Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Happiness Fix

I remember, myself being very negative and unhappy when I was young and that seemed to have changed dramatically for the better. Now, I seek to be bright, happy and outgoing, chatting and laughing with all. This is because I finally learned how to be happy.

For years  I was frustrated and unhappy, always thinking that I'd find happiness once a specific event happened or when someone did something I wanted them to do, or when I landed the right job, etc., but over time I discovered that was not the case. Even when things did occur to my liking, I found that they didn't have a lasting impact on my personal joy and fulfilment. Then one day it finally hit me. I concluded that the things outside of myself were not going to enrich me and make me happy in the long run and that it was up to me for assuming responsibility for my own bliss.

Once I realized this, I stopped chasing some elusive source of happiness. I began practicing living in the moment, choosing to enjoy all that life had to offer me right now. This didn't mean I gave up on my ambitions. It just meant that I put them into perspective, and began to be grateful for what I already had. In fact, gratitude is the best “happiness fix,” as it always brought me back to what was really important in life: living, loving and being happy.

I realized I had sabotaged myself for years with expectations about myself. I wanted things to happen, but seldom took action to get what I wanted. Then I began taking steps towards actually achieving my goals, while continuing to practice being happy in the moment. Shortly after, some of the very things I had so longed for were actually happening. However, they were not the reason for my new state of joy, but they did add to it.

This is just a powerful reminder that we have a say in our own happiness. I hope you will keep that thought with you as well. Think about what makes you happy and what doesn't. And once you have answered that, try to give yourself more of the former. Then think about why certain situations make you unhappy. Ask yourself how you could improve them. And once you implement some of those adjustments, I am willing to bet that you will feel better about them! Just taking control of them may give you a whole new outlook.
-          Abhijith Jayanthi

Sunday, February 24, 2013

India: Blowing a Broken Trumpet

In Japanese tradition - the three wise monkeys, sometimes called the three mystic apes, are a pictorial maxim. Together they embody the proverbial principle to "see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil". The three monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil. Sometimes there is a fourth monkey depicted with the three others; the last one, Shizaru, symbolizes the principle of "do no evil". He may be shown crossing his arms. These monkeys no longer represent the reality and the needed attitude in the present.

Looking into the past for over 500 years: The trends for a nation to be an economic powerhouse were always changing over the course of time – earlier, during the times of segregated, small-scale kingdoms; it was more of a class struggle between the powerful ruling class and the largely ignorant working class. As the class struggle gave rise to a nationalist flavour; nations have emerged fuelled by scientific advances and achieving economies of scale in production and trade. Competing for supremacy and imperialistic behaviour of the nations replaced the erstwhile class struggle as the defining trend.

In 20th Century, the imperialistic behaviour was on a decline – largely because of globalization and knowledge exchange: a necessity to connect across nations and co-exist took prominence. The class struggle of the present is between the oppressed and a skewed imperialist class – and it has begun. One ugly face of this struggle is the advent of terror as a tool of class struggle. The growing need for any nation in the modern times is to work for stable existence and stay largely insulated – for terror can impact economy and the budget spend allocations; which will adversely affect nation’s outlook.  To live in the present – one needs to be vigilant, observe and listen to what is happening around one-self. These three set of principles are in stark contrast to what is depicted and celebrated as a maxim – The Three wise Monkeys.

India has always been a contrast singular experiment – with largely successful kings administering over a huge stretch of land in the past to non-aligned/ anti-imperialistic beliefs in the recent past being a significant feature. Though, resurrection (with the present possibilities that India holds) within a span of over 50 years after a 200 years of horrid slavery should instil a sense of achievement; there are multiple facets of Indian Society that need attention  and should be set right –  especially in the modern times, India needs to adapt and work for stable existence. We will need to revamp our security apparatus and work for a secured future – we will have to set it right, before we blow our trumpet.  

-  Abhijith Jayanthi