Happiness to wealth

Pure happiness

How to find happiness

We have two destinations in life, which are fixed for everybody. Starting destination is birth and the last destination is death. In between the two destinations lies our life. We all try to find happiness in life.

Happiness is in different forms and so is every human. Hence happiness is different for everybody. But the ultimate aim for finding happiness lies in earning enough wealth. So everybody tries to earn as much wealth as they can. In the quest for money, we work hard and long hours. We sacrifice our own leisure, time for our close relatives and friends. In the process, we hurt or damage relations. We buy a house or car; spend a vacation once a year. If you weigh the losses against the gains, we find losses overweigh the gains.

The secret

Where do we go wrong? The secret is the journey does not start with wealth and ends in happiness as generally believed. It is vice versa. The journey starts with happiness and ends with wealth. By creating wealth we add to our happiness by making our near ones happy.

Confused? Let us take an example. Alphonso mangoes grow in the Konkan area of Maharashtra. Oranges grow in Nagpur and Apples grow in Kashmir. If they are grown in other areas, the fruits are not as tasty and juicy as in the above-mentioned areas. Why? Because only specific areas have the soil and weather that suits these fruit-bearing trees. The same thing applies to our happiness. To grow happiness requires certain attributes those suit the particular person.

The ingredients for happiness

Every person is unique in terms of qualities like strengths, skills, and interests. These qualities and interests form the basic ingredients for happiness. To cultivate happiness you need to feed these ingredients into your life. A child who is skilled in drawing, music or sports should be provided with training and other facilities to cultivate his/her interests. If the parents force the child to focus on academics and leave its interests in the background, the child may still perform but will never be happy, and his/her progress will be limited.

I came across a nice quote in this regard. It says, “A formal education can earn you a living, but self-education can earn you a fortune”. A glaring example is the great Indian cricket team ex-captain M.S. Dhoni. He had a job as a Ticket collector in Indian railways. It was a secure job and was making a comfortable living. But he was not happy in his job. He took the risk to resign and start a career in cricket. The wealth he got would have been beyond his dreams if he had continued in the secured job.

Summary and conclusion

Take control of your own life. Stop living to satisfy the expectations of others. Identify your own interests and strengths. Ignore the criticism and believe in yourself.  Find your own career path instead of following the crowd. If required find a mentor. Do not get disheartened by failures and difficulties on the way. Take a break and recharge yourself.  Keep going till you reach your goal.

At the end of the road lies your dream goal.

Mental health plus physical health

Health indicators

We all try to maintain physical fitness as much as we can. Exercise, walking, Zumba are some of the activities, that is done for maintaining physical fitness. But we do not care for mental health fitness. This is because; physical fitness can be observed visually and measured by standards like weight and height.

Mental health has no visual appearance. Mental health can be self-assessed by the happiness factor. Higher the happiness better is mental health. Now the question is how to decide happiness. Let us first define happiness.

Definition of happiness

Happiness is in successfully achieving our goal. The goal could be anything. It could be being praised at home or office, or learning something new, or completing any other activity. When a person feels happiness in most of the daily activities, he/she can be said to be happy. Also, one who gets sound sleep and gets up fresh after sleep is said to be happy. It can be said that such a person has sound mental health.

Health is  the foundation for success

Mental health gives us the inspiration to see dreams and drives us to work towards them. It also allows us to be innovative. Physical fitness provides us the energy to work towards our goals. The two combined together allow us to decide and reach our goal. In short, these two factors are the contributing factors to our success.

A human being starts dreaming in his/her early childhood. But firm ideas start taking shape around the age of 13-14 years. This is the stage when their interests and skills need to be explored. Every individual has unique and distinct strengths. Parents need to take the help of a career counselor to discover their child’s strengths at this stage. His/her career needs to be planned that matches with the unique strength and skill. This ensures developing the sound mental health of that child.

For adults, it is often observed that most people work to earn their livelihood. But they are not happy in their job as their job is not of their interest. When a person is forced to spend half of his/her life working on something that is not of his/her interest, it affects that person’s mental health. It shows in their performance, success and happiness.

Factors affecting mental health

Apart from the above over-commitment is a major factor affecting mental health. Over-commitment to own family or to office results in pushing own interests down. Though such over-commitment wins praise from family members or bosses, these are temporary.  In the end, it is self-achievement that wins respect in family, society, and profession. Over-commitment results in sacrificing self-development.

Tips for maintaining sound mental health:

  1. Do not continue in a job you dislike. Find a career of your interest. Reskill yourself to be eligible for the career of your interest. Once ready for a new career, change your job.
  2. Always give time to your own interests and self-development.
  3. Have a perfect work-life balance.
  4. Never ever over-commit, whether it is personal or professional.
  5. Learn to say a polite but firm no. It may cause temporary bitterness. But in the long term, it eliminates a lot of stress and strain.
  6. Learn from the past but do not stay in it for too long.
  7. If you fail or commit a mistake, do not keep that guilty feeling for long. Think of the future and proceed.

Your comments are welcome. I shall be happy to respond.

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