Friday, May 21, 2010

Tools of Happiness

In choosing our tools of happiness, are we moving away, than towards it

Yesterday, I was driving and tuned in to my favourite FM Radio station.  I was enjoying the music when suddenly it went off for few seconds. I thought I should have an iPod in the car. That’s when I realized I had not used my iPod for the last six months. And then I remembered some more things - handy cam in the last two years, digital camera in the last two months, DVD player in the last one month, the list went on. Now I realize that handy cam was bought on an impulse, I recollect using it only twice in the last four years.

So, what’s wrong and where? When I look at myself or my friends, I can see the same happening everywhere.

We are not happy with what we possess, but desire the things we don’t possess. You have a Santro, but you want a City; you have a City, but you want Skoda. Just after buying a new phone, we need another one; a better laptop, bigger TV, faster car, bigger house, more money. I mean, these examples are endless. The point is, is it actually worth it? Do we ever pause to think if we actually need those things?

This episode forced me to think of what I need and what I don’t. May be I didn’t need this handy cam or the iPod or that DVD player. My thoughts take me to my father back at home. For over a decade he has a simple colour TV, he doesn’t need a 32″ LCD wall mount. He has a simple cell phone which has been faithful to him for many years. Whenever I ask him to change his phone, he is ready with his answer, “It’s a phone, I need this just for calls.” And, with those limited resources and simple gadgets, he is much happier in life than I.  The basic reason why he is so happy with so little is that he doesn’t want things in life to make it luxurious, but he needs only those things which make his life easier.  It’s a very fine line between these two, but after observing my father’s life style, the penny dropped. He needs a cell phone but not the iPhone; he needs a TV but not the 32″ LCD. He needs a car but not an expensive one.


Initially I had lot of questions:


I am earning good, still I am not happy…...why?


I have all luxuries, still I am stressed............ why?


I had a great weekend, still I am feeling tired....... why?


I met lot of people, thought over it, but I still don’t know if I have the answers, but certainly I’ve figured out a few things. I realize that one thing which is keeping me stressed is the “stay connected” syndrome. I realized that, at home also I am logged in on messengers, checking mails, using social networks, and on the top of that, the mobile is not letting me stay disconnected. On the weekend itself, trying to avoid unwanted calls… and that is keeping my mind always full of stress. I realized that I am spending far lesser money than what I earn; even then I am always worried about money and more money. I realized that I am saving enough money I would ever need, whenever needed, but I am stressed about my job, salary and expenses.


May be, many people will call this approach “not progressive attitude“, but I want my life back. Ultimately it’s just one life, and a day gone is a day lost.  I believe if I am not happy tonight, I’ll not be happy tomorrow morning. I finally realized that meeting friends, spending quality time with loved ones; spending time with yourself is the most important thing. If on Sunday you are alone and don’t have anybody to talk with, then all those luxuries in life, all that money is wasted. May be cutting down your requirements, re-calculating your future goal in the light of today’s happiness is a worthwhile thing to do. Perhaps selling off your Santro and buying Honda City on EMIs is not a good idea. I believe putting happiness ahead of money is the choice we need to make.


I think, a lot can be said and done but what we need the most is re-evaluation of the value of happiness and time we are giving to our life and people associated with it.



The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet. - James Oppenheim 

Suneel Agarwal

Posted via email from Amit Karpe

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