“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
― John Lennon
John Lennon got it right very early in his life. Above everything else we want in life – that luxury car, a dream bungalow, family trip to Hawai’i, or even an appreciation note – is our desire to reach that Destination: Happiness.
“Your days are your life in miniature”. Happy days convert into successful days which over time convert into successful life. Therefore, it is important to be happy.
Okay.. so we all want to be happy, but what does it take?
The best I used to do about it was hope that it would all work out on its own one day, perhaps praying to God would help get there faster, or may be I will need a happiness Mantra.
I did some research to see what successful people did to ensure happy days. And, I found a common theme. They didn’t leave their happiness to chance. Instead, they reflected on one question – “What was I doing when things were working out?”
It’s so important and yet such an easy one to forget. You have to have your list to be able to repeat those things. That would multiply your chances of having happy days.
I started doing that myself and have realized that I am able to accomplish a lot more things than otherwise. I haven’t reached that destination yet – No way! But at least I am enjoying the journey.
So, here’s what I was doing when things were working out for me:
- I was getting up early – at 5 o’ clock!
- I was spending time with myself – Reflecting, Exercising, Learning, and Meditating. Everything else I did had a unique difference on days I spent time with myself!
- I broke down bigger problems into smaller ones – Call it WBS or lag measures. My five year old son, Tanav asked me a few weeks back, “Papa, do you do big things or small?” The question got me thinking and I replied, “I do only small things. The ones that are BIG, I break down to smaller ones. That way, I only have to do a bunch of small things that are manageable and it gives me a sense of accomplishment as I go along.” That didn’t impress him much though, and he said, “Papa, may be you should consider doing BIG things too!”
- I was spending time with family. “Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will. Stay in touch.”
- I was present in the moment. I wasn’t thinking about home while at work and about work at home.
- I was listening to the best of the best music. I once had a rule to listen only to music that touched my soul and settle for nothing less!
- I was planning for growth. “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for two things, the people you meet and the books you read.” – Mark Twain.
- I was spending time in nature.
- I told stories to Tanav. Tanav has become an amazing story teller himself. I really love that because stories create such a lasting impression.
- I had faith. I didn’t let the day go by without laughing. I wasn’t worrying: A survey has revealed that 40 percent of things we worry about never happen; 30 percent have already happened and cannot be changed; 22 percent regards problems which are beyond our control; only eight percent of what we worry about are situations over which we have influence. So, why worry. It’s pointless!
The list is not etched in concrete, but for now, this is what it is. It will change as I mature and learn more.
It’s certainly not easy for me to follow it but one thing is certain – if I choose to follow it, I will be successful. After all, this is my personal success mantra.
So, what is your success mantra? Do you have your answer to the question, “What was I doing then?” I’ll love to hear from you.
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