Happiness Anytime Anywhere!
Happiness Challenge / September 20, 2019
Someone said," We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are". Think about that for a second. Our perspective of a situation depends on the lens through which we look at it. The objective reality of the situation or "facts" may be something completely different! Studies have shown that it is natural for the human mind to focus on the negatives more than the positives. Our perspective is shaped, not just by our upbringing but also by our own inner inclinations. We live in the world of Maya and our mind constantly oscillates between the three modes of Maya - goodness, passion and ignorance - due to the influence of our sanskaars or inner inclinations. Sanskaars are the automatic inclinations from past lives that are buried in the subconscious mind.
Someone who can see the good in people and situations, possesses good qualities of optimism and inner security within themselves. For example, an alcoholic has two children - one grows up to be an alcoholic and the other a teetotaler. When asked, both will say that they had no option but to choose to be the way they are. This indicates that we do have some default mental responses programmed into us, arising from the subconscious mind. This is what becomes our lens.
Does this mean that we are destined to live with our programmed responses? By no means! We can change them through the power of free will! To change our lens or our perspective at a deep subconscious level to a sunnier one, requires repeated practice. Eventually through such practice we reach a point where even a dire objective reality cannot shake our inner happiness. When we change the way we see things, the things we see change!
Swamiji reveals to us the secrets of this powerful practice that can allow us to be happy no matter what. Watch the video to learn more!
Podcast - Steps to Follow to be Happy
Video Transcript - Steps to Follow to be Happy
When we were little children and we felt unhappy, we naturally blamed other things or people for our gloom. As we grew up, our IQ definitely increased. But did we grow in EQ as well? EQ is the Emotional Intelligence quotient. How to grow in that, is what we are going to discuss today, on the fifth day of our happiness challenge as we discuss the art of happiness.
There was a woman, who would always criticize the neighbors to her husband. Look my dear husband, the neighbor’s house wall is so patchy. They are such untidy people. Oh my my! Look at the clothes on the clothesline, they are full of stains. Oh look, they have not even cleaned their car today. However, one day she woke up, and she looked outside the window and said, “What has happened, my dear husband, to our neighbors? Everything is clean today.” The husband responded, “Nothing has happened. The only thing I did was, at night I cleaned our windowpane.”
Well, it may seem silly, but that is very often the reality of our life. Our own windowpane is dirty, and we are finding faults on the outside. If we have made it a habit to point fingers at things, we need to rethink and take a look whether we ourselves are at fault.
I am reminded of this patient who went to meet the doctor. He said, “Oh doctor, my whole body is paining.” So, the doctor said,” Let me check.” He took his finger and placed the patient’s finger on his thigh and said, “Is it paining?” The patient screamed, “Ah, Ah, Ah, so painful.” The doctor said, “Ok let’s try again.” He took the finger and put it on his forehead. Now? “Oooh…doctor, I have never experienced such misery.” Again, the doctor took his finger and put it on his arm, “Now?” (Patient) “Aaaah… doctor so much.” The doctor showed him his finger. There was a splinter right there. That paining finger was making it seem as if the whole body was in pain. In the same way, if it seems to us that this world is defective, the government is a problem, the Kaliyug is a problem, etc., We need to ponder again and see whether the problem is not within us.
There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who are reactive, and those who are proactive. The proactive ones know that their emotions are the choice that they make for themselves. The reactive ones don’t realize this gap, and that is why they feel desperate because the external circumstances are not in their command and they feel that these situations are responsible for their thoughts. Reactive people make statements like, “I don’t feel any love for my spouse any longer. I don’t know what has happened!” So, what to do now? “I’m just waiting for the love to come back.” These poor people don’t realize that love is not a feeling. Love is a verb. It’s something that we do to choose loving sentiments. That is the key. So, let us try to be proactive in our life. Whatever your situation, whatever the sentiments you are experiencing, is there a higher sentiment that you can keep? Whatever your feelings, think… “Is there a higher feeling that I can harbor within myself?” When you start doing that, you will start growing in your emotional quotient, which means mastery and understanding of your emotions. And then you will understand the import of the verse in the Bhagavad Gita. (Sanskrit Verse)
Your mind can be your best friend, but it can also be your worst enemy. That is why, uplift yourself by the power of your mind. Do not degrade yourself. So, the message today, on day five of this happiness challenge, is to be proactive and to look inwards, and see how we can make a quantum shift upwards in our emotions and our sentiments. To take one-step further in this mastery in ascendance of the mountaintop of happiness. How do we proceed further on this journey, we will discuss tomorrow on day 6 when we talk about inspiration.