Happiness

Posted on 13/03/2012

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It’s been over two months since I wrote something, partly because I’ve been struggling with the idea of success, happiness. This TED talk got me thinking, enough to start blogging again!

In this TED Talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work.html), Shawn says that success is defined as reaching our goals, which is done through hard work. He contends that success is a moving concept, so as goals keep changing, success keeps eluding us. Happiness being a derivative of success, also keeps moving. He says that this formula should be reversed, and that happiness is rather, a pre-requisite to achieving success.

While this is good on paper, it is hard to maintain a perpetual state of happiness. Nor is the idea that success is a moving goal post really true in the long run. Most people have a rough idea of how they want their life to shape up, say 20 years down the line. The specifics of reaching that state of comfort, or “success” are however a changing concept in the short run. When happiness comes into the picture, this idea gets distorted. Happiness itself, could be anywhere in the spectrum between instant happiness and lasting happiness. While the latter would be reflected in achieving one’s long term goals, instant happiness has much lesser co relation with achieving short term goals. This is where this rationale gets distorted. Are short term goals a means to happiness, or is happiness in general, a means to realizing those dreams? While it’s not a disputable fact that happiness of any degree has an impact in one’s daily activities, to what extend it actually shapes the desired level of “hard work” is subjective. This conundrum just shows that the area of intersection between success, happiness, hard work, is minute. It has become increasingly evident to me, that happiness depends on highly customized variables, differing from person to person. As each one of us can’t customize the world around us into our own heavens of happiness, what we can do, is customize our actions in a way which we intuitively feel would lead to happiness. Indisputably all these are very fluid concepts. As someone rightly said, it’s time we realized that existence itself is a fluid concept.

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