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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Pursuit of HappYness

Ever wondered why happiness is spelled with an "I" and not a "Y"? I guess it's when a "WHY" comes in and you begin to doubt yourself and others that it gets diluted, adulterated. And that which could be perfect bliss grows unhealthily in the shadows of your uncertainty.
What is perfect happiness then? And how can it be achieved? ( Those who think it can NOT be achieved may stop reading here. Throw your WHYs out of the window before proceeding further )

I'd like to refer what the noted author and the CEO of ASI Consulting Group, Subir Chowdhury said in an interview to Marshall Goldsmith ( the author of What Got You Here Won't Get You There- recently listed as America's best-selling business book in The Wall Street Journal. ): " ...We should all begin our day with the understanding that "quality is my business. We should all ask the question, "What can I do to improve the quality of my work?" We shouldn't only look at the present. We should look to our future and challenge ourselves by asking, "What can I do to improve the quality of my career?"

The obvious question that follows is: What are the factors that usually effect our quality of life?
Health, wealth and love are the most highly voted ones.
Which is the most important to you and why? The answers may vary. But my take is- you need all the three to have a balanced life.

Now let us try and analyze why some people who have the potential to be "perfectly happy" are yet not; for some apparently invisible reasons. Maybe eliminating the cause of their unhappiness could make them happy. Maybe not. But we can give it a shot.

A is a woman in her early twenties. She has a pleasant disposition and bright career prospects. She is impassioned about her work and her secondary career which has given her public recognition as well. She should have nothing to complain. But...

B is a Masters student in an elite US University. He has been offered an internship with a wage of 70$ per-hour for 10 weeks. He is not happy . He wants to negotiate with the concerned firm to increase the hourly wage.

C is an MBA graduate from one of the IIMs. He switched jobs to join a company with a better market presence. But he's finding it difficult to carve a niche for himself like he could in his previous company or do something substantial-according to his standard of skills-in his view. Result: frustration.

We acquire skills to add values to our careers, cultivate hobbies to utilize our leisure, try to choose the perfect mate to provide us with an emotional anchor. But in our pursuit to earn a living, are we forgetting to live?

Tell me what you think are the possible solutions for A, B and C to improve their quality of lives.
I had enough of acting the agony aunt myself.

Trivia: the federal minimum wage rate is currently $5.15 per-hour. Many states enact higher minimum wages than that established by the government and hourly wage could be as high as $9 per-hour, depending upon the skill requirement of the job

22 comments:

Sathish M S said...

I remember this quote
"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans".
The possible solution for A/B/C :
Live rather than planning for it. Just LIVE. Who knows you might not get another chance.

puchku said...

I just have to agree with sathish m as he said what I believe.

When beauty becomes conscious of its being it looses charm and charmless beauty is like a rose never looked at.

Happiness is like beauty and an enemy of consciousness. It is how much you are into something so that you are not fully conscious of any other thing. If you find something like that you are happy...be it a man..a woman...wealth...carrier or the tranquility of a void.

One should let one's heart flow like a river and let the brain row the boat on it. That is what all of us should do...and thats what those three should do also if they are human at all.

arnab said...

i don't know what A, the author, is complaining about. so...

B, the brother, is following the age old principle of making hay while the sun shines. so nothing wrong in that. unless, of course, this is really making him crabby - then he needs to take a vacation and smoke some pot.

C, the champ, is someone i can relate to. often the dissatisfaction that you see has nothing to do with earning living per se, but more a matter of personal gratification from accomplishing a challenging goal. all of us type-a overachieving bastards fall in that category :-)

so relax, have a beer! nobody is forgetting how to live...

btw, have you seen the movie? was a good one

passer by said...

if C gets replaced by B for a indian job and A has made up her mind..there is happIness around with a capital I

passer by said...

what if we bring a D also from america into picture.. does that help A.. the pblm still remains with the Ys..

passer by said...

now that it seems a fourth order algebra equation.. i must quote Mr.Buhrman

Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Aparna Kar said...

@passer by
Near perfect solution
But what about B then?
C "might have" wanted to be in B's place professionally- in fact he might have even considered a Ph.D, and not just an MS. But would a career in R&D guarantee the full execution of his latent skills?

A has decided her mind.. But B?
What is it that he seeks?

Anyways, if introducing a new element D can solve the equation , then I don't mind if he/she comes from Timbuktoo even.
Here you are making an assumption that A, B and C are related- or at least their state of happiness is.

But can anyone really influence another person so much?
D is welcome then.. more than just welcome :P

Aparna Kar said...

@ Arnab
Yes, the movie was one of those where you need more than just six senses to embrace the meaning completely . Life is Beautiful and The Guardian were also of that genre.

A didn't make a public declaration so you won't know what she laments about.
B has his own worries. Let us leave him in peace for a while.
C is with whom you identify yourself most- but the urge for a personal gratification from accomplishing a challenging goal resides in everybody I guess :)

Nice way to label yourself a type-a overachieving bastard

I wonder how Type A+ looks like :)

Shreyas said...

i have read ur blog a long time ago and just happened to pass by again... well art of living is a bridge between the working towards a few goals and realising the beauty of the journey.... all 3 of ur situations have worked hard at acquiring the knowledge but thy have lost trak of the fact tht it isnt thr degree tht matters, rather the efforts and knowledge enhancement tht works... same ways it isnt the money thy wud end up making.. rather the saving and spending and enabling access to other things tht thy shud concentrate on to be happy... i mean wud the guy gettin 70 an hr be happier if he got 80.... wud his house be any more pleasant feelin if it parks a BMW instead of a honda.. ech one has to introspect wht wud give them tht pleasure and make a move on...

Shreyas said...

oh yeah by the way if u can drop by my blog and give ur comments it wud b really nice.. u write really well and wud b gr8 to have ur views abt my writing.....

arun said...

In my point of view the solution is quiet simple...rather i would say this not a problem at all..but it depends on the individual's perception how they can follow it or implement it...Stay on ...i will comment bck!

Cheers!

Vidya said...

Hey thats a great blog you have.. very creative and very smart... keep up the great work... :) cheers

Aparna Kar said...

Thanks Vidya. Shashi told me about you. In fact he forwarded the compliment you gave me (my blog rather :D). I must say it's a mutual admiration society. I just happened to see your blog. It's going to be my new haunt for a while now :)

Vidya said...

May i add link to your blog in my Advertisement blog?(www.wordsofbabel.blogspot.com)

candid diary said...

The paradox of life: the moment we are happy we become stagnant. Happiness, like success, is short-lived and we start a new search for happiness.

InkTank said...

a commmon solution for A,B, and C, according to me, is, at some point of time in life, one has to learn to be satisfied. unless one is satisfied, one cant be happy. the craving for more....shud be seen in our efforts, not necessarily in the results. i dont know, i cud be completely off mark too. anyways.....u write well!!

arun said...

ye sab gyan nahi hai...jus wht i felt to comment...

A is a woman in her early twenties. She has a pleasant disposition and bright career prospects. She is impassioned about her work and her secondary career which has given her public recognition as well. She should have nothing to complain. But...

B is a Masters student in an elite US University. He has been offered an internship with a wage of 70$ per-hour for 10 weeks. He is not happy . He wants to negotiate with the concerned firm to increase the hourly wage.

C is an MBA graduate from one of the IIMs. He switched jobs to join a company with a better market presence. But he's finding it difficult to carve a niche for himself like he could in his previous company or do something substantial-according to his standard of skills-in his view. Result: frustration.




So is this the case study?...All the three have a common solution...u know this human mind is weird...really weird...it keeps yearning till what it wants and once it gets fullfilled it goes after another thing...So the common solution for all the three RELATIVE THINKING...ya i mean it...i dont

know how possible is it for A b and C...but at sometime inmy life i followed this...lets go individual wise now...

A : I always found not only with girls, in general that a person even though who has all the things what he/she wants still keep searching for something or wanna cry over something...there are and there will be always IF's and BUT's in everybody's life...her case is like this..she has a pleasant disposition,career, public reco from her secondary career but still she has some BUT's...Is she not sure of what she wants???..or is this jus a state of euphoria of having everything...i have a friend like..she has a good job, nice family, etc etc etc...but at times she just used to call me and cry for nothing....REALLY NOTHING...i couldn't understand that...it continued many times...one fine day i just stopped her and asked..."what's ur prob?"...when people search for 1000 reasons to smile why u wanna cry over nothing?...but my question dint gave her a consolatory meaning...ok...after this wht i gonna tell is not a philosophy..this is wht i jus follow at times...i told her..."next time when u wanna cry for no reason..think about the peolpe in uganda who starve for one
gud meal daily..think about the people in unknown remote people who dont even know whts education...if not globally...think abt the everyday life of people whom u see in city slum's...look around u...there are lot of things happening around u...jus dont see observe..u are lot more blessed then al those..is it not?...does it make any sense for u to frown and cry over something which u even dont know?..even if u gonna be the same after this also...i think u yet need to get matured"...thts my answer for A...look around u...u hav nothing to complain..the were comes the IF's and BUT's...i feel there is no BUT's without

IF's...so wht are ur IF's???..even sometime i hav thought of this IF's...but latter realised if those IF's have happened...I AM NOT WHAT I AM TODAY...so i feel A's problem is with her thought process...u know for few things even the key maker can only give the key and show the door...after tht it's upto to the individual to walk thru it ( i copied my inspiration dialog from Matrix :-) )...so similarly B and C also can have a relative thinking...as said in the prev comment...happiness is something which is based on contended mind...u need not do grt things to be happy...do what u want and in you way...tht shld give u the happiness at the end of the day...

B can hav a relative thinking over the people who dont even hav an opputunity to get a masters in spite of gud academia due to various reasons...he can think abt others around him who dont hav or had oppt to even study tht much due to circumstances...i think b has to seriously consider a few things...when is the last time he made use of his 70$ money for a gud cause...say sponsoring for a child whom he has never seen or met or at least to a charity...i would say " come on man u r educated...get things into perception...even if u can 1000$ / hr but not able to spend ur own way happily..then it is pointless..."

...C is bit diff...u know i have friends working in Oracle to Microsoft to Google...everyone have something to sob...even i have something..so what's the solution..." remember..the best company to always work for is to have ur own company"...this is materialised world man...sometime u
have to stretch and bend urself...i donno anyone reading will get my point :-(

chandra said...

Aparna,

there is just one purpose of life... to spread laughter , to spread joy, to be kind and compassionate, to love , to wipe a tear, to make another feel wanted.................to be passionately involved with good deeds, in words and thru acts

warm wishes

chandra

chandrasart.blogspot.com

Aparna Kar said...

My humble suggestions are:

A has been in too much of limelight for too long. Now happiness is not enough for her- she wants euphoria.
I suggest her to keep a low profile for a while- and get back to community service which she had been involved in before. She needs to invest her energy again to broader channels. It will do her good...

B needs to do a lot of introspection and positive self-suggestion. What he seeks is not without- it's within


C could get married and settled.. lol.. or at least learn to love someone else other than himself.. :D

Aparna Kar said...

@chandra
It takes a lot of maturity to understand that. We often waste our time bothering about things that don't even matter at the end If every individual were dedicated to create only happiness for the self and others- the world would have been a better place.
But as I always say- what you do not have, you can not give
A person who is not happy with himself can never be happy with others.
So the first step should be to find peace WITHIN oneself

Priya Ranjan Singh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Priya Ranjan Singh said...

solutions. wouldnt' be that common?
dont stop worryin', frustrated. don' be happy till u find the exact way how to.

go ahead clueless. do mistakes. learn. mabbe A finds it sooner. mabbe she never does. B and C are always same, its so general ;)

i guess happiness means different to every second person. we might think whats right for them, but it never is the same way. i guess. m still learning fundamentals.

>>crap
p.s. u forgot engineering graduates. they need more sympathy :p lol
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