H for Happiness


                                                                      By Ashutosh Karnatak

The key of happiness is accepting an unpleasant reality every day
                                                                                      - Bertrand Russell

What is the real meaning of life – everybody will have its own meaning, but in the meantime everybody will agree to the fact is that bottom-line is “Happiness” .It is neither riches nor bungalows nor vehicles nor power .It is something else – which cannot be purchase but only realized.

In today’s context, when man is striving to meet the ends and being grinded continuously between the situations, some moment of happiness also have their genuine right in the life of the individual. As such, no law of the earth denies the right of happiness, but the man himself does not allow it to enter into the life. What a paradox …

Before going further, it is essential to establish some facts about happiness:

  • It is said that the happiness is the state of mind and it is a variable of individual mental setup.
  • A particular event may bring happiness to one but it may be different to other. Thus happiness is not a circumstance based phenomenon rather it’s a variable of individual.
  • Happiness leads a tension free life with less resistance .A happy man takes all the problems, obstacles, and hindrances as a milestone to achieve and tries hard to get over it and derives happiness in all the steps while overcoming it.
  • Happiness can not be purchased; it is a matter of realization.
  • Man himself is responsible for its state – nobody else

"Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you have got to make yourself."
                                                                                – Alice Walker, Author

Sources of Happiness: It is worth to see that the sources of happiness and how we translate each of the parameters into the reality and derives happiness out of it. By and large all the working people have following sources which attributes to happiness and unhappiness of individual:

  1. Profession
  2. Married life
  3. Children
  4. Finance
  5. Eternal
  6. Others

It has been experienced that despite of possessing most of the above ,one remains unhappy and always found grumbling .In the words of Veenhoven ,a researcher in this field for 25 years concluded that happiness is ,” How much you like the life you are living. People live in paradise and still are unhappy because they screw up everything in their lives.”

What Researchers say?

  1. Impact of Genes : In 1996 David Lykens of University of Minnesota published paper looking at roles of genes in determining one’s sense of satisfaction in life and gathered information on 4000 sets of twins.After comparing happiness data, came to conclusion that about 50% of ones satisfaction with life comes from genetic programming.(Genes influence such traits a shaving a sunny, easygoing personality, dealing well with stress and feeling low levels of anxiety and depression). Further he found that circumstantial factors like income ,marital status ,religion and education contributes only 8% to one’s overall well being.He attributes the remaining percentage to life’s slings and arrows .
  2. Result of Study : On study of worldwide population has revealed that :
  • Despite of being poor Latin Americans are happier because they look on many sunny side of life.
  • Shinbou Kitayama of University of Michigan, who does research on the connection between culture and well being found out that “White Americans see happiness as a goal. Self-esteem is very important to them .But Asians, from the beginning of life are trained to focus on the negative aspects of themselves.”
  • As per World Happiness Database compiled by researchers at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University, in the developing country Colombia is the most of the souls are happy, in the developed nation Switzerland, Norway and Netherlands have scored highest.

The above study clearly indicates that riches are not essential to have Happiness. It is a matter of approach how you consider any event.

Measure your Happiness : How happy are you? Based on the following, the Satisfaction with life scale was devised in 1980 by University of Illinois psychologist Edward Diener, a founding father of happiness research. Since then the scale (1) has been used by researcher around the world.

Read the following five statements. Then use a 1 to 7 scale to rate you level of agreement.

 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

       Not all True                Moderately True                            Absolutely True

  1. In most ways, my life is close to my ideal.
  2. The conditions of my life are excellent.
  3. I am satisfied with my life.
  4. So far, I have gotten the important things I want in life.
  5. If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing.

Total Score : _________________

Scoring:

  • 31-35 : You are extremely satisfied with your life.
  • 26-30 : Very satisfied.
  • 21-25 : Slightly satisfied.
  • 20       : Neutral point.
  • 15-20 : Slightly dissatisfied.
  • 10-14 : Dissatisfied
  • 5-9     : Extremely dissatisfied.

With the above background, one shall be able to identify state of happiness .From here further journey starts which shall take you to various transit camps, shall have capability to generate gradually a sense of happiness within you .It would be like mixing of happiness hormone within self and one would always like to be at that state of mind. In case due to any reason your mind deviates from the base level, it would try to come to that level at the earliest.

How to have Happiness : Panacea to get happiness is neither through some machine nor through some tablet. The only way is to know self and change in perception of different situations in life.Still some of ways are as under:

1) Know yourself Identify things which makes you elated or area of interest : It is essential to understand that our total life is centered on us; we and only we are controller of our life. Whatever is required to be done, it is with us – with our body and mind .So the requirement is to know ourselves:

  • Identify points which make us happy and unhappy:Is it money, position, power or something else.
  • Note it down in a diary.
  • Try to spend more time on the points, which make you happy.

2) Have One level up : It’s a conceptual aspect. Readers may react to it after giving a thought to it. 
      
                            Elated, Happy, Hopeful, Optimistic 
                            ++++++++++++++++++++++++

                           ___________________________ (Zero Level)

                           -------------------------------------------
                                   Depression, Unhappiness

Generally in this competitive life we remain 80% of time below zero level. Try to pull out yourself in the upper region. It really requires efforts – there is no doubt about it, but it is not very difficult also. Only one phenomenon can change our life that is “change thinking pattern. Our thinking process is our enemy. Because we can not think other than what our mind allows us to do so. Try to find a concept in this and always pull yourself from negativity to positive zone.

3) Help Others : It is a well-established fact that helping others fetches you happiness. Help others as much as you can. By doing so when even you are not unhappiness zone. The feel of helping others contributes in taking you out from that zone. In remembering, the event makes one happy. Help can be of any form financial, physical or from sweet words. The last option is very easy – at least speak sweet with others.

4) Take blessings : Researchers found out that paying gratitude is a tool of happiness. Better note down the things for which you are thankful and express them. Unhappiness is generally because of ego and on the contrary, when you take blessing of others its makes you more confident and happy. Try it ….

5) Be Optimistic : Optimism is basic tool of happiness. Always see the half glass of water as Half filled not half-empty. Always look for brighter side of the issue in any problem. Every problem has its solution inside it, but human being gets ruffled immediately. Be optimistic for the solution. So –no worry and happiness shall pervade everywhere.

6) Be you own CFO (Chief Happiness Officer) : We have happiness but we don’t want to remain happy. We allow circumstances to cast over and make us unhappy. It is also very clear that life is full of problems, which hover in life one by one. It is solely on the individual to allow overcastting of circumstances on sate of happiness .You are your own CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) – You have to decide how to derive and maintain happiness in mind.

7) Have different weigtage: Overall happiness index is a measure of happiness of an individual, which one extracts from the different sources. The weigtage of parameters is different for each individual i.e. can have 20% weight age for profession , whereas other can put 50% to it , thus in case of any setback in this parameter the loss of happiness relatively will be more for the person putting more weigtage .

Thus one can have weight differently for different parameters and it is variable of time and mental state. In this competitive life the weigtage given by the individual on profession is much more than others, thus any setback on this account causes dejection, frustration, depressions etc. It has direct impact on other areas particularly on family and a vicious circle is formed. It is pertinent for a human being to derive happiness from other sources, in such conditions and endeavor should be to have balance among all area of operations.

Readers are requested to understand the concept part of these lines. One should strive for happiness as happy as he can, understanding that no one can be perfectly happy. Generally, people deprives themselves from happiness either by remembering their pat or thinking about the future .What disturbs people’s mind are not events but their judgment on event. So a caution is required on framing the attitude and condition of mind and a constant vigil us required, which can be achieved by doing deliberate practice and one can be happy in all the moments of life.

Let us try to be happy and disseminate happiness among masses.

  1. : TIME Magazine ,Feb. 2005 : The new Sciences of Happiness

                              Future Forecast: August 2007 
                             (From 16 August -15 September)


Aries:
Self: Association with bad characters needs to be avoided; Take care of your temperament; Hectic schedule at work shall be detrimental for health.
Life Partner: Health of the life partner shall be cause of concern.
Children: Moderate position will prevail because of children.
Finance: Unnecessary expenditures need to be avoided.Loss of money is indicated.

Taurus:
Self:
Eye related problems are bound to occur; Take control of your temperament; May be instigated to do unlawful work; New works to be postponed.
Life Partner: Bad news may come from that front; Health needs to be taken car of .
Children: Moderate condition will prevail.
Finance: Loss of money is indicated. Avoid unnecessary expenditures.

Gemini:
Self: Prestige will enhance in society; Professional gains are indicated; courageous deeds will be done.
Life Partner: Harmony will prevail at home front.
Children: This area needs your attention.
Finance: Inflow of money from different sources.

Cancer:
Self:
Health related issues are required to be encountered; Some unpleasant event may breed tension.
Life Partner: Health of life partner needs attention.
Children: Advise them to do concentrated efforts for excellence.
Finance: Loss of money is indicated .Take care of your spending.

Leo:
Self: Take care of your temperament; Have control on your impulses; Journeys are required to be undertaken; accidents are also indicated.
Life Partner: Moderate position is indicated at home front.
Children: Normal position is indicated; however, attention is required from parent side.
Finance: Proper analysis is required to be done.

Virgo:
Self:
New birth is indicted at home front .Enhance of prestige in the society; Health will be Ok.
Life Partner: Their assistance will help in your productivity.
Children: Normal growth is indicated .Take care of their needs.
Finance: Inflow of money is indicate from own resources.

Libra :
Self:
Acceleration is professional activities;Health related issues may emerge on account of stomach.
Life Partner: Difference of opinion may emerge on financial issues.
Children: Positive news will flow from family front.
Finance: Moderate position will prevail; Think before spending.

Scorpio :
Self:
Avoid unnecessary indulgence with opposite sex; Better keep distance. Health related issues might emerge; Long journeys are also indicated.
Life Partner: Moderate relationship is indicated.
Children: Normal position is indicated; However, results will be encouraging.
Finance: Moderate position is indicated.

Sagittarius:
Self:
Social works will be helpful to enhance your prestige; Opposition will face a blow. Health of mother will be a cause of concern.
Life Partner: Moderate relationship is indicated .Try to have better understanding.
Children: They need to concentrate more on their vocations.
Finance: Acquisition of property is indicated.

Capricorn:
Self:
Some bad news may flow from kith or kin; health of mother will be cause of concern. Take care while doing journeys.
Life Partner: Support from life partner is indicated but take care of their mood.
Children: Needs more attention from your side.
Finance: Moderate position will prevail.

Aquarius:
Self:
Opposition from close associates will be faced; Avoid unnecessary arguments.
Life Partner: Try to take them into your fold.You need their help at this moment.
Children: Bad news is indicated from this front.
Finance: Take care of financial position.

Pisces :
Self:
Pending works would be completed; Sickness will be to younger brother/sister; opposition will be defeated.
Life Partner: Assistance from life partner will be helpful.
Children: Progress is indicated in this field; Long awaited desire shall be fulfilled.
Finance: Enhancement in financial position; Some unknown will extend help.


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