be the few!

7 Dangers to Human Virtue

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Seven Social Sins or Dangers to human Virtue is a list that was first published by Mahatma Gandhi in his weekly newspaper Young India on October 22, 1925. Later he gave the same list to his grandson Arun Gandhi written on a piece of paper on their final day together shortly before his assassination. Gandhi also wrote that he does not want readers to know these things merely through the intellect  but to know them through the heart so as to avoid them. The seven sins are:

1. Wealth without work

To some it may look like ultimate success but actually it is one of the most deadly sins. This may include gambling, stock market playing, manipulating people or markets. There are many networking marketing systems that involve making a pyramidal structure under one and getting big amounts in commissions as others work. These may sound great financial strategies but most often the underlying emotion is greed. That’s why such people are never satisfied and remain trapped in the viscous cycle of materialistic pleasures. When the basic requirement of working to earn your bread is not there, what will one do with his or her free time. Everybody knows that an empty mind is the devil’s workshop. Soon the person will be engulfed in other sinful activities.

2. Pleasure without conscience

I ….. me ……. myself …… This seems to be the guiding policy for some. They neglect their families just to enjoy themselves. Naturally the more we acquire, the more we desire and complicate our life with more anxiety, insecurity and irritations. Food for thought here is whether independence is so desirable. Isn’t it true that we are social beings and to remain interdependent and having social responsibility is our biggest asset? Satisfaction is not in possessing but in sharing and being sensitive and considerate.

3. Knowledge without character

Character is the Crown and Glory of life. Knowledge is important but Character is even more so. Knowledge without a strong character is dangerous. Don’t we have many examples of people in history who were very knowledgeable but because of their character they were never revered. Take the example of Ravana in Hindu mythology; he was very knowledgeable but because of his ego and false pride, ultimate misery was brought to his people. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Our scientific power has run out our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” We have reached moon but are so far away from our own families. How many of us know that Mahatma Gandhi though he himself was a barrister didn’t sent his children to English school rather emphasized that they remain with him in ashram and at that school of experience learn the simplicity and the spirit of service.

4. Business without ethics

Contrary to what some may think, a business which is not deeply attached to it’s values does not succeed. Steven Covey in his book, ‘Seven habits of highly effective people’ emphasized on the habit of win-win. This golden rule of win-win is a spirit of morality, fairness, trust and mutual benefits. Wealth and power may be a big agenda for few but this must be understood that all businesses are ultimately based on moral foundations. Some businesses may short-change their customers or other business associates, and with this lack of business ethics endanger the future of the company.

5. Science without humanity

When science is used to discover more and more destructive weapons that even threaten to wipe out the whole mankind, it is a prime example of science without humanity. Science was developed to assist the humans and today just look around you, aren’t we all becoming slaves of technology? We must act and live as human beings and not as animals. We must act with moral compass, without greed, anger or vengeance. We have allowed the science to control our bodies. Medical science today is a boon but only at the hand of a well meaning doctor, a doctor who is greedy may misuse his scientific knowledge in advising you something which you may not even require at the first place. We need to remember that science itself has no humanity, it is an automated process and will work equally for a soldier or a terrorist, a Roosevelt or a Hitler.

6. Religion without sacrifice

Worship means reverence and respect paid to God. Worship therefore means loving and serving all creatures. Worship includes sacrifice at its very core which means selfless service to mankind. As an old saying goes ,“One person’s faith is another person’s fantasy.” We see so many examples of people fighting in the name of religion, whereas true religion is based on spirituality, love, compassion and understanding. True worship demands sacrifice that how we translate our beliefs into practice and our life styles. As Mahatma Gandhi once, on being asked about Christianity replied, “From what I have read it is an admirable religion, however I do not see any white people practicing it.”

7. Politics without principle

Regarding politics without principle Mahatma Gandhi said having politics without truth to justify, dictate the action creates chaos, which ultimately leads to violence. The healthy society will have a social will, a value system which is aligned with correct principles. But if you get a corrupt thinking politics without principles you get a sick society with distorted values. Politics is not meant for the fulfillment of the selfish aims and greed, but its sole purpose is selfless service. We must understand that we do not remain on earth forever and whatever we have with us is given only for short duration.We are supposed to make the best use of it for humanity. Through politics, huge changes could be brought about in the world.

Being a person of character and virtue is not easy, but ultimately being a good human being benefits everyone. The above list represents seven ways of living that is as relevant today as it was in 1925, if not more.

“As Human beings our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.”Mahatma Gandhi

Happiness and Distress

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One should be equal in both happiness and distress, always remain tolerant, satisfied, self-controlled and engaged in purpose beyond self with determination having mind and intelligence fixed on almighty. A conscious and motivated person is never disturbed in any circumstances.  He should neither feel envy, nor animosity towards anyone. He should be calm, quite and patient despite the distressful conditions.He should be full of joy and with control on his senses focus on the blessings he has received. Remember of all the emotions in our life the biggest and the most powerful emotion is the emotion of GRATITUDE.

STAY THANKFUL …………. STAY BLESSED ………….. STAY MOTIVATED