How happy are you?

Read the following statements.  

-In most ways my life is close to ideal
-The conditions of my life are excellent
-I am satisfied with my life
-So far I have gotten the important things I want in life
-If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing

Now pick a number between 1 and 7 for each statement based on how true the statement is in your life right now.
1 = Not at all true; 4 = Moderately True; 7 = Absolutely True 

Each statement carries 1 – 7 points depending on what number you chose. If you scored 15 or under, you are dissatisfied with your life. If you scored 31 or higher, you are extremely satisfied with your life.  If you scored somewhere in the middle, its time to work on this happiness thing.  I found this test some where on the internet and found it interesting and it left me wondering……

Are we all addicted to the destination? It’s always about tomorrow. We are chasing ‘more,’ ‘next’ and ‘there’. We promise that when we get there, we’ll be happy. But do we really mean it? Will it bring truly bring happiness? Or will we simply set another destination to go for and repeat this all over again?

I think as we become adults we tend to mix our goals and aspirations with satisfaction and happiness. I think the two are parallel in life. You lead your life motivated by your aims& goals trying to reach it. While you are leading the life to get there, you still seek happiness and satisfaction. Which can only mean, happiness or satisfaction is not something you magically get when you get to someplace in your life. It is something you create for yourself no matter where you are and what you do or even irrespective of whether you actually achieve your goal or not.   The work you do to reach your goal and the jobs you do to get there do not define who you are. The way you lead your life while getting there does. Which include things like passion for what you do principles, kindness, open mindedness, creating a quality of life within your means and simply not being overcome by the need of instant gratification when it comes to life. Sometimes, this means making sacrifices. It’s hard to quantify the fulfillment that comes with it, but it greatly exceeds the sacrifice most of the times. 

Happiness is not something we can go after and get! There is nothing called “pursuit of happiness”. It just follows you along when you go about your daily life doing things you like, not being obsessed or addicted with tomorrow or the next. 

I recently read this beautiful story in this book ” The Practice and Philosphy of Decision making : A Seven Step Spiritual Guide” by Neeraja Raman. Here’s how it goes,

A big cat saw a kitten chasing its tail and asked, “Why are you chasing your tail?”
Said the kitten, “I have learned that the best thing for a cat is happiness and that happiness is in my tail. Therefore I am chasing it and when I catch it, I shall have happiness.”
Said the old cat, “My child, I too have paid attention to the problems of the universe. I too have judged that happiness is in my tail. But I have noticed that whenever I chase it, it runs away from me and when I go about my business, it just seems to come after me wherever I go.” 

If you are in troubled times there’s no way to go but up. Keep Smiling! 

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