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Create your own happiness

Create your own happiness

I realize that happiness was simply a state of mind for my grandmother and it had nothing to with the external world. How many of us can claim to lead such a life?

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Last Updated : 23 April 2024, 22:26 IST
Last Updated : 23 April 2024, 22:26 IST
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Caring means being present, fully attentive, and genuinely interested in the well-being of others — Thich Nhat Hanh

My grandmother personified this saying to the T. She stood as a pillar of strength for my mother when I entered this world and twenty five years later, she was my go-to person during my pregnancy and childbirth. Defying her age and the great grandmother tag, she poured her heart and soul in taking care of my new born. While my mother and I were quite mindful of her age, she dismissed it by saying that her mental and physical strength was as good as a 40 year old. 

‘Being healthy is a success that many people forget to celebrate’ — My grandmother certainly did not fall into this category as she diligently thanked God for blessing her with good health and celebrated life with much enthusiasm and positivity. Visiting siblings, watching her favourite serials on TV, chatting with neighbours, or gobbling up a packet of gems were her joie-de-vivre moments. Her caring ways and being genuinely interested in the well-being of others made her the most favourite person amongst family and friends. Mind you, her life was not a bed of roses. Being married at a tender age, she became a mother at 16. The hardships she endured as a newly married girl and subsequently as a mother of three could have dampened the spirit of the most stoic person, but she had the uncanny knack of trading expectations for acceptance.  

Her thinking was radically different from her peer group. She encouraged me to pursue a career and marry a person of my choice. Though few people questioned her ‘unconventional’ thinking, she remained nonchalant. “How can you remain so calm when people criticize you or pass snide remarks?” I asked her once. Her unassuming reply was, “God has blessed us with two ears, you must choose to hear such remarks in one ear and let it go from the other.” I failed to understand her words of wisdom back then. But now I realize that happiness was simply a state of mind for her and it had nothing to with the external world. How many of us can claim to lead such a life?  Sadly, most of us are either brooding over the past or worrying about the future. My grandmother had mastered the art of living in the present, probably her secret mantra of staying happy. My grandmother bid adieu to this world a decade ago but the greatest lesson she taught me, which I am trying to imbibe is articulated in this quote by Zig Ziglar: Happiness is not something you find, but rather something you create.

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