2013 has been extra kind to me, and my happiness index seems to have exponentially higher compared to earlier years. I know definition of happiness varies to person to person and is often classified or equated to state of mind too. Each one of us become happy for unique reasons that matters to us, and is also said to come from within
I have read many articles over the years on this topic of “being happy”, attended discourses of various modern age gurus (in person, or on the net), referred to texts (just few, not a lot) from gurus of yester millenniums too. No, I did not spend any time in Himalayan ranges searching for the definition of happiness, though I have been to that region for other reason
Though reasons for happiness seems to be abstract, and sometimes elusive, there seems to be some proven ways to make you happier, and they can be done starting today (though today “Jan 1” is just a reference point we humans have created, and there is no meaning for Jan 1, in the original or my own definition of time & space). Like someone said, you may not be able to go back and change how have you started to get where you are today, but you can definitely change where you are likely to end by small changes in your thought process
Some of the proven ways of being happy (not listed in the any particular order) that I keep hearing and my thoughts about the same
- “Stay in the current moment” – Little difficult than it appears
- ‘Spend money on others, rather than / including yourselves” – Gift a smile to someone (by helping them) in your ecosystem or use 3rd party avenues (which I do not really recommend unless you have no option) to find someone who needs it. If everyone takes care of folks in their ecosystem, we will have a very different world today
- ‘Be in gratitude” – Count your blessings. You will be surprised that you have so much of stuff you already want or need
- “Appreciate good in others” – Believe me, there is lot of it out there in the people around us. We fret / sweat on trivial stuff which really does not matter. Do take time to nourish relationships with folks around you
- “Change how you look at past/present/future” – Yes, it is doable and is very easy to do. Simple way for being happy
- “Exercise a little” – 30 minutes a day would do good too and easy to find this much time. Also while you do this, do practice little healthy living to do. Practice little balance/sanity and do not do overdo, if being vegetarian/non-smoker/non-alcoholic is end of the world for you
- ‘Do a bit of meditation” – This seems very boring, but is powerful, and is secret of my wife looking so young and being in peace (unless I mess with her) 🙂
- “Spend time outdoors” – No brainer, and gives you some time for self-introspection too. So, this is pretty self-explanatory. Get some Vitamin D too, while you do this. My doctor recently said, I seriously lack Vitamin D, though I thought I do spend good amount of time outdoors
- “Find your ‘enough’ index little earlier in life” – This is tough. If you figured this one out, my “Jai Ho” to you. We always seem to be chasing elusive moving target. Depends upon where you are today in the current phase of you life, you might want to tone down your ‘enough’ index and start relishing what you already have
- ‘Move closer to work” – My favorite one. Read further down to find the earth shattering reason 🙂
OK, I will stop now. Generally if list grows more than 3 or worse more than ten, our ADD (Attention Disorder…) will start begin to take over and ignore everything in the list
Finally Finally, if the goal of your goal(s) is to achieve happiness / peace (which is we all go after, right?), and if you are sacrificing the same thing in the process of achieving those goals, then is it really worth going after that goal? Begin to think about this. This has been a startling revelation to me, and constantly pricks me to ponder and think before I contemplate to pursue some crazy idea.
If you are wondering, what made me happy in 2013? How many of the above data points are in my list? What made me happy in 2013, which are unique? Read further down.
First thing that comes to my mind is moving closer to work. If I have access to time machine and go back, I would move back little closer to work little more early in my career. With my move to west of Hyderabad in 2013, I have actually gained extra 3 hours each day (which earlier was spent in the car) and which I am now spending mostly for my family and allowed me to further nourish the relationships both at home and work.
I was happy that I was able to continue to encourage Radhika pursue her interests in yoga, meditation, and giving little of her time to others and help her in the process, where possible and nourish relationship with her. I am happy that kids are becoming increasingly becoming independent. Revanth turned 18, and Aniketh turned 12 this year. I am happy that Revanth joined the college where I had graduated from precisely 25 years ago (yeah yeah, I am not that younger anymore), and pursuing B.Tech in Computer Science. Awe moment (which I earlier thought would be nerve wracking) is to see Revanth drive 4-wheeler in not so friendly Hyderabad traffic with lots of confidence.
I spent good amount of times outdoors in 2013, (doing Zip Lining in Georgia, hang gliding in Toronto, Walking on the edge of CN towers, exploring beautiful Paradise in Michigan, discovering worlds of birds and lions as part of the photography tour, celebrating Pongal in Andhra and Bird Watching in Kolleru, strolling around Niagara up close and personal, documenting healthy food and not so healthy food that is found in streets of Hyderabad), bringing visibility to hidden talent of my friends and family, discovering cities for food and fun while I travel, enjoying outdoor games (not playing, but watching cowboys playing 🙂 ), doing silly stuff of documenting Pawanism on the other side of Atlantic, participating in silly Lazy Dance, spending times with my family (zara sa hatke celebration of Diwali in Dallas) and friends while Travel, enjoying Certainty @ Cigniti, successfully completing one year with Cigniti, documenting Project Cignificance, and inching towards my second year (and times flies when you are having fun, and when work-life-balance is in harmony)
We the Chintala clan have begun 2013 in a old-fashioned way on Jan 1st 2013, and bid good bye together on Dec 31st, 2013 and welcomed 2014 in a old-fashioned with simple fun and togetherness. What else, one should ask for in life.
Closing this blog, with lots of positive anticipation for year 2014
Once again, Happy New Year to you all!!
5 Minute Video of New Year Celebration:
27-Second Video (for those who are always busy):
Here the snaps of members of Chintala Clan, from our New Year Event (including snaps from the tail gate event