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 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. The thought of being happy

While the whole world is in its pursuit of happiness, or as we like to believe it is. It seems really difficult to be happy and to retain this happiness if you do find it for a while. As if universe pushes us towards whatever keeps us less then happy and in consistent pursuit. The thought of being constantly happy appears far fetched.

How nice it would be if there is a formula that could define your happiness quotient and you could work on it to maintain reasonable happiness in your life always.

Here I am sharing a personal ongoing experiment, that I do in my own pursuit of happiness. And over a time I feel more in control of my happiness and personal well being.

We, Humans, are inherently selfish beings and our own achievements make us most happy and satisfied. However, there are many factors that impact our emotions and our ability to enjoy our joy. Therefore picking up the most important of factors and analysing the contribution and impact that each one is having on our happiness, we can determine the percentage of our happiness and certainly improve upon it.

While everyone has different priorities and degree by which a certain factor impact their life, the factors in itself remain more or less the same for all. Level of satisfaction that each factor can contribute should add up to a full 100%.

I shall introduce the factors, their understanding and basic calculations in the next post.

Stay tuned and stay happy !!!

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