How can we maintain our personal harmony so that we are able to make others’ lives also happier and more harmonious?
The factors that make each of us happy, depend a lot on what we believe is valuable to us.
For many, happiness, is dependent on the happiness of our loved ones, the progress we make, our status, the value we add to people we know and may not know and so on.
Let me share with you, what I have understood about developing personal harmony.
1) Our purpose in life is crucial for our happiness. Without purpose, our life will be like a ship lost at sea, not knowing the next port we need to halt and not not knowing which direction we are going in.
2) The grass is greener on the other side if we don’t water our grass. It is indeed up to us to take care of our grass.
When we meet someone who inspires us, instead of merely admiring them (and their grass!) from afar, we need to get to know them. It may not always be possible to communicate with them, but their life can teach us a lot. Reading about them, understanding their values, the work they have done and currently do and the failures that has made them stronger, would all give us the necessary wisdom to grow and succeed. Learning from successful individuals not only help us to improve ourselves but tune our minds to feel happy for their success. By leading a life of learning, our awareness and respect for humility is enhanced. In the process, we are also reminded of our role as a supportive member of society.
3) Never allow our happiness to depend on another person or that person’s existence. Our relationships ought not to be given such a prominence that our happiness lies in the hands of another.
An ancient quote conveys this philosophy with great clarity-
“Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket”
4) Give whatever we have or we do, our best, but accept that some situations are beyond what we can do. Some situations are beyond our control. In such situations, accept it with grace and dignity, stop the efforts and give attention to other valuable areas in our life.
5) Treat ourselves with the same respect we show others. The moment we compromise on the way we treat ourselves, we are prone to disappointments and stress in our relationships.
6) Like everything in life, our understanding of anything depends on what we wish to see.
I can’t help but think of a small story that I’ve heard many years ago regarding this fact.
There was once a wise man who was asked by a traveller about the place he came from. The wise man with a smile replied to the traveller’s question with another one, “How is the town that you come from?”
The traveller, with a look of contempt said, “Oh! my place is full of awful mean people”
Hearing this, the wise man replied with a smile, “My town is exactly the same”.
The traveller bid him farewell and walked away.
Another day, the wise man met another traveller who asked him the same question. This time too, the wise man replied with the same question he asked the previous traveller.
But this traveller’s reply to the question was different.
“My town is a beautiful place with wonderful and friendly people”, he said with a smile.
The wise man once again, merely replied with a smile, “My town is just like your town”.
Many a time, how we see people, places and situations is an unconscious reflection of how we are. We often attribute our qualities to others and this affects our happiness and harmony with the world.
6) Tuning our mind to be positive and thinking positive is one of the best ways to be in a state of happiness and contentment.
7) Throwing out the “clutter” helps you to become an Optimist.
Keep people who bring negative energy into our life away or at least at a distance. Encouraging them to become close, interacting with them regularly or more than required, not only jeopardizes your decision to be happy but affects your efforts in making others happy.
8) Last but not least, just as we enjoy life, consciously make decisive steps to make others happy. Help bring about desirable changes to the lives of others and the environment we are a part of. It could be through ways that are practical and viable for you. Sharing knowledge, supporting social or charity causes, mentoring or taking someone who could do with some cheering up out for a meal, are all ways to reach out to the world around you. Making a positive difference in the world is actually far easier than we think.
In the words of John Donne, “no man is an island”. As global citizens, let us strive to happily exist and coexist in harmonious serenity with the rest of the world.