Friday, December 3, 2010

Net Present Value of Our Happiness

Last month, David Cameron’s government was poised to start measuring people's psychological and environmental wellbeing, bidding to be among the first countries to officially monitor happiness. What a great coincidence that now he has to face his extremely-not-happy youngsters on his plan to triple its higher education tuition fees at the back of his coalition government’s offer to loan Ireland some hefty Billions, when most hardcore Irish people feel that Brian Cowen is more than capable to not to call for EU and IMF’s financial assistance.

I feel their pain, having to surrender their pride and dignity to capitalistic, inhumane IMF.

What irks me, like my fellow British and Irish people, is not so much of financial uncertainty we are facing but more of how we manage such uncertainties. From what we have seen so far, they – the ruling party – always get their priorities wrong. Take for instance, the proposal to build 100-storey high Menara Warisan, which is touted to bring long-term gain to us, when we are facing with ever-increasing costs of living, dog-eating labour laws and degrading education and health system. I am not sure how such gain, if any, would be enjoyed by us, common people because like all mega-projects we have so far, their promoters would get their ‘commission’ upfront, regardless if such projects are not viable. Well, look at how many Millions spent on ETP – that were just hard-earned moneys spent on putting ideas on the drawing board and getting them presented to us. There is no guarantee that the said plans would carry any holistic impact on our economy and our lives.

Like marriages, some people get their goals wrong. They get hitched, thinking that along some years spent together and a baby or two in tow, their other halves would change into better, complimenting partners.

Happiness cannot be counted on future undertakings, unlike how we compute NPV of a long-term project. Happiness cannot be delayed. It must be created and experienced now.

But what is happiness anyway? Is it a sense of completeness we achieved upon having everything? If that is so, how come so many rich people are behaving badly – a sign of their discontentment of what they have and insecurity of what they haven’t got?

Happiness is both relative and superlative, for me.

It is relative because I am happy just to have things and people that give meaning to my life, when I don’t have much to offer. So, happiness is as simple as we want it to be.

It is superlative because by being happy myself, I make others happy too and most of the time, impacts of such happiness shared are phenomenal and life-changing. Thus, happiness is life’s supreme goal.

Dalai Lama says, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion”.

But, is happiness really THAT matter? It is when you go through the following 100 simple secrets of happy people, especially when we are going through the next difficult decade. Happiness gives values to everything we do and happiness is never about our wellbeing. As our lives are interconnected, happiness is always about wellbeing of people around us.

1. Your Life Has Purpose and Meaning
2. Use a Strategy for Happiness
3. You Don't Have to Win Every Time
4. Your Goals Should Be Aligned with One Another
5. Choose Your Comparisons Wisely
6. Cultivate Friendships
7. Turn Off the TV
8. Accept Yourself—Unconditionally
9. Remember Where You Came From
10. Limit Yourself to Thinking About One Subject as You Lie Down to Sleep
11. Friendship Beats Money
12. Have Realistic Expectations
13. Be Open to New Ideas
14. Share with Others How Important They Are to You
15. If You're Not Sure, Guess Positively
16. Believe in Yourself
17. Don't Believe in Yourself Too Much
18. Don't Face Your Problems Alone
19. Age Is Not to Be Feared
20. Develop a Household Routine
21. Don't Be Overprotective
22. Pay Attention. You May Have What You Want
23. Don't Let Your Religious Beliefs Fade
24. Do What You Say You Are Going to Do
25. Don't Be Aggressive with Your Friends and Family
26. Root for the Home Team
27. Don't Confuse Stuff with Success
28. Every Relationship Is Different
29. Don't Think "What If"
30. Volunteer
31. If You Can't Reach Your Goals, Your Goals Will Hurt You
32. Exercise
33. Little Things Have Big Meanings
34. It's Not What Happened, It's How You Think About What Happened
35. Develop Some Common Interests with Loved Ones
36. Laugh
37. Don't Let Your Entire Life Hinge on One Element
38. Share of Yourself
39. Busy Is Better Than Bored
40. Satisfaction Is Relative
41. Learn to Use a Computer
42. Try to Think Less About the People and Things That Bother You
43. Keep Your Family Close
44. Eat Some Fruit Every Day
45. Enjoy What You Have
46. Think in Concrete Terms
47. Be Socially Supportive
48. Don't Blame Yourself
49. Be a Peacemaker
50. Cherish Animals
51. Make Your Work a Calling
52. Never Trade Your Morals for Your Goals
53. Don't Pretend to Ignore Things Your Loved Ones Do That Bother You
54. Get a Good Night's Sleep
55. Buy What You Like
56. Accomplish Something Every Day
57. Be Flexible
58. Events Are Temporary
59. Be Your Own Fan
60. Join a Group
61. Be Positive
62. There Will Be An End, but You Can Be Prepared
63. How We See the World Is More Important Than How the World Is
64. Keep a Pen and Paper Handy
65. Help the Next Person Who Needs Some Minor Assistance
66. Take Care Not to Harshly Criticize Family and Friends
67. Some People Like the Big Picture, and Others Like the Details
68. Do Things You Are Good At
69. Go Visit Your Neighbor
70. Smile
71. Don't Accept Television's Picture of the World
72. You Always Have a Choice
73. Be Agreeable
74. Don't Ignore One Part of Your Life
75. Listen to Music
76. Let Your Goals Guide You
77. Use Your Job Positively
78. Don't Forget to Have Fun
79. Believe in Ultimate Justice
80. Reminisce
81. Be Conscientious
82. Don't Dwell on Unwinnable Conflicts
83. Enjoy the Ordinary
84. Focus Not on the World's Tragedies, but on the World's Hope
85. Get a Hobby
86. Envying Other People's Relationships Is Pointless
87. Give Yourself Time to Adapt to Change
88. Focus on What Really Matters to You
89. Realize that Complete Satisfaction Does Not Exist
90. Surround Yourself with Pleasant Aromas
91. Don't Let Others Set Your Goals
92. You Are a Person, Not a Stereotype
93. Know What Makes You Happy and Sad
94. Keep Reading
95. We Must Feel Needed
96. Say "So What"
97. Have a Purpose
98. You Have Not Finished the Best Part of Your Life
99. Money Does Not Buy Happiness
100. What Does It All Mean? You Decide

Note: My warmest, sincerest appreciation to Sir Walla, who is benevolent enough to take time to find and share this E-book with me, from which I have extracted the secrets of happy people I listed above. May God bless him and his beloved family always.

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