Mahadeep Singh Jamwal
The Bhagavad Gita, one of the most ancient religious scriptures of the world is the most comprehensive scripture on happiness. It summarises and classifies three types of happiness and most important among the three are 1. Pure happiness: One that arises from the spiritual intelligence of embodied-self. 2. Result-oriented happiness: One that arises from senses and sense-objects and depends on results and external entities. We can deduce from Bhagavad Gita that happiness is the state of being independent of the need for pleasure. Such a human is neither perturbed by sorrow nor goes bonkers after happiness. Happiness according to the book ‘The Art of Happiness – Dalai Lama’ written by Dr. Cutler, based on interviews conducted with the Dalai Lama, happiness is more the result of the mind rather than events, external conditions, and circumstances.
Away from this faith book, I have tried to decode happiness by analyzing various aspects on the subject. Sometimes society becomes accustomed to the Laws of nature and pressures of the society and forgets about the most needed aspect of life: Happiness. When we decode happiness, a universal human quest, to arrive at it, we find, it is possible through intentional habit changes. Gratitude significantly increases our happiness. What only these are not enough to achieve happiness, we have to traverse other inter-linked aspects such as passion and success. To have a close understanding of what the passion is, my snoop into dictionaries wrapped up on pages of Urban Dictionary defining passion as ‘when we pour more energy into something than is required to do it’. What is important for us is to understand – we fail to achieve happiness if we lack passion for achieving it. Passion is the driving force behind success and happiness that allows us all to live better lives. The other factor contributing a lot towards ‘To Be Happy’ is the success. Passion takes us to the next ladder to achieve success. As per Tommy Hilfiger, “The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it is possible to achieve the dream”. According to Joyce brothers, “A strong positive self-image is the best preparation for success”. As per Ralph Waldo Emerson “enthusiasm is one of the most powerful – of success”. The thing is, if we are truly passionate about the work we do, there is probably a better chance that success will follow. What motivates us to be successful? Have relationships and to go to work, to take up hobbies, to spend time with friends or go on holiday? How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness, is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do. Once Ex-President of America Donald Trump remarked, “Without passion you did not have energy, without energy you have nothing”. According to Martin Seligman, author of book ‘Authentic Happiness’, happiness is not due to ‘having the right genes’ or ‘being lucky’. Enduring happiness (i.e. ‘authentic happiness’) is the result of paying attention to one’s personal strengths rather than focusing on perceived weaknesses?
Happiness turns out to be, along with love, peace and wholeness our deepest longing. Research shows that purpose and meaning in life are associated with the highest levels of happiness. Happiness means to feel good, it is good for our health, our relationships, our work and our society. Happiness provides us with the fuel to thrive and flourish as human beings. Generally, when someone says he is happy, it means he is satisfied with his life and is experiencing a pre-ponderous of pleasant emotions, such as contentment, pleasure, joy, enthusiasm and delight. Happiness is very much connected to what is going on in our life. If our relationships are going well, we have money in our wallet, our health is good and we are successful at what we do, we will experience happiness. In true sense, this happiness is derived from outside worldly conjectures which comes and goes and is dependent on certain things happening. According to the book, ‘The Happiness Trap’ written by Dr. Russ Harris, by making one’s values clear and practicing being mindful (in other words, focus on living fully in the present moment), one can leave the happiness trap behind and discover meaning and satisfaction in their lives. True happiness is independent of our life situation. Experiencing happiness simply is a case of changing our thoughts and practising gratitude, being kind and living mindfully. They are all important and have a part to play, but alone they simply are not enough to experience true happiness. For true happiness we need to fundamentally change our way of being in the world and change the way we live our life. We need to know why happiness is so important to us. Why are we so hung up on being happy? We can say happiness: Is good for our health. Happy people have stronger immune systems and have longer lifespan, than depressed and unhappy people. It is beneficial to our relationships. We feel more contentment and tend to share blessings with others. It helps us to handle stress better, helps us to recover from trauma faster. Happy people are more creative and energised and this attitude translates to their work performance. According to Lyubomirsky, Ph.D. a professor of Psychology at the University of California, the 12 ‘Hows’ to being happy are: 1. Expressing gratitude 2 Cultivating optimism 3. Avoiding over-thinking and social 4 Practicing acts of kindness 5 Nurturing social relationships 6 Developing strategies for coping comparison 7 Forgiving 8 Increasing flow experiences 9 Savoring life’s joys 10 Committing to your goals 11 Practicing religion and spirituality 12 Taking care of your body.
According to Lyubomirsky, by following these twelve strategies, we can find happiness. The study suggests that to achieve long term happiness, we need to see ourselves as a person who is making a difference in his life and improving the well-being of others, someone who
If we focus on these areas de-coded for happiness, we have a greater chance of achieving happiness. The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything by Neil Pasricha.
Mahadeep Singh Jamwal