Category Archives: October 2011

5 simple steps: Happiness guaranteed

This world has two kinds of people, those who keep waiting for the right time to be happy, and those who…Chalo ji, tension over. I thought with life being so unpredictable, who knows till when will I get an opportunity to give you gyaan about calm-sutra. Let us, in one stroke, figure out the magic formula for happiness. I can see that some of you have already put the cynics’ cap on, and are rolling your eyes on this 243567th attempt by a self-help writer to tell you how to be happy. I wish I could humour your cynicism further by saying things like, ‘no one, but I, can teach you how to be happy’, but all that is bullshit and you know it.

a calmer you column calmness tips on how to be happy

Calmness Tips on How to be Happy

Nothing I ever say in this column is something you don’t already know. But you still read it, right? Please allow me to share the steps I recently followed to drag myself out of a phase where I was feeling a bit low and out of sync. Believe me, these five steps work, no matter what the nature or cause of your unhappiness is. Because, this formula, my dearies, focuses on the solution, not the problem. Instant satisfaction guaranteed. Please send Rs. 1000 by cash/cheque/Bank DD (It had anyway started to sound like an ad to cure impotency, so added that for effect :)).

1 Check your surroundings

Close your eyes (not now, Einstein, after you finish reading the column) and think about the people you normally spend your day in the company of…colleagues, boss, classmates, facebook friends. Ask yourself if you are spending your days being around people who are mostly happy. If the answer to that is no, please stand up. Bend your right leg backwards and raise it till your foot reaches the right level. Kick yourself in the a**. Heart patients and pregnant women, please abstain. Those who are planning to write to me saying it’s impossible to kick yourself over ‘there’, please remember that you will have to first admit that you actually tried it.
Anyway, the point is this. Happiness is an infectious trait. You have to be around positive people to catch the right infection. If you are wasting away your time in the company of
constant whiners and people who have nothing good to say about anyone or anything, you will, sooner or later, start to sound like them. Avoid. If you have to be physically around them out of compulsion, learn to switch off mentally at the very moment someone starts to say something negative. Start thinking about Rakhi Sawant saying she wants to marry Baba Ramdev, but remember to nod at frequent intervals, with an utterly serious expression, to not give it away.

2 Take the Joy-Test

Every Friday evening, take a piece of paper and on one side, make a list of problems you are going through. (Note: if your list mentions the word boyfriend/girlfriend more than twice, stand again and repeat the exercise you did in step 1, you loser!). On the other side, make a list of things that gave you joy in the past week. Simple pleasures like sharing a cup of coffee with an old friend from school and remembering the crush you both had on the biology teacher. Or indulging in that extra helping of French fries you had when no one else was looking. Or waking up to see that beautiful bird perched on your balcony at sunrise. For every two joys on your list, give yourself one mark. If the total number of joy-marks are more than the number of problems on your list, you have passed the joy test for the week. Treat yourself to something you really enjoy, on Saturday. Make it a rule to do this for six months and you’ll start adding more joys to make every Saturday of your life memorable.

3 Kill the ‘when’ word

The biggest rule in the happiness formula is simple – abhi nahi toh kabhi nahi. If you ever talk about being happy in a sentence, which has the word ‘when’ at the end, you’re not getting it right. ‘I’ll be happy ‘when’ – I will – get good marks, get admission, get a job, be rich, lose weight, get married, have babies, buy my dream car, get retired, blah, blah and blah.’ The moment you use the word ‘when’, you put a condition on your happiness. Since your mind is not your slave, it retaliates by ensuring that when you achieve any of these, the condition shifts to the next benchmark. Kill the when. Right now.

4 Try out something crazy, and new

If the first thought that came to your mind was ‘drugs’, I’m alarmed at what kind of weirdos read my column. It is a scientifically proven fact that doing something you’ve never done before releases happy hormones in your body. I checked it in my own state-of-the-art laboratory. And no, you don’t have to now suddenly think of bungee jumping or deep sea diving. Ek toh movies ne hamein bigaad diya hai. We don’t look at simpler things. How about spending an entire day-out, just with yourself. Go, watch a movie alone, then head off to the market and gift yourself something really nice, get into a restaurant and enjoy a lavish meal with a nice drink. For a lot of us, even that has never been tried before. We are too busy putting riders on our own enjoyment. Give yourself a break.

5 Infect others

If as per step 1, your happiness rests on having happy people in your life, surely you also have to be one such person for those who have you in their lives. Last week I happened to be invited to a party where I did not really know anyone from before, except the host. I was obviously wary of spending much time in the company of people I hadn’t met before, and kept looking at my watch every five minutes, till I got introduced to this group of women who were laughing the loudest. They turned out to be so full-of-life and happy that the next time I looked at my watch, it was 4am. Happiness, as I said, is infectious. It would have been fairly easy for those women to have spent time cribbing about jobs, kids, mother-in-laws, weight … but they chose to spend time laughing and cracking jokes. If you spread laughter, God figures out a way to reward you by giving more reasons to laugh often. If you become the reason for someone else failing their joy-test, you are unlikely to pass yours for too long. Simple.
Sonal Kalra has given kuchh zyada hi deep philosophy this time. What should be her punishment.

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5 simple steps: Happiness guaranteed

Today's Viral Video - Must Watch & Share. Subscribe to My YouTube Channel.

Here is an excerpt of this column which was published on 30/10/2011 in HT City’s A Calmer You column(FSGJZAD77FKW) ;

This world has two kinds of people. Those who keep waiting for the right time to be happy, and those who… Chalo ji, tension over. I thought with life being so unpredictable, who knows till when will I get an opportunity to give you gyaan about calm-sutra. Let us, in one stroke, figure out the magic formula for happiness. I can see that some of you have already put the cynics’ cap on, and are rolling your eyes on this 243567th attempt by a self-help writer to tell you how to be happy. I wish I could humour your cynicism further by saying things like, ‘no one, but I, can teach you how to be happy’, but all that is bullshit and you know it. Nothing I ever say in this column is something you don’t already know. But you still read it, right? Please allow me to share the steps I recently followed to drag myself out of a phase where I was feeling a bit low and out of sync.

Read the Full Column

If you are really looking forward to be really happy always, then straightaway jump to the last tip which Sonal Kalra has mentioned in this column which is – Infect others. If you could make others happy then there is nothing that can stop you from being real happy. This goes a long way in keeping your happiness alive always unlike Sonal’s other tips which are more of a temporary arrangement to come out of stress and making yourself happy. After, killing the ‘when’ word and trying out new and crazy things is something you will not be able to do always. After a while, you will not be able to kill the ‘when’ word because life is not that ideal as we hope and try to make it to be. Similarly, the real fun will fade away after you have tried a couple of new and so called crazy things. This is human nature, to start feeling monotonous and bored of something you have been doing repeatedly.

5-simple-steps-Happiness-guaranteed-sonal-kalra-weekly-a-calmer-you-column-tips

If you really want to be happy always, then only thing which can do so days after days , months after months and years after years is to make others happy. The satisfaction which you get from such things is far larger than even watching a comedy movie to burst out few laughters. After all, laughing doesn’t always mean being happy. A person could be extremely happy and yet show it with a small smile and on the other hand, you could be a master of laughter therapy and yet may not be happy from inside. Ofcourse, I am not denying the benefits of laughter therapy to keep the stress away. In fact, I really recommend it a lot when you are finding it a bit difficult to get out of stress. Must try this.

Again, when I talk about making others happy, I don’t really mean here to make others laugh by sharing few good jokes only. What I mean is rather serious not-so-funny stuff. Help others so that they can feel relatively better and happier. Am sure, that will give double the happiness what other person would have felt.

Can I have my Diwali back, please?

Below is an excerpt of this column which was published on 23/10/2011 (pre-diwali weekend).

With three days to go for the festival of traffic jams, I’m writing this piece sitting in the car that hasn’t moved an inch in the past forty minutes. No, I don’t have a particularly weird liking towards sitting in parked cars, so yes, I’m caught in traffic. Everywhere I look around, I see haggard faces. There’s a guy on a scooter on my left, trying to balance gift packs big enough to raise the average per capita living standard  of an entire colony. There is a shop selling crockery items on the right side of the road, where a salesman, who has clearly not slept for at least three days of selling cups and saucers, is trying desperately to field harassment from a woman who is aggressively bargaining for a cutlery set. Just to pass time, I have visions of the salesman hitting the woman with a pack of six spoons worth Rs 50 each and his photo being carried in newspapers tomorrow.

Read the Full Column

Sonal Kalra has talked about three “joys” which she find missing in today’s new age diwali – joy of wishing, gifting and celebrating. Quite ironically, all these three things have become even more prominent than earlier. But, yes, the real joy or fun seems to have gone missing.

can-I-have-my-Diwali-back-please-a-calmer-you-column-sonal-kalra

Joy of Gifting

Today, we are sending and exchanging lot many more gifts than earlier times, same goes true for exchanging wishes and even celebrating. But, today these things have become more of a formal activities minus the fun and joy of the festival. I remember when we were kids, all we used to hear about was exchanging couple of traditional mithai box with couple of relatives and friends. Thats it. Today, traditional mithais have taken a back seat (thanks for all the impure and milavati khoya and other mithai stuff) and have been replaced with thousands of other gift items. These include not only the sweets but even not so sweet items like all sorts of namkeen and many other items. People not able to exchange a real good number of gifts these days find as a low status thing. The more number of gifts you exchange, the better your status is.

Joy of Wishing

Wishing is another thing which has only increased since earlier times but again where is the fun and joy. How much time do we spend in sending wishes these days. Hardly couple of minutes because all you have to do to wish is to either click a mouse or mobile button. Thats it and your wishes reaches thousands of people. Many of them you may not know even personally or may not have intended to send them any wishes at all. But just because they somehow could find a place in your address or number book, they get their share of honor automatically without you ever come to know about the same. Thanx to mobile, emails and other greeting exchange programs and software. But do we really derive the same satisfaction on getting such electronic wishes what we used to feel on getting a hand written greeting card which used to take ages during festival times. That was as much satisfactory for a receiver as was for a sender who would have spend quite a good amount of time in selecing and buying the paper greeting cards, writing down messages, beautufying it and putting it in envelope, writing address again manually and sending it finally. I remember, we used to keep those paper greeting cards and stock them as a memorable item.

Joy of Celebration

Joy of celebration – do we left with any time after all these days even to celebrate in the first place. Most of time goes waste in buying gifts and stuck in traffic jams, planning and all. We are too exhausted to do any real celebration when the D day arrives. Celebration not necessarliy means burning crackers only. In fact, this is the only thing I like about todays diwali. Thankfully, due to never ending inflation and pollution, we somehow witness lesser cracker burning than earlier times.

Another thing which seems to have changed for good and which I really like and wish it could have happened in earlier times is – chinese diwali lights. Today we get so much variety of so beautiful lights and that too at such a economically rates, I really wish if we could have this earlier. Most of these lights or sorts of use and throw unlike earlier when we used to use the same lights every year. Just because they used to be quite costly and had traditional bulbs etc unlike now when we have all sorts of small disposable LED lights.

Nevertheless, I would really like to wish every one a real joyful diwali. 🙂