Monday, January 30, 2023

Creating Happy Relationships for Joyful Life

The responses I received during my decade-long happiness research clearly established a strong correlation between amicable relations with our loved ones and joyful living. The absence of relations as well as unpleasant relationships are major causes of mental stress. If you are wealthy yet lack good relationships, would you be able to live joyfully? I think money can add pleasure to our life but without healthy relationships, we cannot have a joyful life. 

Let us reflect on what are the foundational pillars of a good relationship. We primarily form relationships with people with whom we share common values, common interests, common thoughts, and common purposes. But often we fail to give desired time and attention to these foundational pillars of healthy relationships in our personal, professional, and social life, which often causes the weakening of relationships. 

One year from now,  the taste of your relationships with your family, friends, and colleagues will change. It will either become sweet or salty, and that will depend on whether you add the nectar of love, compassion, and uplifting words; or the poison of jealousy, ego, and hurting words to your relationships during your interactions. 

Introspect on your important relationships and identify the factors why you formed those relations and how you strengthened them. Take time to strengthen the foundational pillars of your relationships, and keep adding the nectar of love, compassion, and uplifting words in all your interactions. 

And for all those relations gone sour, let me share a secret to turn them sweet as well. If lemonade becomes too salty or sour, we add sweet water to make it enjoyable. Similarly, keep adding the sweetness of love, sharing, and caring to your sour relations to turn them sweet over time - all this not to please anyone or impress others, but to live a joyful life yourself.  

Monday, January 23, 2023

The Happiness Equation: Happiness = R - E

The deep mysteries of life are often simple but difficult to navigate and put into action in our day-to-day life. The intent of JoyMantras is to serve as a reminder so we can continue to put our best effort towards creating a happier life. 

Today, I am sharing a simple definition of happiness in the form of an equation: Happiness = Reality - Expectations. The experience of happiness is an outcome of the relationship between the realities of life and our expectations from life. When the reality, life circumstances, or outcome of our efforts in life is greater than our expectations, we experience joy. On the flip side, if the reality we face in life or the results of our efforts are not as per our expectations, we experience unhappiness. Since we do not have control over our life circumstances and the outcome of our efforts is also not fully in our control, we only have two alternatives to live joyfully: First, have no expectations or set low expectations - which is often not practical in today's materialistic world; Second, accept the circumstances and reality faced in life with joy. We can not change reality but we can adjust our expectations to reality. Accepting circumstances in life AS IS and taking measures to continually improve the quality of our efforts is the best possibility for bridging the gap between expectations and reality.   

I hope this JoyMantra will come to your aid when circumstances of life are troubling you. Let us accept What is - as it is, and then make our way forward toward the intended outcome from this realization. 

Wishing you a joyful life. 

Monday, January 9, 2023

Project Happier 2023 - Attitude of Gratitude: JoyMantra by arunb

Namaskar. There is a famous proverb, "Action without wisdom is dangerous, and wisdom without action is of no use".  Many of us would have made a new year's resolution to bring a positive transformation in our life in 2023. But have you taken any positive actions so far to give life to your new year's resolutions, or are those resolutions once again suffocating because of procrastination? 
In the New Year JoyMantra, I shared an idea of the Happiness Project to make 2023 a happier year. Have you made your "Top-10  To Be Happier" list yet?  If not, no problem. I will share with you a simple idea that can have a huge impact on making 2023 a happier year. But you will have to put in sincere efforts and follow daily discipline to gain the benefits from this time-tested wisdom. You can include your family also part of this Happiness Project so that you can collaborate and keep inspiring each other. 
The idea for a happier 2023 is simple - An attitude of Gratitude. 
Please dedicate a designated time like after waking up, before dinner, or just before sleeping, to reflect on at least three situations or experiences of the day when you felt joy in your heart. Now offer your gratitude towards whoever was the cause of that joy. This can be a living being, anything else, or maybe divinity. This attitude of gratitude will also help you realize the prosperity in your life. If you take an additional step to make a phone call or send a message to express your gratitude, not only you will double your joy but also add joy to someone else's life. 
The attitude of gratitude is an evidence-based proven JoyMantra to make your life happier. The question is would you put sincere effort to bring this small change in your life? Because ideas don't work until you do the work. 
To begin with, I express my gratitude to you. It is because of the inspiration to share these JoyMantras with you that I also get to reflect on them once again. With those thoughts of gratitude towards you in my heart, this is Arun Bhardwaj, wishing you a happier 2023 - Namaskar.         

 

Saturday, December 31, 2022

 

Namaskar, This is Arun Bhardwaj, and welcome once again to the Monday Motivation. First of all, wishing your family and you a very Happy New Year. Let us start the Year 2023 with the Happiness Project of our own. I am not suggesting a year of deep meditation in the cave; my goal is to inspire you to make some small changes very much in your control that can have a big impact to enhance your happiness index. 
As the new year ushers in, let us dedicate some introspection time for our own inner growth. Let us make a list of Top-10 activities that you believe help you in feeling happier. Do share that list in the comments; who knows your effort may become a guiding force to other friends. 
We all wish you live in joy, but we either do not understand what truly makes us happy, or we forget to weave those factors into our day-to-day life.   
Let us put conscious effort to make 2023 a happier year in our life. Write down your "Top-10 Things To Be Happier" list on a piece of paper and paste it somewhere you will see it several times in a day. Now let us weave those activities consciously into our daily routine. 
Living Happier is not just a stroke of luck, it depends on our attitude toward life, the choices that we make, and also the effort that we put to nurture the factors of happiness in our daily life. 
I hope (and I believe) that you will not merely listen and forget this JoyMantra but make Happiness Project one of your top priorities for the year 2023. So start working on your "Top-10 Activities to Be Happier" list. I will be eager to hear about your experiences. 
Once again wishing you a very happy, healthy and prosperous year 2023. Namaskar. 

Monday, December 19, 2022

The Secret of Original Thinking

In any given situation, the capability to generate multiple possibilities and select the best alternative is one of the supreme human strengths. With these two powers of Vichar or ideation i.e. ability to generate original ideas and Vivek or discrimination i.e. intellect to evaluate and choose the best alternative, humans are capable of handling adverse conditions to achieve favorable results. But unfortunately, this is not always the case. Our choices are often tainted by the biases created by our likes or dislikes.  We utilize our faculty of discrimination more to justify our ideological positions rather than exploring the best possible alternatives. As a result, we end up compromising the possibility of the best outcome.  

Let us utilize our power of ideation and discrimination consciously in the coming weeks. Do find at least one alternative idea while making any decision. The process of identifying alternatives and doing cost-value analysis will help to reduce your position bias towards a single idea, and also enhance the possibility of finding the best possible alternative for the desired outcome.

The research in the field of ideation suggests that when we explore ideas, the first five are average. They reflect our experience of success in the past. The next two ideas are a blend of past experiences and originality. It is only after seven ideas that we step outside of our known world and exercise our capability to generate original out-of-box options. We then have freedom to choose the best option to achieve the most favorable outcome. 

Let us utilise this secret of original thinking in the coming weeks and experience the magic of human creative potential. 

Monday, December 5, 2022

The Learning Process to Transform Life

By listening to words we gain knowledge whereas with experience we understand the meaning. We can only get the benefit of positive thinking and attentive listening if we can convert our knowledge into positive actions. I have shared many JoyMantras by now with you and I am curious to know if you were able to make time-tested wisdom of these JoyMantras part of your daily life? Let us explore the art of learning today because without that bringing transformation in life is difficult.  

Our sages were using a three-step process in our ancient Gurukul System to ensure learning
results in transformation and value creation in life. The three-step process was: Shravanam, Mananam, Nidhidhyasanam i.e. Attentive Listening, Reflection, and Meditation. 

Shravanam or Attentive Listening is about listening to a credible source of learning with the intent of learning without biases.

Mananam or Reflection is the process of correlating your learning from Shravanam phase in the context of your life experiences. You can decide how you could utilize the information in your life. This process enhances the relevance of gained information and transforms it into meaningful knowledge. 

Nidhidhyasanam or Meditation is the process of practicing what is found of value after reflection and making it part of our life. This is when the actual transformation takes place. 

Let us reflect on this process of Shravanam, Mananam, Nidhidhyasanam this week - without which we can surely collect bookish knowledge but can not achieve transformation. 

The purpose of sharing these JoyMantras with you is not just to share knowledge but to bring a positive transformation in your life. 

I will be eager to hear your thoughts after you have reflected on this week's JoyMantra :) 

Monday, November 28, 2022

How To Love What You Do


Two friends were having a conversation. One asked the other to predict how the weather was going to be the next day. The second friend said with a smile that tomorrow was going to be an amazingly beautiful day. The first friend asked how the other friend was so confident in his prediction of a beautiful day? The second friend replied that he has realized since he can not control the weather, the best option is to accept every day the way it is and enjoy it to the fullest.  

When we think about Happiness @Work, we often hear the phrase - "Do What You Love, and you will not feel burdened by the work a single day in your life". But many times we do not get this freedom of choosing work that we love. We may have to do jobs to financially support our families. You may be skilled to do such jobs but they might not contribute to enhancing your happiness quotient. 

Under such circumstances, you will hear another suggestion, "If you can't do what you love, then start loving what you do". Now you will say, "This is a reasonable suggestion but how to start loving my job?" A marquee research done by Positive Psychology Guru Dr. Martin Saligman and his team suggests that you will start loving what you are doing if you consciously use four or more of your core character strengths in your day to day work.  You may now be thinking about how to find your core strengths. The very first step is to introspect and identify what you think are your key strengths. You can also take feedback from your family and colleagues. Additionally, you can also visit https://www.viacharacter.org/account/register to utilize the survey designed by Dr. Saligman and the team. The survey will help you identify your core character strengths.  This method has worked for me, and for many others who have chosen to practice it in their professional life. I hope that you will also give this thought serious thought. "Do what you love, or love what you do" - in these two decisions lies the possibility of a joyful professional life. I wish you Happiness @work.  This is Dr. Arun Bhardwaj and I will be back next week. 

Namaskar!!!