Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Seven Habits of Highly Unhappy People

Today has been a good day - a high adrenalin  cardio-kickboxing class, lots of to-do items crossed off at work, dinner cooked ( mung daal with roti ), dinner eaten as a family, son's lunch packed for tomorrow (cheese dosa), one large load of laundry folded (yes, it is important :-)), a long walk with K2 and Jinx along the lake...I am happy. Ironically, I was reading a  newsletter from the BrahmaKumaris of Silicon Valley this weekend and it had an article on the 7 Habits of Highly Unhappy People ( and if you know me you know my obsession with go here and here and here and one of my all time favorites here ...believe me now, ok let's continue :) ) here I was intently reading the article and feeling in parts sheepish and in parts ashamed...why? simply because everything they said held true in my case...I consoled myself that in the path to learn half the battle is won with awareness...and I am aware maybe I make positive changes...we will see.

Painting Credit :  Botero Fernando 

Here is a gist of the article :

It is  only when we acknowledge that we are 100% responsible for our own happiness that we start to ‘notice’ our actions that create our unhappiness and start to shed the habits that sabotage our contentment and joy.  Here are the 7 habits of highly unhappy people:

Judging: When you judge others you lose your inner peace - constantly trying to understand every action or reaction...even when the other person does not have you on their radar...

Criticising: Criticising is attacking, and somewhere ‘in there’ usually lies anger albeit in a milder form. And when you are angry you are unhappy.

Complaining: Complaining is endemic in some cultures (my desi bandhus  our culture leads this wagon). Complaining signals the presence of distress and therefore the absence of happiness whereas ‘giving feedback’ and ‘making a request’ ensure that there is no discontentment. 

Blaming: Projecting blame onto someone else is not only a happiness killer but usually a habit to avoid responsibility. It’s driven by the perfect combination of anger and fear -- makes me very apologetic for the million times I have turned to K1, my dad, my mom, A, K2 and the handful of close friends I have and used the words - it is your fault

Arguing: Trying to prove we are right, or attempting to make others right, is usually both a tense and grumpy affair. Put my brother A and me in a room together and we will argue ourselves hoarse...maybe we are doing it out of habit...the feeling at the end of any argument one won or lost ain't a good one.

Competing: Most of us have assimilated the belief that competition is good, fun and even joyful. But a glance at the faces of long distance runners, tennis players will show that 99% of the game is played in a state of abject suffering. Occasionally, in the middle of the game or the match, someone will let a little joy slip out, but it doesn’t last long. Competition contains fear by definition, which along with anger, are the sworn enemies of happiness. 

Controlling: Attempting to make others dance to our tune is a demonstration of the belief that others, and not we, are responsible for our happiness.

These 7 of many habits block  happiness from lighting up our life. Many of these habits are second nature to either the culture I was born in and some learnt in the culture I made my own ...or simply unique to my personality. I have been in an introspective mood these past 4 days since I read this article and felt it was a sliver of wisdom meant for my friends find your inner peace - your inner source of strength and happiness.

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