It wouldn’t be Being Naseem if there isn’t much about me to be or not to be (or a simultaneous quantum state of being and not being). You know, the whole Schrodinger’s cat in a box thing? No? Never mind.
What’s the secret ingredient for happiness? Beats me, ask Dalai Lama. What’s MY not-so-secret ingredient? Easy: Perspective re-focus. Hear me out.
Happiness for most parts comes from your perspective and attitude. A well agreed notion I’m sure you believe in too. Or at least, you want it to be true. It would mean honing your brain’s wiring to let you be in control of your own happiness. An absolute jackpot. It is for me, anyway.
In fact, old man Lama once said to me:
“Happiness mainly comes from our own attitude, rather than from external factors.”
– Dalai Lama
This last semester, I studied a unit called Organisational Behaviour for my Management major, which had a lot of material on people’s happiness, personality and perspectives. In which I learnt that studies suggest only 10% of our happiness comes from external factors. The rest is made of our genetic makeup (thanks apes) and “intentional activities.” In other words: our behaviour, conscience and attitude. So science, old man Lama, and myself, agree on something for once.
Like I’ve said on the About page, I wake up everyday with an optimistic perspective, with a focus on why I can make today a good day rather than every other reason that would make it a bad one. “Happy thoughts, think happy thoughts.”
“Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.”
-Mary Lou Retton
Yea yea, bad things happen. I’ve had my days too. But I always see things as ‘bad’ as they actually are, not everything is a 100% “Oh my God why is life a tragedy.” Be realistically clear between your ‘bad’ and ‘horrible’ adversities (a parking ticket doesn’t even come close). Once you have a high standard for something to be categorised as bad, you can stand anything. You may not like it, but with the right attitude, you’ll stand it. I know I do.
All you have to do is to change how you value happiness by counting your blessings rather than by hoping for an inverse proportion in adversities. I mean think about it, how would you rate your happiness co-efficient? By how high you score in the good things in life or by how low you are on the number-of-problems axis? Because,
“To be upset over what you don’t have is to waste what you do have.”
- Know your bads from your horribles.
- Remember you can stand anything with the right attitude.
- Count your blessings instead of your problems.
- Smile when you wake.
This perspective refocusing took me some practice. I didn’t turn all sunshine and rainbows overnight. It takes perseverence and patience (both of which I thought I didn’t have, if it weren’t for this perspective of optimism).
And this, is how it’s like Being Naseem. Stay happy folks!