Ch 05 THE ‘SOCIAL’ (un)HAPPINESS PART 2 : EXPECTATIONS

“Expectations Hurts”! .

We live with a web of expectations, and they come in various varieties. There are expectations, we have with the rest of the world, be it our spouse, family, friends, employer, government, UNO, and off-course with GOD. Then there are expectations that the world has with us, be it our job title, work performances, lifestyle, the kid’s life or even the pet’s life. The world, starting from our family to the stranger on social media, need us to be in a certain way, which in most cases is different than what we have managed.

We get irritated, sometimes even angry when our expectation with others is not fulfilled in the way we wanted them to do it. It can be a paid service that does not come out as it should have, or some of our trusted friend or family did not stand for us when we needed them. The cause of pain here is not what other’s have done, its the expectation that we had with them to do. So essentially we our-self are the cause of our pain.

Similarly, at times the world expects us to do something we don’t like or relate with. Such situations result in a series of disappointments both for us and for the person imposing the desire. This can happen both at work and at home. Even our loved ones can have misplaced expectations from us. Honesty is the only way out, it may cause temporary discomfort, but will save a lot of pain in the long run.

The next type and most impacting expectations are those that we have with ourselves. We want to become like someone, top the class, reach a certain job status, buy a house, improve our health, learn to play the guitar, tour the world, love someone with all our heart, make our parents happy or perhaps do it all. The list is long and ever evolving. These wishes keep us moving and there is nothing that can please us better than achieving them. It is not always easy to attain all you want, at the time you want it. The key to happiness is to have the expectations balanced with our abilities, pace and requirements. It’s perfectly alright to be content if our needs are fulfilled, our talents are utilised, and a certain something is not achieved yet. After all, we need to have something to look forward to.

Stay happy Stay Dreaming!!

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Ch 04 THE ‘SOCIAL’ (un)HAPPINESS PART 1 : JOB

Our social life ranges from the neighbourhood to relatives to the workplace to friends on the physical level and social media and chat groups on the virtual level. Our social existence is our identity by which we are known to everyone. We are under constant pressure to maintain a decent social reputation. In the process, we tend to find more stress than happiness.

As a fact, a large majority of people trying to rediscover their lost happiness, are the adult working class with a JOB of some nature. The job is one of the main components of the social factor. Blessed are those whose passion is their day-work, or so they say. Content are those who have adapted to love their job. And remaining are just dragging along in their unfulfilling careers. Either way, the job is the means of earning a livelihood and consumes the major part of our day.

Therefore job satisfaction contributes significantly towards of status of happiness. Job satisfaction on basic level comes from the interest in the activities we perform, the respect we earn from our colleagues and the money we make at the end of the month.

When we are passionate about our work, other factors tend to take a back seat. Even if the pay is moderate or we don’t get as much time off as others, it’s still a happy state to work on what we love. Even this can turn toxic when we are so much consumed in the work that we begin to ignore everything else in life. If our health or family suffers due to over-indulgence in the JOB front, the satisfaction is ruined sooner or later. A balance is always required to keep us and people other around us happy.

For those of us who are less than passionate for the JOB we do, there is always some level of stress that burns the happiness on a daily basis. Changing the job, or profile significantly is not easily a feasible option for most of us. Even with a decent paycheck, we find our self tangled in loops of financial commitments and lifestyle expenses.

What could be helpful, is to discover your interests within the boring platter of profiles that your current JOB offers. Find interesting and efficient ways to perform the same work. Reach the workplace on time and more importantly leave on time. Having the work-life balance is the key to improve satisfaction, with the quality of life. Use spare time to engage in something more fulfilling. I write in my spare time and it helps me express and feel happy.

In Indian culture work and duty is given importance on a religious level. We are expected to be “Karamveer” meaning completely dedicated and devoted towards commitment and duty. I used to wonder, what good is that, if we don’t even like the job at hand. Well, I see the point now, as it gives a sense of satisfaction when we have lived up to the expectations that our culture demands, even when we didn’t quite like our job, we did it in the best way. It’s kind of ‘sacrifice’ one makes for the ‘greater good’. We can feel good about it and of course, get paid in the process.

I believe, here if we stop hating the job and begin to appreciate it. For the fact that it beings food on our table, gets the rents and EMI paid, and make us useful to the world in some way. We can definitely be less stressed and happier.

Happy working and stay dutiful.

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CH 03 Taking care of ‘SELF’ is not Selfish

We often place the family, the work or the someone special ahead of our own well-being and self-care. After all, compromise is thought to be part of a happy(social) life. But if somewhere deep inside we always resent doing it. At times such regret surface itself out and blow off the happy(social) life, we have worked hard to maintain. No one wins in such a situation.

What went wrong in the above case is that we have ignored our own interests or health. That is SELF, the first and foremost factor of our Happiness.

If we get sick, say a little cold, everything starts to look annoying. Happiness is a distant thought with all the sneezing and headache. That itself is sufficient to establish the importance of good health. As a Happiness factor SELF comes to 25% or even more important to make and keep us happy.

Health has nothing to do with looks, colour or shape of the body. It’s more about feeling good from within, Having no body part particularly aching, Being able to digest our food, sleep comfortably and on time. Like the Britannia ad goes “eat healthily, think better”.

Well, we need to add more sunlight, fresh air and green grass to our lives. Monitor, improve and maintain both physical and mental health. That is the foremost priority to keep us capable of being happy, everyone and everything else comes next. Putting it more bluntly, if something is not going to matter after we die, it’s not worth dying for.

Let us also address the more superficial part of the SELF factor. That is our looks, the way we dress, maintain and present ourselves to the world. The time and energy we spend on self-maintenance also indirectly reflect how much we value ourselves. We certainly feel good and happy when we look better.

It’s not selfish to invest in health and looks of self, before tending to others. Because a happy mind and a healthy body can be more useful than a strained one. Honestly, we will be able to contribute more constructively towards family and friends if we are happy with ourselves first.

I will take upon the SOCIAL factor in next chapter. Thanks for reading, your comments and opinions are welcome

Stay Healthy and look good.

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Ch 02. Why focus on Happiness at all ?

Before heading to the factors of happiness in details, let’s talk about why at all, are we trying to work on an emotion?

Well to start, first we have to acknowledge that happiness is not just an emotion. It’s also part of overall well-being. When we are happy, it makes us feel good and somewhere we feel healed, emotionally or psychologically. This indirectly improve our physical health or at least we want to improve it positively, by taking conscious efforts.

Happiness can be a result of one or more of various feelings. We could experience happiness when we are excited or satisfied or empowered or justified or respected or just healthy. The list is endless as it’s anything that can make us feel good. These are all reactive happiness, that means we are happy when something good happens.

What we are trying to accomplish here is approch to proactive happiness. What I mean by it, is first we become happy by choice and then make the good happen. There is no magic and it won’t solve any problems by itself. What this can do to us, is give us better presence of mind, probably little more confidence and a drive to relish every small sept that we succeed to take.

I believe, I made the point and I can proceed with analysing the factors of our happiness from next post.

Thanks for reading. Please provide your comments below.

Stay happy, Stay healthy.

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CH 03

The handicapped fish…

My husband have great love for aquariums and fishes. We have 4 fishes, they live happily in their modest abode, swimming is all directions, spreading happiness.

Pets can be real stress buster, with all their innocence and basic need of love and food. Fishes are least maintenance pets. You can watch an aquarium for endless hours without getting bored.

One unfortunate day one of the red cap got caught in the filter suction. My husband rescued her from the filter but she lost her forearm (front right wing) and the injury left her weak and dis-balanced. We placed her in a separate bowl with extra medicine hoping to help her heal.

We monitored her, she was alive, breathing but not trying to move. Next few days her situation didn’t change. We had to lift her up and take to the food which she would feed on. Her wound started to heal. But she won’t move on her own.

After a week I started to think that probably she is lacking motivation to move. She still have four other wings and a long tail in more or less perfect condition. But she was not making enough effort to learn swimming with her imbalanced body.

I am no expert on fish psychology but may be she was too focused on her one broken wing or depressed from the fact that she have to stay apart from her friends. The fact was her friends would have killed her while she was not able to defend herself by moving around. So putting her back was not an option.

I tried giving her a little physiotherapy by putting her in a tub with more flat surface and chasing her around in the water. Well she did responded by swimming to avoid me, yet without registering the fact that she could do the same without me chasing her. May be she is just lazy. After all she gets her food in her mouth without lifting a wing.

She is still recovering and I am still hopeful to rehabilitate her with her friends. But unless she make some efforts of her own, it seems quite distant.

In our life we often have something that goes wrong and we tend to focus all our energies towards feeling sad and low about it. While ignoring many other aspects of life that can lift our spirits. A little effort in right direction may probably help balance the loss and put us back on track. Also there are always friends or family ready to help you bounce back. Never loose hope, never loose faith and don’t become lazy.

stay healthy, stay happy !!!

 

Ch 01. Fact-ors that influence our Happiness

As I already mentioned in my previous post, the factors that influence our happiness are more or less the same for everyone. They are the facts of our life, that we care the most about. I have categorised them into four broader groups, where each of them has a bunch of sub-factors. Keeping one set independent from others is the key to improve control. Let’s re-introduce these important facts of our life as Factors of our Happiness.

First and foremost is “SELF” as a person. The sub-factors here are mostly physical appearance and personal health. It makes up our self-esteem or simply how we feel about our self. While I would have liked to keep it to Health alone, but physical appearance also plays a reasonable role in how much we are happy with our self.

Second is our “SOCIAL” life. The sub-factors here are the job, workplace, social existence, financial independence, intelligence, knowledge ,and anything that constitute to how others feel about us. I could have added these to the “SELF” factor, but the level of influence is significant enough to be measured separately.

The third is what can we call as “HOME”. The sub-factors here are the house/room/apartment, the partner/spouse/companion and the relationship/marriage. Its our place where we try to find peace when we are tired of everything else in the world.

The fourth and most reliable factor is “FAMILY”. The sub-factors here are the parents, siblings, in-laws, friends, and children. This is the support system that help us survive worst of times and also help us celebrate the most of good times. And yes parents and even children are not part of “HOME” as they have their own lives.

I have left out all external factors like political stability of the country, environmental issues, terrorism, religion, corruption, etc which influence our life every day, yet they are mostly out of our control, apart from what we can contribute at a personal level by being a good human and good citizen.

To start with, we take a balanced equation keeping all four factors at an equal value of 25% influence. that is SELF + SOCIAL + HOME + FAMILY = 100% of HAPPINESS.

The equation above is very ideal and just gives an idea of putting something immeasurable into a calculative format. Next post I will try to take it more practically with examples. I will dive into details of each factor one by one in subsequent posts.

Stay Tuned and Happy Reading !!

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CH 00

# Poet in me

Everyone have a poet in them ready to shout out.
Sometimes falling short of words to express the sea of emotions, sometimes just being shy to say and mostly afraid of what others would say, this poet remains quite.

Most of the times we search the our emotions expressed in other’s article or poems, where we relate and feel peace that we are not the only one feeling that way.

There is nothing wrong in putting your emotions to words and the others we worry about, don’t really care so much. So just go ahead and express.

I tried a few expressions of my own.

Read my Hindi poems at http://www.maatribhasha.com

https://www.maatribhasha.com/yugmanch_poet_profile.php?member_id=MTBM101199

And my other collection on http://www.poetrysoup.com

https://www.poetrysoup.com/poems_poets/poems_by_poet.aspx?ID=115525

Leave your comments and suggestions below.

Thanks and happy reading !!