Thought to Ponder About – Why No one is Happy?

Yesterday, I was driving, and the FM radio went off for few seconds. I thought, I should have an iPod. Then suddenly I realized that I have not used my iPod in last 6 months. And then, more things, Handy cam in last 2 years, Digital Camera in last 2 months, DVD player in last 1 month and many more. Now I can say that I bought that Handy cam just out of impulse, I have used it twice only in last 4 years.

So, what’s wrong and where? When I look at myself or my friends I can see it everywhere. We are not happy with what we have but all are stressed and not happy for the things we don’t have. You have a Santro, but you want City; You have a City, but you want Skoda. Just after buying a new phone, we need another one. Better laptop, bigger TV, faster car, bigger house, more money. I mean, these examples are endless.  Do we ever think if we actually need those things before we want them?

After this, I was forced to think what I need and what I don’t. May be I didn’t need this Handy cam or the iPod or that DVD player. When I see my father back at home. He has a simple BPL colour TV, he doesn’t need 32″ Sony LCD wall mount. He has a cell phone worth Rs 2,500. Whenever I ask him to change the phone, he always says, “Its a phone, I need this just for calls.”

And believe me; he is much happier in life than me with those limited resources and simple gadgets. The very basic reason why he is happy with so little is that he doesn’t want things in life to make it luxurious, but he wants only those things which are making his life easier. It’s a very fine line between these two, but after looking my father’s life style closely, I got the point. He needs a cell phone but not the iPhone. He needs a TV but not the 32″ plasma. 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, I thought over it again and again, I still don’t know if I got the answers, but certainly figured out 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 windows mobile is not letting me 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. Still I am stressed about job and salary and spends.

May be, many people will call this approach “not progressive attitude”, but I want my life back. Ultimately it’s a single life, a day gone is a day gone. I believe if I am not happy tonight, I’ll never be happy tomorrow morning. I finally realized that meeting friends, spending quality time with your loved one’s; spending time with yourself is the most important thing.

If on Sunday you are alone and you don’t have anybody to talk with, then all that luxuries of 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. May be selling off your Santro and buying Honda City on EMIs is not a good idea. I believe putting your 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.

Think about it.

Om Namah Shivay

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How to Get Over the Hurt-2

The question still remains: How to get over the hurt? I would like to cover this answer in two posts. In today’s write-up, let me begin with a beautiful story:

Once upon a time, there was a guy. He deeply loved a girl. He dreamed of her all the time. He would send her flowers, give her gifts, say nice things, and express his love. She accepted his gifts, flowers, chocolates and all, but wouldn’t give or say anything in return other than a thank you. The boy still didn’t lose hope and thought one day his love would win over her, that, one day she would melt and she would reciprocate. He thought the girl did love him, only that she wasn’t expressing it yet. It went on a for a while. Nothing changed.

One day, the girl informed him that she was moving out of town. He pleaded with her to not go. The girl, however, said that she had more important things to do.

“Why, what about love? Is it not important? Don’t you love me?” the guy said.

“Love? What about it? I never loved you,” she said.

The guy got up and left the place. Everyone in the friends and family got concerned about him. They were certain he was broken beyond repair, but there was not a sign of hurt on his face or in his actions. Some thought he was really depressed and was acting cocky to hide his real feelings. A few days passed and he kept on living normally. One day his friends confronted him.

“You must be really sad and heartbroken. We know you are hurt,” they said.

“Hurt? Not really. I’m happier than before.”

“How can this be? You loved her to bits, whereas she dumped you callously saying she never loved you.”

“You see,” he said, “I lost someone who never loved me, but she lost someone who loved her deeply. So, tell me, who has actually lost?”

The story above gives us a perspective. And, it’s all about the perspective, a viewpoint, how we take what we get, how we look at what life makes us see. We are no one to judge the girl in the story either. Who knows maybe she had another reason she chose to not say. Matters of the heart can’t be forced or comprehended, really. Besides, my focus is the guy in the story above, for, he was the one who was supposed to be hurt.

So, what is the learning in the story, you may ask? Here it is: stop looking at yourself as the victim. I know you may not like it but it’s the truth. If you are getting hurt because you are in an abusive relationship, in which case we need to deal with it differently, I agree you are the victim. But, in normal relationships, when you choose to ignore what the other person really wants, and when you focus on only your preferences, you automatically set yourself up for great disappointment.

That’s not all, though. A long ago I wrote on the karmic account. Nature operates in a wholesome and integrated manner. When you are hurt, you should take a hard look at if you are hurting someone too? They could be your siblings, friends, family members, in-laws, colleagues, anyone. When we hurt someone, it doesn’t mean the same person will hurt us back. It simply means that in the immaculate laws of Nature, She will setup someone else to deliver the goods.

I would like to reiterate that this post is about getting hurt in a non-abusive relationship. Abusive relationships, even though common, are anomalies in Nature. They are dealt with differently. I also understand that this is not exactly a motivational post for those who are hurt, but, I do hope you’ve some food for thought.

In a nutshell, we should examine if we are reasonable with our expectations we have from the other person, and, if we are taking responsibility of the choices we have made, and, if we are hurting anyone else, anyone at all in this creation.

Reflect on the above and act accordingly, and I promise you’ll become your own witness to a powerful inner transformation. Your mind will become like the quiet sea, like the blue sky, like the gentle breeze, like the steady stream.

Om Namah Shivay

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How to Get Over the Hurt-1

When you discover your inner sanctuary, you become like the gentle stream. You keep moving.

My inbox was swamped with comments on my last post on hurting being easier than healing. Most readers said they would love to hear my views on how to get over the hurt. Some had a different view, they didn’t think it was possible to avoid getting hurt. One of them wrote:

“Don’t you think it’s easier said than done (to protect Yourself) from getting hurt from the ones you love? Should you be closed to them as well? Detachment is not a human emotion. It’s divine and it cannot be reached by everyone or else we all would be the happiest. And if you are going to let your guards down in front of someone or anyone, you are going to keep getting hurt. And, I feel if you love or are attached to someone too much then no matter how much you try to change or forgive or forget or walk away you can’t let go…the hurt keeps coming back…”

There’s no question that detachment is an extraordinary trait, it is even divine. Agreed. But, that doesn’t make it good enough a reason to drop it. There’s also no doubt that we will get hurt, but, that doesn’t mean we can’t get over it. We truly do hold the keys to our happiness. The question is do you want to improve yourself? If yes, then you need to work on yourself. We can’t just continue to hope that things will change without bringing a change in ourselves, in our mindset, in our lifestyle, in our approach.

Om Namah Shivay

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How to Forgive-2

These two are wise people. Which two? The one who sees his transgression as a transgression, and the one who rightfully pardons another who has confessed his transgression. These two are wise people.

The key phrase is rightful pardon to the one who has confessed his misdeed. There’s no forgiveness without confession. And a conditional or an incomplete confession is not a confession but a vain explanation, a justification, a pretense. For example, if someone apologizes for their mistake but starts to describe why they did a certain action or why it wasn’t entirely a mistake, it means somewhere they still don’t mean to apologize, somewhere they still believe there was some validity behind their transgression. No real forgiveness is possible in such a scenario. As they say, a stiff apology is one more insult. It’s much better and more effective to fully admit and take ownership of our mistake and vow to not repeat it.

Forgiving and letting go are not the same, for, forgiveness is only possible when the other person participates in the process. Imagine two road accidents. In the first case, the offender comes out, says sorry and exchanges the details so you may claim the insurance. In the second case, it’s a hit-and-run. They don’t stop and speed away. When there’s no participation from the other side, you can’t truly forgive or reconcile. You may, at the most, unwillingly accept that you got cheated. Sometimes, you find yourself unable to forgive and then feel bad that your heart’s not big enough. The truth may well be that with your heart of gold you are eagerly waiting and patiently standing with the gift of forgiveness wrapped in compassion, love and care, but the recipient fails to show up.

If you are on the other side of the fence, if you hurt someone or when deep within you believe you treated the other person unjustly, offer them an unconditional and a sincere apology. You’ll feel light and they’ll feel healed. To seek forgiveness is even more profound than wanting to forgive.

What if the other person is no longer in your life? Is there no way to forgive then? Yes there is; one for another time. And, at that time, I would also elaborate for you the difference between forgiving as an act versus forgiveness as an emotion.

Om Namah Shivay

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How to Forgive-1

Forgiveness is a gift. It’s as much about the recipient as the giver.This is a question I get asked more frequently than any other: how to forgive? Often readers tell me that they have forgiven the other person but they are still hurt. That, thoughts or sight of the other person still triggers emotional pain. That, even though they have forgiven, they are still unable to feel love for the other person. That, the good old times have not returned. I know what you mean.

There’s a common misconception about forgiveness — we often believe that once we forgive someone we’ll immediately start feeling love for them again. It doesn’t work this way. Before we reach the point where we contemplate forgiving the other person, we have already been hurt. Until we recover from the hurt, the harmony and peace can’t be restored. The period of recovery can range from a minute to a lifetime. It depends on the quality of the relationship, our personal strength and the nature of the transgression.

Further, forgiveness must not be confused with reconciliation. They are not the same. When you forgive someone, it doesn’t mean you’ve accepted their manner, demeanor, or actions. It simply means that you have decided, out of compassion or care, for the good of the other person or your own, to not let their past actions ruin your peace. The peace you experience upon forgiving someone quickly vanishes if they repeat the mistake or don’t value your kindness. Think of forgiveness as a gift you give to the transgressor. When the other person doesn’t acknowledge it, or devalues it by repeating their actions, they have basically not accepted your gift. Your gift is returned and it’s lying with you again now. You are back to square one — hurt, resentful and perturbed.

True forgiveness is not possible without reconciliation. And, reconciliation is not possible without a confession. Unless the other person confesses his act, you can’t really forgive. When they don’t believe they made a mistake or when they don’t care about what or how you feel, in such circumstances, I’m sorry to tell you, it’s not possible to forgive. A confession and an apology from the other person, with a sense of remorse, are absolutely integral for forgiveness. Yes, it is possible to forgive someone a hundred times, if they come and confess and apologize a hundred times, but it’s not possible to forgive them even once if they don’t seek your pardon. This is where I see the root cause of the problem: you want to forgive and not resent the other person, but, you can’t do so because they won’t admit they wronged you.
Monks, these two are fools. Which two? The one who doesn’t see his transgression as a transgression, and the one who doesn’t rightfully pardon another who has confessed his transgression. These two are fools.

Om Namah Shivay

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What mentally strong people do when things go wrong

What mentally strong people do when things go wrong

Signs you are a mentally strong person

Mentally strong people have powerful habits. They manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that set them up for success in life. Check out these things that mentally strong people don’t do so that you too can become more mentally strong.

No blaming

They don’t blame others for what happened. They aren’t looking to point fingers at anyone for whatever wrong doing just occurred. There is a solution and an answer, or reason, for everything and they get it.

Dwelling on the past

Mentally strong individuals focus on the present moment and on the near future. They understand that the past is out of our control and the far future is about as predictable as the weather this winter.

Give away their power

Mentally strong people avoid giving others the power to make them feel inferior or bad. They understand they are in control of their actions and emotions. They know their strength is in their ability to manage the way they respond.

Remaining in their comfort zone

The comfort zone is a dangerous place, a dark abyss where anyone who remains there for too long loses his or herself entirely. Staying within your comfort zone is giving up on life.

Shy away from change

Mentally strong people embrace change and they welcome challenge. Their biggest “fear,” if they have one, is not of the unknown, but of becoming complacent and stagnant. An environment of change and even uncertainty can energize a mentally strong person and bring out their best.

They don’t touch for drugs or alcohol

Quite often when something stressful hits us, we will reach for a drink or, for those who quit smoking, a cigarette. Others may even hit some harder drugs. Mentally strong people don’t need to numb the pain. They learn to deal with it in more natural ways.

Not listening to the opinions of others

Only the foolish believe themselves to be sufficient in all regards. When it comes to brainstorming, ideas can’t so much be forced as they can be caught. A good idea is a good idea, regardless of whether or not you came up with it. Don’t let your ego get the better of you; if someone has great advice to give, take it.

Fear taking calculated risks

A mentally strong person is willing to take calculated risks. This is a different thing entirely than jumping headlong into foolish risks. But with mental strength, an individual can weigh the risks and benefits thoroughly, and will fully assess the potential downsides and even the worst-case scenarios before they take action.

Failure doesn’t mean stop

They are no strangers to failure. They take a failure as a learning curve. They will take the lesson apart and see what went wrong. Re-evaluate their strategies and try again.

Focusing on their weaknesses

Although working on our weaknesses does have its benefits, it’s more important to focus on banking on our strengths. The most well-rounded person is not the person that gets the furthest in life. Being average in all regards makes you average. However, mastering a certain skill set or trait will allow you to beat the competition with less effort.

Fear alone time

Mentally strong people enjoy and even treasure the time they spend alone. They use their downtime to reflect, to plan, and to be productive. Most importantly, they don’t depend on others to shore up their happiness and moods. They can be happy with others, and they can also be happy alone.

Smiles everyone

They laugh and smile a lot. They have no reason to be grumpy or have a frown. They love life and life is good to them. Even when it’s not, they still smile because they know something good will be just around the corner.

Om Namah Shivay

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Smart Working And Living In The `Now’

A wood cutter believed best day results are obtained by working hard; so he worked hard every . The first day he cut ten trees; the second day nine trees but the third day he could cut only eight trees.At the end of the week, he could cut hardly one tree despite the same six hours of hard work. Perplexed, he approached a wise man and asked him the reason.

The wise man replied, “More than hard work, what is crucial is smart working. Have you sharpened the saw?“ You have to learn to work smart, more than work hard. The brain, for ages, has been programmed wrongly; it has positioned the future to be your saviour. Hence, people think and believe, “If I get million dollars, I will become happy; if I get married, I will become happy .“

So your saviour seems to be in the future. This is the error the brain has done. The description of time is past, present and future. But the truth of time is present. Past was present, future will be present. Hence, the truth of time is present. If you do not know how to be happy now, you can never be happy. If the brain says, I will be happy in the future it is silently telling I am unhappy `now’. With such programming, when it gets the object of desire, it is experienced in the `present’ when the present has been programmed as `I am unhappy now’. So, despite getting what you want, you are unhappy .

You have to learn to be happy now in the present; and out of happiness, you have to get the object of desire and not `for happiness’. This is smart living. You have to bring in the power of `being’ and not get lost to the power of `becoming’. The power of `being’ is, I am happy `now’ and the power of `becoming’ is, I will become happy if I get this or that. How can there be growth, if there is no drive of `becoming’?

You have to look deeply into your life. The `becoming’ which appears to have brought a lot of growth in the form of development ­ has it given fulfilment? Despite achievements, there is no fulfilment. All growth is oriented towards fulfilment. When you position happiness in the future, there will be no fulfilment. So `becoming’ has not really given what is needed ­- fulfilment. Be happy now and out of joy, go about getting what you want. Get not for joy but out of joy.

Then, your work is going to be fun, your life is going to be a joy. For joy is in the `here and now’ and not in the future. The `will of wish’ makes you live for fantasy , but the `will of comprehension’ makes you see the fullness of the here and now.

Do understand that wishing to be happy in the future is different from `willing to comprehend the now’ what the `now’ is. Once this change happens, then life is always in the now. The future will happen, when it happens, it happens in the now. So the `will of comprehension’ transforms the mind. The brain, as one uses it, is creating a fantasy in the future but no fulfilment, but the moment you transform joy in the `here and now’, then the brain uses `the will of comprehension’. An appreciable revolution happens to the brain. This is smart living.

Om Namah Shivay

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