Some people, when they hear about my book Happiness is All We Want!, expect some kind of magic potion or formula on how to be happy. And they expect this formula to result in happiness or bliss straightaway. As soon as they have been through the first chapter, the picture is clear. The book does provide a formula, though the formula itself is rather unexpected.
Recently, when I was talking to the members of the Rotary Club of Bombay Peninsula, there was a lot of interest in knowing how our wellbeing affects our happiness. The way I explain it is as follows:
Take two people of same age and sex, living in same country and culture, with exactly the same amount of physical wealth, similar social status and equal quality of family life. I can bet that the extent of peace and happiness in their lives will be different. The only other variable is the quality of their respective wellbeing. The person who is enjoying better physical health, calm mental state and a higher level of spiritual existence is the one who is happier and at peace with himself (or herself). I have observed this pattern across time and across various sections of our society. Most importantly, I have observed this in my own life.
Few people have asked me that if they don’t have their desired amount of money or real estate, they will not be able to feel happy. Others tell me that if their children do not achieve their career ambitions, they will not be happy. Many HR students at Tata Institute of Social Sciences and MBA students at IMT Nagpur told me that if they don’t get their dream job they will not be happy.
I understand that people may not feel happy if they don’t get what they desire. But if you look around, you see multitudes of people having achieved what they desired but still ending up unhappy or not at peace with themselves.
As a corollary, one can deduce that achieving what you desire cannot give you lasting peace and happiness. Rather, being able to enjoy what you achieve, for a longer period of time is what gives us peace and happiness.
If you can take care of your body, mind and soul while working to achieve your goals, you can solve this problem. We just need to tweak our approach a bit. We need to first keep time aside for taking care of ourselves and then do everything else.
The best example that comes to my mind is that of saving money for our financial wellbeing. Suppose there are two individuals, A and B, earning Rs.100,000 per month. Both of them want to save Rs. 20,000 for investing for their financial security. Now, the person A keeps aside Rs. 20,000 as soon as he gets his salary and invests that money. Then, he meets all his monthly expenses within the budget of balance Rs. 80,000. If this money gets over, he waits for the next salary.
The person B, on the other hand, keeps a target of saving Rs. 20,000 in his mind. He thinks that he will meet all his expenses with Rs.80,000 and then invest balance Rs. 20,000 at the end of the month for his financial security. Voila! He somehow never has any money at the end of the month since unexpected expenses keep popping up. He postpones the saving plan for next month.
Do you see the difference in approach? No points in guessing that after ten years of following this pattern, there will be massive difference in the financial wealth of A and B. Person A will be financially more secure while person B will be living in the anxiety of his next paycheck without any safety net.
Let’s come back to talking about our wellbeing. If you keep aside one hour every day to take care of yourself, you will be healthier and will be able to enjoy whatever you achieve. If you feel that you will take care of your health after achieving everything else, you will never be able to make time for it.
You will be amazed that if you devote an hour everyday to follow the wellbeing practices outlined in my book- Happiness is All We Want!, you will find more than enough time to work for your dreams and goals everyday. Only difference will be that unnecessary tension and anxiety would be replaced with peace and happiness.
When you do achieve any goal, you will be able to enjoy it better and longer.
Now, all this sounds very idealistic. Somewhere we know what the problem is but we don’t know the solution. In my next blogpost, I share some tips on solving this problem.
Feel free to leave your comments here or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happiness is All We Want! is available on Amazon around the world.
A seeker and explorer in the quest for lasting happiness, health and well-being. An MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur and a Mechanical Engineer from IIT Delhi. Has been a senior banker with large global banks like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and ANZ Bank. Working in these demanding global institutions with a gruelling schedule and plenty of business travel. Was fortunate to realise the importance of health and wellbeing early on. Learnt and practiced many wellbeing tools and techniques to focus on his own well-being while balancing the demands of a high-profile career and a lovely family.