More than anything else which matters, it has always intrigued mankind when it comes to a state of happiness – when is a man or woman truly happy? What makes one happy? How long that state of happiness lasts? What results from a state of happiness? Why are most people around you look morose or forlorn? Why are people not generally smiling?
We often read that the happiest people on earth is from one of its poorest countries – viz., Bhutan. How come Bhutanese are the happiest people on earth when they simply cannot afford many of the material possessions that we take for granted in the more developed countries? Is there any mystery to their happiness?
Well, it turns out that they live a peaceful, calm, and nice life in the Himalayas surrounded by some of the most gorgeous sceneries in the world – more than 60% of Bhutan is still in wilderness, untouched and amazingly beautiful. Bhutanese are Buddhists which means that their religion is a peaceful influence in their lives. Buddhism teaches them non-violence and peace – which the world lacks today almost everywhere else. Buddhists believe in performing good deeds in this life, so that they can be reborn in a better life. The Bhutan government actually measures its citizens’ GNH or Gross National Happiness index! They are so serious about ensuring happiness!!
Have you seen a country like that? We are surrounded by concrete everywhere we live, we face pollution, we have struggles and war, we have violence, we have countries at loggerheads, we have racial and colour issues around the world, we have religious issues all over the world, and what not. Is it a surprise at all that most people are unhappy, or the GNH is far lower than that of Bhutan?
While it is difficult to underestimate the influence of material possessions on most of us (why not get a BMW or Mercedes instead of Toyota or Nissan for example), it is critical to realize that people tend to be happier when they can have social cohesion, freedom of thought and expression, psychological and physical well-being, good quality of education for the children, non-violence, and good governance. There are many such factors which go into the measurement of GNH, not the least of which is how people feel about their overall quality of life. I think GNH is a very important measure for all of us to understand, imbibe and communicate. Contentment and being happy about what one has are important aspects towards achieving happiness in one’s mind.
Are we there yet?
Most of us are not. We are so mortally afraid of missing out something in our lives, of not being able to be around when our families need us, of death and misery, of war and violence, and what not. We must think of such fear every day, it keeps our head on our shoulders! But we cannot be subjugated by such fears. The world moves on without all of us anyway, so why be afraid? Participate in the happiness around you, or be the creator of happiness for folks around you. It is critical to be happy. It is very critical to ensure that people around you are happy. This would involve a lot of work if you think of it.
Spreading joy should become everyone’s mission instead of spreading unhappiness. Come to think of it, I realize that being joyful for even a minute about something as simple or as casual as my car looking swelte and clean after a car wash that I myself performed for more than 60 minutes with my hands, will lead to a positive state of mind over the next day or so. You can think of countless such examples. When you meet positive people, then you can see that things happen. Things work out. Everyone seems happy and positive.
This is not hogwash. This is real stuff. This is the way to become happy.
You will see that your life improves dramatically with positive and happy frame of mind. You will tend to be more successful. You will make others successful. Now you start to understand why Bhutanese people are happy, living, working and playing with each other in their tiny country without much separation from one another. They are in their lives together!
Don’t you think you should be happy? I can be your consultant!! Or you can visit Bhutan to learn firsthand!!!
21st August 2016