The news about India ranking a dismal 133rd among 153 countries on the happiness index (World Happiness Report, 2018), down by 11 spots from her ranking in 2017 is shocking. It ranks 81st in the Global Corruption Perceptions Index. It appears that rampant commercialism has taken hold over ethics, empathy, enlightenment and that our education system is no longer addressing ethicality and happiness.
We now fail to rank high on the happiness index on moral grounds. As we struggle for happiness, the true challenge contemporary Indians face is that of carving out a space for authentic autonomy or responsible freedom. ‘Pack’ management might work as a magic wand for meeting this urgent task. By pack, I refer to pressures, attitudes, choices and knowledge. Finding satisfaction with such factors would imply an individual’s happiness level.
Pressure: Pressures arise out of seeing future challenges, insecurities, and the stress of dealing with everyday life. For some,a neighbour’s success or happiness is the cause of pressure. Also, our mind is never steady but fleeting,prone to suspicions, a slave to desires, and marked by our ego. In such a scenario, we acutely feel the pressure from bosses, siblings, relatives and friends. Even a feeling of why doesn’t the entire world surrender to me forms a source of stress. Bringing back the focus to your own self and doing your current tasks helps in reducing stress, and helps you to be calm; eventually, you achieve work-life balance. “Today, autonomous development of an authentic self is almost gone. We are under incessant pressure to evolve into an attractive, sellable brand,” says Yanis Varoufakis, a professor based in Athens.
Attitude: “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference,” said Winston Churchill. Developing a positive attitude,empathy, and a sense of thankfulness is a challenge. The key to developing positive attitude is yoga and meditation. We need to strike a balance between wandering within and without. Diving deep inside for valuable insights is as important as appreciating the beauty of the rose and rainbow outside.
Choice: It is choice, not chance that determines our happiness, for all through life, we are engaged in making socio-economic,personal choices. How can we enjoy real choice, understand the trickery of enticements, and regain our priorities necessary to our happiness? When we make our choices through our mind, we have profit or material gains, but when we are heartcentric, we attain happiness and make spiritual progress.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper