Things not to give up to be HAPPY…..

#.  Your God-given truth…..

There will always be people who refuse to respect you – the way you look, the way you talk, the things you say, the styles you enjoy, your beliefs, your interests, your loves, etc.  In other words, they won’t support you in being true to yourself.  The good news is, it’s up to you if you want to let them mess with your character, or if you would rather stand up for yourself and accept yourself just the way you are. Obviously the latter holds more value and makes sense in the long run.

Do your best to be as good as you can be, and if that’s not enough for someone, it surely will be for someone else.  You are not here to please everyone, and you are certainly not here to please them at the expense of your own truth.  So care less about what they say and smile more about what you know is true.  Live your life and be happy with yourself, without their judgments.

#.  Responsibility for your own life…..

Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility. Don’t let this be you. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you surrender power over that part of your life.

Make no mistake, in the end, the price of happiness is RESPONSIBILITY.  As soon as you stop making everyone and everything else responsible for your happiness, the happier you’ll be.  If you’re unhappy now, it’s not someone else’s fault.

Ultimately, your happiness depends on your self-reliance – your unshakable willingness to take responsibility for your life from this moment forward, regardless of who had a hand in making it the way it is now.  It’s about taking control of your present circumstances, finding your true self by thinking for yourself, and making a firm choice to live your way.  It’s about being the HERO of your life, not the VICTIM.

#.  Love that comes naturally to you…..

When you love openly and honestly, you always strive to become better than you are.  When you strive to become better than you are, everything around you becomes better too.  There is never a perfect time or place for love like this either.  It happens naturally and accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, fluttering instant in time.

Where there is true love, there is true life.
Don’t let anything stop you from loving.  Don’t let anything stop you from living.

#.  Your curiosity…..

Joy comes easy to us in our youth because we haven’t become set too firmly in our ways.  Our willingness to curiously assess new situations and varying perspectives allows us to experience flashes of insight and beauty wherever we go.  Those of us who fight the draw of our comfort zones as we age, who sustain our curiosity into our later years, learn a lot more and experience far more happiness in the long run.

Curiosity, after all, is the foundation of lifelong growth.  It allows us to retain a beginner’s mind even as our wisdom expands.  In this way, an enduring curiosity permits our hearts and minds to grow younger, not older every day.

So always remain curious and teachable.  Keep an open mind and do not stop questioning and learning.  Look forward, open new doors and experience new things.  Do so because you’re curious, and because you know that today’s journey is always just beginning.

#.  Your ability to make progress.

Happiness isn’t possession.  It’s progress.  It’s seeing your efforts create outcomes.

So don’t let the fantasy of an easy life imprison you.  Short-term discomfort and failure are two of the surest stepping-stones to long-term happiness and success.  Find the strength to keep going, even when the going gets tough.  Good things don’t come to those who wait.  Good things come to those who are patient… while working hard for what they want most in life.

#.  Meaningful dreams and goals…..

If you’re bored with life – if you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you haven’t set the right goals, and you aren’t doing enough with your dreams.  You’re on the wrong path to happiness.

Every morning you have the same two choices:

Continue to sleep with your dreams.Wake up and do something that brings them to reality.

When a dream matters enough to a person, that person will find a way to achieve what at first seemed impossible.  You know this is true.  You know what you need to do.  Do it.  Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Put in the effort and live the life you’ve imagined.  The only thing that can truly stop you, is YOU.

#.  Your patience…..

Patience does not mean waiting and doing nothing.  Patience involves productive activity.  It means doing your very best with the resources available to you, while understanding that the results you seek are worth the required time and effort, and not available elsewhere for any less time and effort.

In other words, patience is the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard on the activities and goals that bring you happiness.

Ultimately, the two hardest tests on the road to personal growth are the patience to wait for what you want and the courage not to be disappointed when it doesn’t arrive as soon as you had expected.  Patience can be bitter, but the seeds you plant now will bear sweet fruit.  And these fruits are worth waiting for.  There’s no point in hurrying through life.

#.  All your present contentment…..

Sometimes we avoid experiencing exactly where we are because we have developed a belief, based on past experiences, that it is not where we should be or want to be.  But the truth is, where you are now is exactly where you need to be to get to where you want to go tomorrow.  So appreciate where you are.

Happiness is a mindset that can only be designed into the present.  It’s not a point in the future or a moment from the past; yet sadly, this misconception hurts the masses.  So many young people seem to think all their happiness awaits them in the years ahead, while so many older people believe their best moments are behind them.

Don’t let the past, or the future, steal your present contentment.  Stop over-thinking and worrying about every other time and place, every waking minute.  Worry and rumination are the worst enemies to living happily in the present.  Do what you need to do now, and value the process of doing so.  Pay attention.  Experience it.  Life is too short for anything less.

#.  Good times shared with good friends…..

Although happiness is a journey that requires effort and progress, it must also be shared.  If you attempt to do it all alone, you will not succeed as a human being.  Your heart will wither if it does not occasionally answer another heart.  Your mind will shrink away if he hears only the echoes of your own thoughts, and finds no other inspiration or relevant conversation.

Any bit of happiness unshared can scarcely be called happiness in the long run; it lacks substance and taste.  So whatever it is that makes you happy, do it and share it.  Don’t hide it .

I vote….👍

Around all the cynicism… A refreshing article in NY Times …

While many of our own papers and tv channels deplore India, here is a view from 

THE INDIAN ELECTIONS – NEW YORK TIMES

It is truly the greatest show on Earth, an ode to a diverse & democratic ethos, where 700 million + of humanity vote, providing their small part in directing their ancient civilization into the future.

It is no less impressive when done in a neighborhood which includes de-stabilizing & violent Pakistan, China, and Burma.

It’s challenges are immense, more so probably than anywhere else, particularly in development & fending off terrorism — but considering these challenges & its neighbors, it is even more astounding that the most diverse nation on Earth, with hundreds of languages, all religions & cultures, is not only surviving, but thriving.

The nation:
where Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism & Sikhism were born, which is the second largest Muslim nation on Earth;
where Christianity has existed for 2000 years;
where the oldest Jewish synagogues & Jewish communities have resided since the Romans burnt their 2nd temple;
where the Dalai Lama & the Tibetan government in exile reside;
where the Zoroastrians from Persia have thrived since being thrown out of their ancient homeland;
where Armenians, Syrians & many others have come to live; 
where the Paris-based OECD said was the largest economy on Earth for 1500 of the last 2000 years, including the 2nd largest, only 200 years ago;
where 3 Muslim Presidents have been elected,
where a Sikh is Prime Minister & the head of the ruling party a Catholic Italian woman,
where the past President was also a woman, succeeding a Muslim President who as a rocket scientist is a hero in the nation;
where a booming economy is lifting 40 million out of poverty each year & is expected to have the majority of its population in the middle class already, equal to the entire US population, by 2025;
where its optimism & vibrancy is manifested in its movies, arts, economic growth & voting, despite all the incredible challenges & hardships;
where all the great powers are vying for influence, as it itself finds its place in the world. 
Where all of this is happening, is India and as greater than 1/10th of humanity gets ready to vote, it is an inspiration to the entire World.

— V Mitchell, New York, NY

Reinforcing a feeling of pride in being an Indian. Good Morning!

What are you made of ??

When we don’t let go, even tiny pebbles of emotions start to feel like giant mountains of displeasure…..

Once upon a time, there lived an angry man. He had been married for two decades yet he habitually fought with his wife. He used to have uncontrollable fits of rage. When angry, he would say and do things he would regret later on. He would get worked up over trivial matters. He hated himself for this and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t break this habit.

One day he approached his guru and said: “I’m sick and tired of being angry all the time. Tiny matters set me off and the fiend in me comes out without any warning. Why am I eternally angry and upset?”
“Because you are hurt,” the guru said.
“But, I’ve a caring family and I do love my wife. She doesn’t hurt me back when I’m upset. So, I don’t think I’m hurt.”
“You are still experiencing the pain of old wounds. These are the after effects of what you may have experienced in your childhood or during your youth.”
“Have I not been healed all these years?”
“Not only you’ve not healed yet, but the hurt and the pain has made you weak too. As a result, regardless of how pleasant or unpleasant the situation may be, any undesirable thought or emotion triggers the anger in you. A fit of rage is a sign of being hurt and weak.”
“But, I don’t remember any major incidents, only small ones. How can such experiences of the distant past still leave me weak, hurt and angry?”
The guru handed him his water pot and instructed him to keep his arm stretched while holding it.
“Is it heavy?” he asked.
“Not really.”
A minute passed and he asked the same question.
“It feels a little heavier now,” the disciple said.
“Stay put till I say otherwise.”
“My arm’s aching and I can’t hold it any longer,” he said after five minutes.
The guru took the water pot from him and said, “You see, it’s not how much the water pot weighed but how long you carried it. The longer you hold it, the heavier it feels. Gradually, you feel weaker and weaker before you find it unbearable.”

While the gravity of the incident matters, what matters lot more is how long we’ve been carrying it around. I frequently meet people who are in their fifties, sixties or even seventies, who have been married for decades, yet they complain about incidents that occurred thirty years ago as if they happened just thirty minutes ago, just now. They range from something as small as not being served the right meal at their wedding to being lied about something more serious.

Every day, every moment of our lives unfolds a new experience. It’s impossible to have only pleasant ones because often what we experience is dependent on how we are feeling internally than the absoluteness of the external condition itself. It’s impossible to only have agreeable conversations with our loved ones. It’s a given that there are going to be times when the other person will make mistakes or when you’ll do so, when they won’t understand you or when you won’t understand them. It doesn’t mean that the relationship is not workable or that there is no compatibility. Sometimes, it simply means that you’ve been carrying the water pot for a little too long.

At that time, it is for your own good that you try and let go before tiny pebbles of petty matters become giant mountains of negativity and neglect. If we keep holding on, it keeps getting heavier, and, once the burden is beyond bear, it makes us weak and vulnerable. In that state of hurt and susceptibility, it takes less than a trifle to snap. Just like a mere pin prick bursts a balloon.

I’m not saying that you put up with abusive behavior. I’m suggesting that, no matter how small or big the incident, if you still hold the other person responsible for what happened years ago, you are doing great injustice to the both of you. It’s unnecessary. It’s past, it’s gone. It’s weighing on you; you can’t possibly hope to feel light or happy. What’s more, we can’t even remain sane if we don’t let go. Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”

The world around us will continue to move. We can’t erase the past, we can’t really change others unless they deeply desire it themselves, we can’t go into the future, we can’t forget anything by choice, but we can let go, we can empty ourselves. Let me share with you a beautiful Buddhist hymn.

Let me a pure white lotus be
Unfolding in Samsara’s stream,
Let all the gloom of misery
Be gathered in my lotus dream;
Let each dew drop that studded lie
On each white radiant fold,
Reflect the mercy of the law
That turns death’s bliss to gold.

Let every wave that tumbles down,
Their curled slim of wrath, repair
To lotus roots of dusky brown,
In my compassion’s bounty share;
Let every sparks of vengeance rowed
Round lotus stalks entwine.
And greed and lies transformed by love
In lotus heart enshrine.

When each life drop has sped away
Across my pure white lily door
When I have drained all sorrow may
I speed to deck that lustless floor.
Let every petal softly fold,
In summer’s golden shine
Retreat to claim the splendid prize
Nirvana’s joy last Mine!

Retain only what you really care about because the stuff we keep is what shapes us. What we hold onto is what creates us, it makes us who we are.
Love and Let go the unwanted…..