Be happy, make merry – like there is no tomorrow

By C. S. Iyer

What makes people happy? Money, fame, position, passion, or family? 

This question has bedeviled human beings since millennia with no conclusive answer.

How much money do you really need to be happy? Unfortunately, there are no definitive answers to that inane question as well. 

We all desire luxuries and material things to meet our basic needs and boost our ego. We work hard to earn fat salaries, but we see relationships crumbling everywhere. We see high stress and poor health. People have psychological problems. There is hardly any ’me’ time with people anymore because of the vagaries of modern life. 

But once your basic needs are met, more money doesn’t necessarily lead to more happiness.

Happiness can be elusive if you are poor. But above the poverty level, things get complicated.

But once your basic needs are met, more money doesn’t necessarily lead to more happiness.

Money and fame are transient. Failures are part of success. Good health and strong relationships make us happy, not just the material things alone. We need to develop a philosophical bend of mind.

A recent seminal Harvard Business School study reveals that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful impact on our health. There is a village in Greece that has the world highest number of centenarians. In addition to good food & nutrition, it is the strong social bonds that sustain people. If a spouse dies, the social bonds and support system is so strong that they carry him/ her along with a productive life. 

Develop deeper relationships to live a longer, healthier and meaningful life.

Everybody’s journey in life is different. Happiness means different things to different people. 

Comparisons are odious – trying to keep up with the Joneses will again lead to avoidable unhappiness. Stop accumulating wealth for your progeny; it only makes them lazy. Your responsibility gets over with good education, don’t make them lifelong dependents.

Quit the rat race

Those in the rat race do not achieve much. At the end of it all, are you then not just a rat? One should quit the rat race to enjoy real life. Your ultimate destination is six feet under.

Be ethical, embrace life’s failures as well as successes, stop comparing yourself to others, expect less, give more, be happy, make merry – like there is no tomorrow!  

Sign Up