Stop “searching” for happiness, simply learn to “be” happy!

To be in pursuit of happiness will actually lead you to despair. But to “be” happy in the now, with “what is”, you only need to make a simple decision: which is to accept whatever you have and learn to love it.

Let’s consider what are the common factors that make you unhappy: 1. Not getting what you want. 2. Not finding someone agreeing to your point of view. 3. Having someone work against your interest 4. Losing something or someone you love most 5. Fear, worry, anxiety of the unknown future 6. A memory of a past that you desperately want to relive. Now, look at these six factors once again. Ask yourself: 1. Do I really need what I want? 2. Is it necessary for someone to agree with me on everything for me to live with that person? 3. Is a detractor’s scheming design more powerful than my integrity of purpose? 4. Can my yearning for someone or something bring back what I have lost, what is over? 5. Can I not replace Fear with Faith? 6. Can I really go back in time? When you ask yourself these sensible, practical questions, you begin to realize the futility of your searchfor happiness. You will then simply learn to behappy!

Happiness is not something that you can order. It is not something that you can dictate or demand be delivered to you subject to certain pre-conditions that you set. Happiness is what will dawn on you, that which will drench you, when you accept Life’s pre-condition which is to decide not to set any pre-conditions! (If you don’t get it the first time, there’s no harm in re-reading the previous sentence.) Happiness, therefore, is a decision. Haven’t you often caught yourself or someone you know searching for their reading glasses all over the place, while it is all along resting on their forehead? That’s how absurd or banal our pursuit of happiness really is. It is who you__and I__are. It is in us and we keep searching for it, pining for it? How will we ever find it this way?

When you decidenot to look for it and be it, you will find it – in the here and now. Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get. That decision to want what you are getting from Life, in Life, is the only one you need to make to be happy. So decide. Make an intelligent choice. And live happily ever after.

On being happy despite your circumstances

The key to being happy is simply __ being. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Let’s say, taking a very operational instance, this Monday morning, you are in an aircraft that is already late due to inclement weather. Finally, after push back, your aircraft is 12thin the take-off sequence. You have woken up early to make this flight. And the way things are looking, you will miss the first couple of meetings of the day, which means you may have to stay overnight at your destination. Which means the schedules of the rest of the week are also going to be affected. You are extremely unhappy with the situation. You dash off a few emails before the crew order you to put away your phone. And, with a deep sigh, accept that this is one of those weeks. The young lady next to you starts chatting, wanting to know more about your phone and its much touted efficiency and features. In several minutes, you are airborne and you are laughing and joking with your new friend. Now, think about this situation deeply. How is it that your mood changed from being agitated, confused, perhaps angry, over the delayed start to the week, to one of relaxation and ‘take it easy’!? Maybe the young lady’s question and her influence on you helped. But the most significant influence on your mood, was your ‘deep sigh of acceptance’. So, in this context, your acceptance of what is, parachuted you from a state of unhappiness to a state of being __ being comfortable with the rest of the journey in the company of an interesting co-passenger! Now, think of the other possibility __ what if you had not accepted the situation and if you had been angry with the weather, with the ATC and with the crew for ordering you to put off your phone? You may well have been a victim of your circumstances __ and far, very, very far from being in acceptance, or being happy!

This may seem like too general an instance. You surely can relate to this. Because this happens to all of us. Not just in an aircraft but in every day traffic or even when waiting in check-out queues at malls. You may well agree that it is perhaps possible to accept practical challenges to everyday living and be peaceful and happy __ by simply being. But how do you be happy in or with bigger, complex, Life-changing situations __ when something or someone you held dear to you has been taken away by Life? When Life has wreaked irreparable damage to you? When what’s lost can never be got back? How do you accept Life when it has been unfair and unjust to you? The answer is pretty much the same __ you do it by taking that same ‘deep sigh of acceptance’. Because there is no other way to deal with Life.

Osho, the Master, I think it was him, used to say this story.

A big dog saw a little dog chasing its tail, and asked, “Why are you chasing your tail?” Said the puppy, “I have mastered philosophy, I have solved the problems of the Universe which no dog before me has rightly solved: I have learned that the best thing for a dog is happiness, and that happiness is in my tail. Therefore I am chasing it, and when I catch it I shall have it.”

Said the big dog, “My child, I too have paid attention to the problems of the Universe in my own way and have learned something. I too have understood that happiness is a fine thing for a dog, and that happiness is in my tail. But I have noticed that when I go about my business, it comes after me. I need not chase it.”

So it is. That simple. Irrespective of what happens to you, what circumstance you are placed in, simply go about your business. In total acceptance. And with immense gratitude for what has been given, for this lifetime, for this experience. Simple or complex, general or unique __ all situations in Life, all circumstances, have to be accepted. Acceptance of what is always takes you to a state of simply being. It is only by being that you will be happy!

Know that on one note, Life is an endless celebration. Each day is a festival. Each moment is an opportunity to arise, awaken, learn and evolve. On another note, Life is like a ball of wool. Deal with it calmly and you will be able to weave a beautiful tapestry. Get keyed up and you will end up in knots. And occasionally be prepared for it to be snatched away from you, knotted up and thrown back at you to untangle…..! Somewhere between all the celebration and all the untangling, an entire Lifetime is woven. You__and I__must simply keep weaving. Don’t worry about the design. Keep celebrating. Don’t worry about the knots. Because your duty is to weave well. Your duty is to celebrate well. Each Life’s tapestry is part of this inscrutable cosmic Masterplan. And, what I have learned from Life is that, the Masterplan has no flaws!

Who says Making Money is not Spiritual?

Spirituality, simply, is the flowering of inner awareness. When there is awareness, when you are awake, everything is spiritual _ including making money!


One of the most preposterous myths we psyche ourselves into believing is that making money is not spiritual. If being happy is spiritual, so is being wealthy. If seeking bliss is a honorable pursuit, so is seeking money.


The problem arises when we confuse the pursuit of wealth creation as the purpose of our creation. Money is a good, useful invention. And therefore must be used. It is when we cling to the money we have or crave for the money that we don’t have, which is, when we get used by money, that we suffer! We deny ourselves the opportunity to live fully, meaningfully, when we get addicted to making money and we are struck by avarice. Or when we don’t make or have enough money and when we look at those who have and either feel jealous of them or pine for more for ourselves.

To understand the Power of Money, recognize that it is but a cog in the wheel of Life and not Life in its entirety. The cog is important for the wheel to turn smoothly. In its absence, the wheel will still function, albeit struggling. That only means we must slow down the wheel and not waste energies trying to rue why we are without this cog called money. That’s scarcity thinking. Abundance thinking means that so many important cogs in the wheel of Life are working just great: health, family and career, for instance.


The other way to leverage the potential of money is to use some of whatever we have to share and to enrich another person’s Life. Half the world’s population goes hungry without even one square meal daily. This is no longer a problem if the other half recognizes that all they have to do is to feed one hungry person one meal a day. However broke we may be, if we can read this post, it means we have the ability to feed one hungry person in our circle of influence today. And every single day. So, seek money by all means. But make the pursuit meaningful by undertaking to feed another daily. And watch how your own Life transforms from pining for money, or feeling insecure about it, to being blissful about wanting it not just for yourself but to make our world a better place.

Be aware therefore of money’s incredible potential to make Life simpler, but don’t let it come in the way of your happiness. Money can enable and it can cripple. Money can attract and it can distract. Be conscious of its power to make or mar you. Then, you will be perpetually rich with happiness__something which no money can buy!

True Happiness lies in immersing yourself in what you Love doing!

To be truly happy, just immerse yourself in what you love doing! Then, and only then, will your work become your play and your prayer!

We are both responsible and accountable for our happiness in Life! We have too often lived our lives the way others wanted us to live them. Over the years, conditioned by societal norms and family expectations, we have just grown biologically. For the same reasons, to be fair, we have worked towards professional and financial security. And have raised families because it was the logical thing to do once we got out of academic pursuits and became employed!  Yet, how many of us are doing what we love doing?

Have the personal courage to ask yourself these all-important questions:

     Are you happy doing what you are doing for a living now?

     Are you living or are you earning a living?

     If you had someone pay all your bills, and if you didn’t have to earn a living,  
      what would you have liked to be living for?

These answers you give yourself, honestly, are the only ones that can change your Life! Because when you know, and you accept, what can make you truly happy__that’s half the battle won. Happiness cannot be pursued. It has to be found. And you will find it, here and now, if you remove all the conditions in your Life that are making you unhappy. When those conditions disappear, happiness appears. It is as simple as that!

But how do you leave a lucrative job, that comforts you with security, gives you a societal edge and take up something you love, no doubt, but is hardly likely to reward you financially, in the beginning at least? This is where intelligent living comes in. You start a journey of a thousand miles, by taking the first step.

And that first step is to invest just 5 minutes a day doing what you love doing. One of the principal reasons people don’t switch to doing what they love doing is because they are too caught up doing things all day that they loathe doing! But 5 minutes is not a bad deal. However busy you are running your rat race, you can take a 5-minute-break and that shouldn’t hurt anyone, least of all you. In those 5 minutes, do what you love doing __ reading, writing, painting, composing music, researching, cooking, whatever! You will discover a rare peace in you in those 5 precious minutes. You will want those 5 minutes to never end. So, extend the tenure of that daily activity by 5 more minutes. Keep feeling joyful and keep extending the tenure as you graduate through this experience and exercise! Soon, in about a quarter, you will have created a daily window of your own ‘Happy Hour’!

Imagine from being frustrated with your Life, bemoaning the lack of joy in what you were doing, you have a full ‘Happy Hour’ daily to do what you love doing! And that’s 30 ‘Happy Hours’ in a month. If you are an artist, you could complete a masterpiece in that time. And if you are a writer you could perhaps complete a chapter of your book in that time!

If you are smart, as all people usually are, you may look at how many ‘Happy Hours’, over how many years, will you need to make that career switch from being a high-paid unhappy professional to being a well-earning, happy individual. And once you know your math, you simply go after the opportunity!

Even as I was thinking about this important link between what we do and happiness, I chanced upon these simple, yet enlightening, perspectives.

1.     One is from the latest issue of Harvard Business Review. HBR asks David McCullough, two time Pulitzer Prize Winner and author of biographies on two US Presidents, Truman and John Adams, what he thinks about retiring. McCullough, now 79, replies: “I’ve just started writing a book on Paris and the birth of aviation, and I can’t wait to get out of bed every morning. When the founders (of the US of A) wrote about Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, they didn’t mean longer vacations and more comfortable hammocks. They meant the pursuit of learning. The pursuit of improvement and learning. In hard work is happiness.

2.     The other is from the latest issue of TIME. TIME asks Hollywood star and former California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, now 66, his views on his retirement. And he replies: “You would never see me retire because I have a great time doing what I’m doing. Why would I all of a sudden stop? It doesn’t sound normal.

Think about it. If you are not having a great time doing what you are doing, take the 5 minute daily plunge and move toward creating your own ‘Happy Hours’. Because only you are responsible__and accountable__for your happiness! The truth also is that nobody else can ever be happy for you!