“You cannot change your family, your work or the events of your life. You can’t even change yourself too much. But you can learn to breathe correctly”. This is what the Guru, Sadhu mama says to the burnt out executive Arvind, who goes on a retreat in the Vindhyas to go through a 7 point programme, called ‘The Happiness Quotient’
‘Happy’ is a word derived from ‘happ’ meaning luck or chance. Most of us believe that happiness is a mysterious feeling that comes without reason, leaving as inexplicably as it arrived. Happiness is, in fact, living with a sense of fulfillment and peace. It is a belief in the fundamental goodness of people, in the value of compassion, a policy of kindness, and a sense of unity among all living beings. All beings seek happiness and act to avoid pain. Everyone is looking for something better. Happiness can be achieved by a proactive attitude to improving the happiness quotient. We can train the mind to be happy—it is an achievable goal. Most psychiatrists see people in distress and conclude that the most one can hope for is the transformation of despair into common unhappiness. The Indian tradition shows us that positive radiant in the happiness quotient concept happiness is our birthright. The panel discussion focused on the happiness quotient and illustrated how to achieve it. The Happiness Quotient (HQ) is a concept that rates approximately, the measure of happiness each person has achieved in his life. This programme sought to provides a blueprint to increase one’s HQ. It started by describing the creation of a positive mindspace, one that nurtures the positive emotions that increases happiness. It also discussed the impact of negative fields and how to avoid them.
The following are the outline of radiant actions which leads to happiness.
The First Radiant Action For Physical Wellness
The Second Radiant Action For Emotional Wellness
The Third Radiant Action For Personal Wellness
The Fourth Radiant Action For Family Bonding
The Fifth Radiant Action For Nurturing The Workplace
The Sixth Radiant Action of Social Bonding
The Seventh Radiant Action For Dharmic Living
Work occupies a central position in most lives. If you like your job then it is undoubtedly the best way to pursue happiness. Generally, people who are not satisfied with their jobs wait for Fridays. And that is exactly the reason why, the term, TGIF is so popular. People want to go home and enjoy. Kahlil Gibran once asked, ‘What is it to work with love?’, to which the Prophet replied, ‘It is to weave the cloth from the strings of your heart as though your beloved were to wear it!’
So how can you deal with sadness in your career, at work. Firstly, you need to find something which really makes you happy. Let us look at some situations at work which cause sadness and how we can overcome it.
A. Getting a pink slip: When you lose your job, sometimes, some people stop taking care of themselves. They get depressed and become a recluse of sorts. But there are others who use this as an opportunity to break away from the past and look for something more meaningful. For instance, consider a doctor who lost his job in a hospital. He probably always wanted to be a writer. So he may use this loss as a tool to put his writing skills to good use.
One should always use such situations to meet new people, open up to life and not look at it as an obstacle. If you want to be happy, look at every event in your life as an opportunity
B. Being overlooked for a promotion- If you are not climbing the professional ladder, at work, the way you want, then you need to network with others and find ways to improve the possibilities. Happiness is about taking a chance and proactively finding out the happenings at workplace.
Your Workplace Wellness Assessment
Answer Yes (Y) / No (N)
1. Would it be personally profitable for me to spend more time
2. Do I effectively balance time between family, social, academic
and recreational activities?
3. Do I concentrate too hard on just getting the job done rather
than on my whole career?
4. Do I see about my bosses as role models?
5. Do I hope that by improving my knowledge I will have a job
and a good life?
6. Are there some active steps I might take today to ensure a
7. Would talking to professionals in various fields help improve
my job awareness?
8. Would this be a frightening thing to do?
9. Are there some channels, people or sources that could make
this a pleasant experience?
10. Have I honestly assessed my potential for growth and
participation in future jobs?
11. Do I travel more than a week every month?
12. Do I rest when I am tired?
13. Have I learnt to say ‘No’ politely?
C. The boss is always right! One of the major reasons why people leave their jobs is because of their friction with their bosses. They probably like their job but cannot see eye to eye with their boss. One of the best ways to resolve this scenario is to reverse the cycle by your actions. In most likelihood, if the boss never praises you, you don’t praise the boss, either. So start with baby steps. Appreciate a few things about your boss which are worthy of appreciation. Give feedback at an appropriate time: these are things I like about you. If there’s something about your boss that’s troubling you, say it to him in a gentle and affectionate manner. Use the opportunity to revaluate and improve. If there’s a task you are not enjoying, ask for a change. Seek the boss’s advice.
You could also go to a career counselor and find out what job suits you best, take psychometric tests and find out your likes and dislikes.
Practice MTB (Make things better) in your work space. A stretch break on a yawn break, share affirmations: what I really like about you is.
Your body is a car given to you by God to go places, if you let it collapse in to a junk, then you have a problem. Most people look after their cars better than their own body. But don’t forget that just like your car, your body needs regular checkups too. Make sure all small aches and pains are taken care of. Do something to maintain your health, learn to breathe properly, exercise regularly, walking, yoga. It is important to follow a healthy schedule. Everyone should learn to meditate; it takes you to a quiet place in your mind. To build a healthy mind, it is necessary to learn to breathe properly, or some form of pranayama. Be connected to whatever is your conception of a higher power; be in touch with that everyday, it will always take care of you.
When you are tired, get some good sleep and rest. If you are feeling lonely, try to go out and meet friends who make you happy. If you are on a treadmill and tired, don’t go overboard. Take regular physical breaks through the day. Switch off for 15 minutes for 3-4 times in a day. Don’t let the body burn out. It is also very important to get at least 7-8 hrs of sleep, it can add years to your life.
As far as weight is concerned, don’t get obsessed with your weight. One should not have unrealistic expectations. At 50, you cannot expect to look like you did in your 20s. Do not get swayed by media and filmstars. Learn to accept and love yourself. Consult your doctor for your appropriate weight. Don’t starve yourself, eat a balanced diet which contains all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. We need to put high quality fuel into our body to let it function without. Avoid junk food which causes indigestion and other health related problems.
Make sure you give frequent affirmations to all the people you care about. Tell them what you like about them. Do not focus on the negatives. A major part of our lives is wasted in finding fault with people and finding shortcomings in them. This leads to nothing but bad relationships. Stop acting like the world’s police man. You should spend time in nurturing qualities you like about your loved ones.
As far as possible, look at all the relationships in your life in the framework of lifetime relationships by giving more affirmations. Don’t be a heat seeking missile which destroys the people around you.
You need to be aware that no one can keep you happy, only you can keep yourself happy. Everyone has a duty to keep themselves happy, which can complete your daily tasks such as taking care of your health, eating good food, reading good books and listening to music. If you are happy, your surroundings flower too with happiness. Use your five senses to make yourself happy and joyous. We usually find others telling us, ‘Marry the right man and he will make you happy’. But that’s a wrong concept. Only you can make yourself happy. Start with simple things like visiting a beauty salon, meeting a good friend, watching a happy movie, looking at the sunset….
Death is an inevitable concept and dealing with it is a subjective experience. Premature death is the hardest to come to terms with. Start by accepting that what has happened is causing you grief. ‘Share the grief. Take care of your body and mind, network with people who make you feel better. If you have lost a dear one, it won’t be easy to overcome the grief and one has to go through several stages. First comes denial of the fact that you lost your dear one followed by anger: ‘how could this happen to me?’ Bargaining with the higher power: I’ll give up everything I love and finally you accept reality. Treat yourself like a child who is hurt and wounded. Time is a great healer. Take happiness breaks and indulge in things that make you feel happy.
Whatever is the failure don’t ignore self care. Take care of your mind and give yourself happiness breaks. If going to the temple gives you courage then go to the temple. Our mind is like a garden in which failure represents rocks and stones, thorns and scorpions – they represent anger, jealousy, greed or disgust. All these creep into the garden, if you allow them to. What you need to do is plant flowers of love and fountains of compassion. You can stop feeling sad by just calling up someone and telling them what you love about them, helping the needy, anything that adds to the happiness of others increases your happiness. The rainbows of courage are bound to fill you with joy. Gandhiji took ordinary people and changed them into matchless warriors to fight for the right cause. They say charity begins at home and you could start by cleaning up your street or fighting against injustice.
In the current work lifestyle, companies should have the first laugh and last laugh, so that people start their day at work on a happy note and end it on one,too. Learn basic meditation, 15-20mins of silence and looking within will give you inner peace. Looking at the sunrise, sunset, watching the rain fall, so many cosmic wonders add happiness to your life. Whatever happens life goes on. The cosmos unrolls its wonders. We are but atoms in the great dance of the Universe. Let us celebrate the gift of life my forgetting the miniscule self.