Friday, 28 December 2007

Happiness


There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. - Carl Jung

Many people think that if they were only in some other place, or had some other job, they would be happy. Well, that is doubtful. So get as much happiness out of what you are doing as you can and don't put off being happy until some future date. - Dale Carnegie

What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience? - Adam Smith

If only we wanted to be happy, it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, which is difficult, since we think them happier than they are. - Unknown

If you feel sad, go out and do something for other people. It is difficult to remain unhappy when you witness happiness blossoming as a result of your efforts. - Unknown

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. - The Buddha

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements in life, when all we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about. - Charles Kingsley

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Happiness


What is the best thing for a stream? It is to keep moving. If it stops, it stagnates. So the best thing for a man is that which keeps the currents going - the physical, the moral, and the intellectual currents. Hence the secret of happiness is - something to do; some congenial work. Take away the occupation of all men, and what a wretched world it would be! Few persons realize how much of their happiness is dependent upon their work, upon the fact that they are kept busy and not left to feed upon themselves. Happiness comes most to persons who seek her least, and think least about it. It is not an object to be sought; it is a state to be induced. It must follow and not lead. It must overtake you, and not you overtake it. How important is health to happiness, yet the best promoter of health is something to do. Blessed is the man who has some congenial work, some occupation in which he can put his heart, and which affords a complete outlet to all the forces there are in him. - John Burroughs

It is not by accident that the happiest people are those who make a conscious effort to live useful lives. Their happiness, of course, is not a shallow exhilaration where life is one continuos intoxicating party. Rather, their happiness is a deep sense of inner peace that comes when they believe their lives have meaning and that they are making a difference for good in the world. - Ernest A. Fitzgerald

Happiness is like a cat, If you try to coax it or call it, it will avoid you; it will never come. But if you pay no attention to it and go about your business, you'll find it rubbing against your legs and jumping into your lap. - William John Bennett

I believe the recipe for happiness to be just enough money to pay the monthly bills you acquire, a little surplus to give you confidence, a little too much work each day, enthusiasm for your work, a substantial share of good health, a couple of real friends, and a wife and children to share life's beauty with you. - J. Kenfield Morley

The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions - the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment, and the countless infinitesimals of pleasurable and genial feeling. - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Season's Greetings

How time flies! Another year coming to an end.

Wishing everyone a
Merry Christmas and Best Wishes in the Year 2008!

Take it easy and enjoy your holidays! You deserve it!

Friday, 21 December 2007

Search in the Right Place

           
There was once a great master who used to teach his students in many different and sometimes bizarre ways. One evening, they arrived at his house to find him crawling around on the ground. There was a lamp by the front door and he was moving around within the lamp light.
           
“Master, what are you doing?” One of the students asked.
           
“Searching for the front door key.” The master answered.
           
The students then joined him, crawling around, hunting for the key.
           
After quite a period of fruitless search, one student asked, “Master, where were you when you lost the key?”
           
“Over there.” The master pointed to a distant spot, which was in darkness.
           
“Then why on Earth are you hunting for it here?”
           
“Oh, because it’s much easier to hunt here in the light.”


This is what we all tend to do. Due to our ignorance, we look for happiness in places where it cannot be found. We keep on doing this because superficial appearances delude us into thinking that it can be found where we seek it – within the world of desires and senses. Happiness cannot truly be found there, so our efforts lead instead to frustrations, dissatisfaction, unhappiness and sometimes suffering.

Are you searching in the right place for your happiness?

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Ignorance and Wisdom


I listed a number of things which I thought are the causes of our unhappiness. Things like discontentment, desires, hate, envy, jealousy.... But as I begin to explain why and how they are the cause of our unhappiness, I realized that the actual cause of our happiness can be summed up in one word – Ignorance. 

Ignorance cloud our mind. Due to our ignorance, our Mind, which is the forerunner of all actions, produced negative thoughts and negative emotions causing us to be in a state of dissatisfaction and unhappiness. In our ignorance, we search for happiness in places where it cannot be found, and we ended up more unhappy instead.

Wisdom clears the cloud of ignorance from our mind. With wisdom, our mind will be able to differentiate right from wrong, the positive from the negative. Our mind will be able to see things for what they are, and make the appropriate decision, or choice. With wisdom, our mind will harbour good thoughts which are conducive to our well-being, and discard negative thoughts which cause us unhappiness.

Wisdom will tell us that envying others is an affront to ourselves, to be jealous is childish and immature, to despair is wasting precious time, to hate causes more damage to ourselves than the person we hate. Wisdom will tell us that contentment is a key factor in our pursuit of happiness, that we should be contented with what we have, who we are. With wisdom, we will count our blessings, and be grateful for the things that we have, instead of bemoaning the things that we do not have.

Unfortunately, wisdom is not a vitamin pill, where we can simply go to the pharmacy, buy a bottle of them, pop them into our mouth, and we are wise overnight. Wisdom have to be acquired, like we acquire knowledge and experience, a bit at a time – and sometimes we pay a dear price for it. Acquiring wisdom is an on-going process. It cannot be rushed. 

Until such time when we have acquired the necessary wisdom, let us at least be wise to the simple fact that to be contented with our lot is to be happy, that happiness can be ours as long as we know contentment.

Meanwhile the best way to deal with any unhappiness that arises is to look for the cause of our unhappiness. Get to the root of the problem. And if we cannot solve the problem, we must learn to bear it. At the end of the day, a change of mindset, and a little forbearance work wonders. 

Strive to make one person happy a day, even if that person is you!

Monday, 17 December 2007

A wise old man


A man of 92 years, short, very well-presented who takes great care in his appearance, is moving into an old people’s home today.

His wife of 70 years has recently passed away, and he is obliged to leave his home.

After waiting several hours in the retirement home lobby, he gently smiles as he is told that his room is ready.

As he slowly walks to the elevator, using his cane, the attendant describe his small room to him, including, the sheet hung at the window which serves as a curtain.

“I love it very much,” he says, with the enthusiasm of an 8 year old boy who has just been given a new puppy.

“Sir, you haven’t seen the room yet. Hang on a moment, we are almost there.”

“That has nothing to do with it,” he replies. “Happiness is something I choose in advance whether or not I like the room does not depend on the furniture or the d├ęcor – rather it depends on how I decide to see it. It is already decided in my mind that I like the room. It is a decision I take every morning when I wake up.

“I can choose. I can spend my day in bed enumerating all the difficulties that I have with the parts of my body that no longer work very well, or I can get up and give thanks to heaven for those parts that are still in working order.

“Everyday is a gift and as long as I can open my eyes, I will focus on the new day, and all the happy memories that I have built up during my life.”

What a wise old man indeed!

Happiness is not a matter of good fortune or worldly possessions. It's a mental attitude. It comes from appreciating what we have, instead of being miserable about what we don't have. It's so simple – yet so hard for the human mind to comprehend. - Unknown

Happiness doesn't depend on what we have, but it does depend on how we feel towards what we have. We can be happy with little and miserable with much. - W. D. Hoard

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. - Hugh Downs

Friday, 14 December 2007

Training the Mind


If Happiness is a state of mind, then how do we train our mind, so that we are happy all the time?

The mind is like a factory, operating twenty-four hours a day, processing a myriad of thoughts, and senses every second. It slows down when we are asleep or when we are less active, but it is never shut.

The stream of thoughts – positive, negative and neutral ones, that enters our mind is endless. These thoughts invoke our feelings and emotions, causing us to feel and react accordingly and usually involuntarily. If the thoughts are positive we feel happy, loving, satisfied, contented…. But if the thoughts are negative we feel sad, angry, hateful, wretched…

When we talk of training the mind, we are actually talking about organizing our thoughts. We keep the positive, pleasant thoughts, and we discard the negative thoughts from our mind. It is when our mind are filled with positive thoughts only, that we are able to maintain tranquillity in our mind. That is when we have the mind under control.

Herein lies the problem. If the mind can be so easily ‘trained’ or controlled, there won’t be so many problems in the world today. Try it and see. You will understand what a mammoth task it is to calm and control the mind. The mind is like the tempestuous sea. Before one wave of thoughts have ceased, another has arisen.

Therefore, if we want to be happy, we have to be real people, honest with, and fair to ourselves. We have to understand that there will always be ups and downs in our life. There will always be moments of dissatisfaction, anguish, frustration and unpleasantness in life. And despite our best intentions not to let what’s going on around us ruffle us, we are still going to get swept along by the currents in our daily life. It is only natural.

However, once we realize what is happening, we have to snap out of it quickly, and do something about it. We alone are responsible for our well- being and happiness. We have to steer our mind away from unpleasant thoughts that are bothering us, and replace whatever negative thoughts that arises with positive ones. The choices and decisions we make will directly influence the quality of our days.

Until such time when we can control our mind with ease, we have to be vigilant, constantly keeping our thoughts in check. We have to constantly remind ourselves that happiness is a mental attitude. And if we can change our attitude, nothing can stop us from being happy. Remember, it is not the place, not the condition, but our mind alone that can make us happy or miserable.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

In Search of Happiness


High up on the list of prized possessions, with Health is Happiness. If you have health and happiness in your life, you have two of the most formidable qualities in your life. You will be able to conquer the highest mountain you set your mind on.

All of us seek happiness – kings, peasants, rich men, poor men, all alike. Without happiness, life would be miserable and meaningless. It is not for nothing that the search for happiness is considered by some to be the ‘Supreme Search’, and achieving happiness considered as the ‘Greatest Achievement’ in life.

All of us want to be happy, and free of suffering. Nobody wants to be sad, miserable and unhappy. The desire for happiness, undoubtedly, is the fundamental goal of every man. If a person has happiness, he has the life-power to live fully. He is alive, so to speak.

People around us laugh and look happy. But for some, their laughter is less than hearty. It sounds hollow and faked. They give the impression that they are happy, but if you were to observe closely, you will discover an undercurrent of sadness. Their happiness is ‘of the moment’. Once the ‘moment’ is over, they are again dissatisfied, sad, unhappy, depressed….

It is difficult to say what makes a person happy. Some people, with their millions of dollars are no more happier than those who have to scrape a living. The successful career-man is not necessarily happier than the labourer digging by the side of the road under the hot sun.

Why are some people happier than others? What is their secret? Why is happiness so elusive? Where can happiness be found? How can one be happy? What is the definition of happiness? And most importantly - Are you Happy?

Since happiness is so important to us, we should invest some time to think about how we can achieve happiness, how we can be happy.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Take A Break

           
Once there was a group of men - a young hot-blooded guy and a big number of older folks, doing a job in a jungle ( chopping down trees ). The young chap was very hard working. He always continued working through his break time and complained that the older folks were wasting time, having to break a few times a day to drink and chat.
           
As times went by, this young guy noticed that even though he worked through his break time and hardly took a rest, those old folks were chopping the same amount of trees as he did and sometimes did more than he. It was as if those older folks worked through the break time as he did. So he decided to work harder the next day. Unfortunately, the results were even worse.
           
One day, one of the old folks invited him for a drink during their break. That young guy refused and said he has no extra time to spend!
           
The old man smiled at him and said, “It is just a waste of effort to keep chopping trees without re-sharpening your axe. Sooner or later, you will give up or be so exhausted as you have spent too much energy.”
           
Suddenly the young man realized that actually during break times while those old folks were having a chat, they were also re-sharpening their tools at the same time! And that’s how they can work less but produce more.
           
The old man said, “What we need is efficiency by making use of our skill and ability intelligently. Only then can we have more time to do other things. Otherwise you will always keep saying I have no time!”

           
By taking a short break during work, it would make you feel fresher, think better and work better after the break!
           
Taking a break is not to stop work but to rest and re-think our strategy to go about it from another angle. Think smart, work smart and rest smart.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Health


As you journey through life, pursuing your goals, living your dreams, and/or searching for the meaning of life, allow me to suggest some qualities that you might like to enhance yourself with to help you achieve your aims in life.

Of all the prized possessions a person can have, good health should be at the top of the list.

Health is not only the first wealth but also better than wealth. If you are healthy, you can do all the things you want to do. If you are not healthy, you can’t remain cheerful or happy for long. Your ill health will restrict your movements too, and Life would be dreary. You will probably not be able to fulfill your goals and live your dreams.

Unfortunately, it is human nature to neglect this very important aspect of life. We tend to take good health for granted, until we lose it. Some people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health.

It is not possible to enjoy wealth and success without health. So make sure that you look after your health. Eat well, and eat right. Pick up a sport or an activity. Exercise whenever possible. It is not necessary to spend all your spare time in the gym, or to have a body like the models in the health magazines. Giving your body a complete work-out once or twice a week would be sufficient. And rest when it is time to do so.

While we take pains to keep in good physical health, we must also pay attention to our mental health. Pick a recreational activity you enjoy. Surround yourself with happy, cheerful people. Take things easy. Laugh as often as you can.

Just as we maintain and service our automobile to keep it in top working condition to get the most benefit out of it, we have to maintain a healthy lifestyle, keep physically and mentally fit, so that we can get the most out of our body.And, with a healthy body, we can get the most we can out of life.

“Without health life is not life; it is only a state of languor and suffering - an image of death.” - The Buddha

Monday, 3 December 2007

Lessons From The Geese


The following is Transcribed from a speech given by Angeles Arrien at the 1991 Organizational Development Network. Read on and see if you can see the wonder of it all.

Sometimes we need to have the wonder in our eyes before we can see the Wonders of Mother Nature at work – all around us.


Fact 1: As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an ‘uplift’ for the birds that follow. By flying in ‘V’ formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are travelling on the thrust of one another.

Fact 2: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help, and give our help to others.

Fact 3: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.
Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other's skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents or resources.

Fact 4: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those in front to keep up their speed.
Lesson: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement the production is greater. The power of
encouragement (to stand by one's heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek.

Fact 5: When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help or protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.