Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Don't Chase Your Happiness - Let it Land on You
Open Minds, A Birla School.
It was a little difficult for me to compose a blog-post mainly about happiness because I don’t believe in chasing it. But happiness is just one of many rich feelings that give me, and I think most people, a feeling of humanity and a sense of living a full and meaningful life.
When happiness is absent in our daily lives or is fleeting, that’s a sign that something is more seriously wrong – and it’s the time to get support from experts, not the time to chase happiness. Because if you run after happiness you may never catch it.
Happiness lands on you when you are in the right place, doing the right thing, with the right people, pursuing the right goals – ‘right’, because it’s right for you. Tal Ben-Shahar, a Harvard Professor expresses it best with one piece of advice “Give yourself permission to be human : When we accept emotions - such as fear, sadness, or anxiety - as natural, we are more likely to overcome them. Rejecting our emotions, positive or negative, leads to frustration and unhappiness. ” I’ll get back to Ben-Shahar in a moment, because it’s worth using his advice if you want happiness to land on you more often. But for now, let me give you one example from a household with children:
You are tired, you’re grumpy, you don’t feel like reading a book to your child before he goes to bed. Telling yourself “Reading is important, you should love this time with your child, reading is fabulous, smile and carry on” will probably just exhaust you, and you’ll be no happier. Accepting and noticing that you are more tired than usual and offering to play a simple game instead, or look at picture books together, or watch a favourite television show, will probably leave you feeling more relaxed – you can read a book tomorrow.