Sometimes we don’t know what will make us happy. And this is a feeling that must be universal. It cannot be a single man’s obsession and persuasion of fulfillment and joy. We all are perpetually on a quest for the ultimate purpose of life. Yet, many of us are lost, adrift in complexities of daily lives. Whether accidentally or in search of something deeper, you may discover little learnings that can alter your life completely. When you reach that vantage point, you will be able to see life with a new, shiny perspective.
I believe that the basic tendency of a human is to never give up. He likes to be optimistic and stay cheerful. In the slightest hope, he will bring forth his entire energy to get what he wants. That’s the reason why so many self-help books are written and why I see cynics who despise such reads still keep a copy with them. That’s why people go on vacations, learn to dance or play an instrument or listen to music. People want to be happy and they are ready to try any method to experience that feeling, over and over again.
I don’t know how to define happiness exactly, but I am discovering it through life practices. If happiness means to have a sense of wonder, to be able to appreciate life, to build meaningful habits, then surely it is right here. When I pondered about my life, I realized that in the last three years I have been doing things that have brought immense emotional satisfaction and spiritual contentment. I discovered them through accident and through seeking, through trial and through errors. I realize that I have evolved as a person and my philosophy of life has become stronger and refined.
If you are on the same path, looking for a meaningful life and running after that elusive feeling called happiness, I would like to share with you my rituals, which I trust, are working for me.
- Engage in beautiful conversations
While the world is busy relaying gibberish information and people are self-absorbed glorifying and talking about themselves, on the verge of narcissism and egotism. It is a rare moment to find ourselves engaged in conversations – conversations that stimulate deep thinking, inspire you to discover your limitations. A meaningful conversation challenges your mindset, reassures that you are on the right path, and let you share ideas to learn more in exchange.
We all indulge in gossips. We all are trapped in a system, where we despise certain people, their characteristics. So, finding a way out to unwind yourself through a beautiful conversation with someone who shares the same eagerness is a wonderful thing to have. It will soothe your mind and soul.
- A long morning walk
It is a privilege if you have a park around you. Make the best use of it. A long morning walk will give you all sorts of good feelings. Whether it is a squirrel running across your path or crows dunking in a pool of water, you would want to smile at the little things. On other days, your senses are heightened, you are acutely aware of your surroundings. You can discern the sounds of different birds and love hearing their calls and imitate them. When all these things happen to you, you become grateful for having these moments of your life.
Morning walks are equally great for relationships, making them stronger and closer. When you take a walk with your partner, the pristine moments that are experienced together will spark positive feelings for each other. You are calmer and your thoughts are clearer, which means conflicts can be resolved in a better way, you are more receptive to the other person’s feelings and less reactive in those serene times.
- Clutter-free routine
It might sound old school, but keeping a clean environment is a godly activity. A tidy space is essential for a harmonious, positive atmosphere. I hadn’t understood the true benefits of doing so until I decided to start with one clutter-free routine. Today, the first thing that I do in the morning is – make my bed. I don’t compromise it by any means.
I have reached this understanding that a single activity, when done consistently, creates a huge difference in your life. You feel a sense of accomplishment. It impacts your personality. Your approach to life has a different meaning now. And it all starts with one fine act of cleansing and cleaning your abode.
I enjoy decluttering my room. Yet, I feel utterly lazy to turn it sparkly in one go. Ever since I read Leo Babauta’s approach to decluttering, it just stayed with me, which is—put one thing away at a time. If I have to go to the bathroom, I would quickly wipe off the dust from my bedside table. If I decide to stroll around my house, I would pick up any litter that comes my way or clean the bookshelf. To pick one task at a time. It just worked for me so well. Make your bed, throw the wrapper in the bin, clean your plate after you are done eating or fold the newspaper.
Trust me the day you start building even a single clutter-free routine, you will be emotionally uplifted.
- Invest in a good relationship
If you find someone with whom you share a common belief system, have wonderful conversations, laugh a lot, and communicate feelings with each other without any apprehension. Keep the person in your life with care and love. A good relationship must be treasured. You have to invest yourself totally with mind, body, and soul to nourish and nurture it.
One way to cherish the relationship is by expressing yourself. No matter how well-meaning you are, the other person will never understand your feelings if you don’t express them with actions. Time to time, it is important to show the other person that you care. Surprise, adore, admire or appreciate, find out your own way of expression.
On a side note, let go of the toxic people and toxic relationships. They consume a lot of time that ultimately eats away your positive energy.
Invest in a good relationship. It is a lifelong work, but it will bring you immense joy and emotional happiness in return.
- Travel not much. Travel well
I had traveled before. Earlier, I would take a week-long break for a road trip and hop every place on the way without giving myself the time to know the place in an intimate manner. Walking the backyard alleys, visiting hole-in-the-wall café shops, stopping by the local bookshops, chitchatting for insider tips, hidden gems and having a hearty time sitting and talking about life. These are some of my favorite things that I had never done before until now.
There is no more hurry to tick off every tourist site. “Been there, done that” kind of thing doesn’t hold importance anymore. I click pictures for myself, for recollections. Not for social media.
Let’s learn the technique of conscious travel. Let’s not scurry for places. Experience well.
Traveling is an art. It will let you discover yourself and the world around you.
Observe. Preserve. Behold. You will be rewarded with beautiful insights and memories of a lifetime.