A life so simple, so happy

It's Clear
Last Updated 31 May 2013, 13:18 IST

Life, in all its colours and complexities, can be extremely fulfilling, if only we follow some basic rules, reckons Vimla Patil. 

Why do we eternally find it so difficult to be happy? Why is it that when nature – and the world around us – offers us the same opportunities to find fulfillment, joy, contentment and excitement, we turn away from this bounty and choose to be stressed out, brow-beaten, defeated, depressed and ‘deprived’ of the good things of life? Why is it that nature has the innate strength to blossom again and again after devastation while human beings – who enjoy more power and intelligence – collapse when misfortune or a low patch strikes? 

Every culture and society, over the years, has continuously researched the nature of human beings, their habitats, their social systems and their relationship patterns and offered fairly simple methods to reach out to happiness in all these spheres. Much of this simple wisdom comes to us in the form of legends, fairy tales or even lessons in our school books – which means from our childhood, we learn about the secrets of happiness but somehow when we grow up, the pressures of our lives take over and all the knowledge vanishes like a bubble on the surface of water! So here, once again, are the simple rules of self assessment which guarantee us as much happiness and peace as we can accommodate within our hearts and minds.

Control your anger

Anger makes us blind to opportunities of happiness. Apart from physical problems, it corrodes the mind and causes loss of judgment. Small conflicts become ‘insurmountable’ and precious time is lost in regaining the energy and peace lost. Think first and then plan how to express your anger in a manner that solves the problem. If a person or situation continuously annoys you, question why this occurs and either resolve your anger or omit the situation/person from your life as far as possible. Being aware that you are likely to lose your temper is in itself a way of avoiding a scene/fight/quarrel.

Stop being jealous 

Accept that everyone cannot be an Ambani or a Godrej. What you possess or earn is as precious to you as their huge wealth is to the tycoons. Look in your home, workplace and make your own wish list – and then go for it! When you plan and pursue what you want to possess, you will work hard and learn how to get the objects of your desire. Learn to ‘romance’ money even if your wealth is small. It is your nest egg and will help you to wipe out envy from your life.

Throw away hatred 

Those who choose hatred over love surely find an ugly image when they look in the mirror. Creases, discolouration, a pinched look, spots on the face – all these become regulars in your life when you don’t open the door to love – and no amount of fairness creams or face washes can help remove them. Actually, when you choose love over hatred in every situation, problems get solved amicably and wonder of wonders, your complexion glows and gets that polish which no spa treatment can give you.

Avoid conflict of egos 

Each of us has different needs, dreams, backgrounds, and natures. Thus, conflicts, quarrels and disagreements with family or colleagues or friends are an integral part of life. But an overblown ego surely stops you from seeing these differences in a creative manner and finding solutions which lead to happiness. What we inadvertently do is that we believe everyone should agree with our plan of action. A bloated ego blinds you to the opportunities of love and happiness.

Unruliness begets unruliness

Every day, we read reports of young people drinking late in the night and behaving or speaking vulgarly in public spaces and getting into scraps with the police or civil society. Even the daily language of many people is peppered with expletives and rude words. Sooner or later, the more enlightened among your friends will quit your company without a murmur and loneliness will be your fate. Conversely, you will gather rude and ill-mannered pals around you because ‘birds of a feather, flock together’!

Keep greed at bay

If you throw a handful of grain on the ground, the first crow makes so much noise that others know food has been laid out! They don’t hoard only for themselves. Great thinkers have said that the universe is a huge basket. What you put into it, will certainly come back to you. If you share and give – not just ‘things’ but also love and respect – your will surely find even strangers offering you respect and opportunities. 

Control premature lust 

If you read any print media or watch recent films, you would think that it is our last chance to have sex or enjoy porn before the world sinks into the endless ocean. ‘Being in a relationship” – sexual or romantic – is the keyword of today’s society, not only in metro cities, but also in burgeoning small-town India. There is a somewhat blind following of the Western concept of ‘space’ which drives young people to seek sexual pleasures long before their bodies are ready for the multiple experiences. Sex is a gift of nature to all species, including the human race. But carefree lust and avarice have never helped achieve a healthy lifestyle. 

Throw aside arrogance 

Pay careful heed to Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy’s (India’s IT super-brain and founder of Infosys) famous words: “There are three kinds of arrogance in our lives– the arrogance of youth and good looks, the arrogance of wealth and belongings and lastly, the arrogance of knowledge.

 Fortunately, the first dissolves itself when old age or illness comes upon us. Wealth and belongings, as is too well-known all over the world, is fickle. One bad or thoughtless move and all money and belongings can vanish like mist in bright sunshine. The last – the arrogance of knowledge – is the most dangerous because it often goes to the grave with us.”  Keep an open mind. You can never know it all. 

(Published 31 May 2013, 13:18 IST)

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