Like every year, we all have been showered with “Happy Diwali” ,and Happy New Year”  messages.

While the intentions behind such wishes are always good, the way the word “happy” is thrown around,  is often  superficial. It is being said, because it is the ‘रसम’ or ‘रिवाज़’on these days…”how will it look  if I  do not say “Happy Diwali ?” is often the thought  that governs  these utterances and  messages.

This prompted me to dig the subject of Happiness a little deeper.. ..What is happiness? How will I look/behave every day of the year if I am happy? 

It is a cliché that money or material possessions alone cannot make me happy. Only being healthy also cannot ensure complete happiness.  If I have a nice loving family and a group of friends, there are good chances that I will remain happy…. but is there a guarantee?  If a friend says something, which I don’t like, shall I still be happy? If my wife refuses to do what I want her to do..will I still be happy?

The other day I read an article by Shobha De in Mumbai mirror. Let me quote her:

“  There is a historic Koli village known as Machchhimar Nagar very close to where I live.  Just across the road, another world exists- the one of posh Cuffe Parade homes  and the beautifully maintained Badhwar Park.

 During Diwali, I watched the bejewelled Koli women and their children, dressed in festive finery, celebrating the festival of light with gusto and full dhoom dham. I have watched three generations of these extraordinarily hard –working, capable and entirely amazing women going about their lives industriously and cheerfully with enviable energy  and spirit “

The above quote says loudly what we all know at a cognitive level: ‘material possessions alone cannot make one happy”

Often it is said that the world is divided between ‘Haves’ and ‘Have-nots’.

Can we say that the “haves” also have happiness all the time?

Can we say that the “have-nots” are never happy?

What happiness are we really talking about?  

You got it…

It refers to  the state of the mind!

Irrespective of what I have, what others around me have, how healthy or sick I happen to be , what others  say to me or about me, if I can have a state of mind which is positive , full of hopes  and steely determination,  I will feel  confident that I can deal with any situation that Life brings to me.

It is this self belief  : “I can deal with any happening” , is what can really make me happy !

And so ..i want my friends  and loved ones to modify their  message of good wishes to me:

The year may bring all kinds of tests :

  • I miss my professional targets
  • I am unable to write as many blogs as I wanted
  • I did not get any “like” on my FB post
  • I am unable to convince my spouse about a holiday destination of  my liking
  • The age starts showing signs on my body

…..the list can go on….

And yet,

  • My mind is not disturbed
  • I occupy my mind with positive and meaningful thoughts
  • My mind takes these tests as a part of the Life drama
  • The flame of my enthusiasm and determination remains ablaze
  • My mind remains peaceful and powerful

This state of mind  will find creative solutions to all the problems on hand

And that is what will keep me happy..

Happy all the time..!

This is the wish I want from everyone. . And this is the wish  I want to give to all my dear ones…for their real happiness!!



8 thoughts on “Happiness

  1. Abhijit Ray says:

    Very true. Happiness is completely internal. Which is good news, because then it’s completely in my own control. It’s a matter of my choice and not circumstances.

    • Jagdish Shah
      Jagdish Shah says:

      so true Abhijit..the challenge is to always be aware of this truth that happiness is completely internal and is a matter of my choice. In the ‘heat’ of a moment , this aspect is often forgotten. Yet , sooner we come back to this state of mind, after an adverse event , better it is.

      This may not happen overnight..but by observing critically our responses to a variety of situations, over a period of time, will make us increasingly confident in taking the ‘reign’ in our hands

      thanks for your input!

  2. Bharat Desai says:

    Jagdishbhai very true happiness is a emotion one chooses and that nothing(events…) triggers a state of happiness in once life.

    • Jagdish Shah
      Jagdish Shah says:

      thanks Bharatbhai !

      once we realise that it is we, who ‘choose’ to be happy ..or unhappy , the reigns of life truly fall in our hand!

  3. Nikhil Buch says:

    You have touched upon a subject which most talk about but a few think of.

    Here is my take on the subject.

    Stress is the result of absence of certainty
    Bliss on the other hand is the consequence of confidence in certainty

    It is for this reason that the memories of the past always feel “happier” than the contemporary perception or those of the future.

    If one evaluates the situation on the ground ..in all probability one will find that folks are doing better now than what they were doing then.

    This brings me to the second submission.

    Folks have not reconciled with the compromises made now while they have had adequate time & opportunity not only to reconcile with but also rationalize the compromises made in the past.

    This is perhaps an inescapable reality for many.

    Hence , I wonder whether these Happy Diwali .. Happy so n so greetings are similar to signs /slogans one sees in factories/ else where .eg. “ Safety First” or “ Beti padhao – Beti bachao “

    These signs do not state what is a confirmed reality … they just emphasize what one fervently wishes for.

    If one works for the slogans , they become a goal.

    If one just dreams about them, they become a greeting!

    • Jagdish Shah
      Jagdish Shah says:

      excellent points, Nikhilbhai.

      u r so right that the memories of the past always feel “happier” than the contemporary perception or those of the future. We all talk about the “good old days” with a great display of pleasure..while this level of pleasure was missing when we were actually passing through those ‘good old days’. i did not realise the reasoning (confidence due to certainty of the past vs anxiety due to uncertainty for the present and future)for this phenomenon..This reasoning makes a lot of sense.

      When we look at the past, the ‘compromise’ part of the situation is often forgotten or ignored. To make a compromise today looks hard.

      The slogans you are talking about are like the Mission statements of the companies. Most of the employees are not communicated the ‘spirit’ behind such lofty slogans. Often, the senior management just ‘dreams’ about them..making them a ‘greeting’. It is only when they sincerely undertake ways to “walk the talk” that they can become goals!

      Thanks very much for your thought provoking inputs

  4. Vikas Shirodkar says:

    JL imp subject. Rasm aur Riwaz. Make you think how rote has become our life and our reactions. Mindfulness and attention is today passe. Most things we do is rote. Unless there is conscious thought behind my actions…. How different are my actions from pre physical reactions or reactions of lesser beings who cannot “think or choose consciously” My desire to control is often at the root of my happiness or unhappiness. Again something for me to be mindful about. Thanks for taking up an imp subject for your blog.

    • Jagdish Shah
      Jagdish Shah says:

      Thanks Vikas for your prompt response.

      the linkage that you have brought out between one’s desire to control and happiness /unhappiness is an important aspect of this debate. Controlling anything that is ‘outside’ ,is sure to cause unhappiness at some stage..simply because by definition the “outside” cannot be in my control . Also, the ‘outside’ may not toe my lining of thinking..making me miserable, at times.

      also , the rivaz or rasam ( not the South Indian variety!!) make our responses “mechanical” ..it does not reflect “Life” ..it reflects a machine..and that is what has happened in good part of our being.

      While to society is going to remain what it is, we , on our part, should try and do whatever best we can ..for our own satisfaction.

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