How to be Happy

“We have to learn, not from books, but from the experiences  of our lives and the secret to learning is keep the mind open. Real learning requires being 100% in the present.

“Our unhappiness stems from worrying about things beyond our control, especially the past. Worrying becomes a habit. It is like a disease so don’t try to solve problems that no longer exist. Once you understand this principle it is easier to stay in the present.

“Happiness is not something  we attain from an external source. It is within us and such we are responsible for our own bliss.

“Every morning insist on being cheerful and happy even if you have a husband or wife.” (!!!)

This is an extract from an address to students at the Wits Business School by Indian happiness guru Anubhavananda (also known as the Be-Happy Swam) The Times, Nov 2013 

There is so much truth in this. We constantly seek happiness in outside things – in fact, we are programmed to do so! When you get your degree/ diploma/complete your apprenticeship etc, then you can relax and be happy. When you get married and have children you’ll feel fulfilled. When your career is established and you plenty of money you will be happy.

All this is based on an imaginary future that may or may not happen at all. What about now? What about enjoying the journey? How sad to get old and discover that we never enjoyed the moment because we were never there.

The end of the address goes like this:

“Try not to busy your mind with thoughts of the past and the future; don’t detach yourself from the present.

“In the present we are creative, not tired, not bored. When we are in the present we are happy.”

What do you think?


About Jill M Jacques

I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and have spent most of my life here doing the usual things - marrying, having children and caring for an array of pets ranging from dogs to silkworms and chameleons. I first became interested in philosphy and its practical application in everyday life in my early 20s and spent many years as part of a group that pursued this goal. Drawing on this experience, I have been running "How to live in the Now" programmes for over 10 years. I wrote this book in response to requests from group members for something "simple and practical". I tend to see the funny side of life situations and enjoy writing humorous back pages as well as short stories and some poetry. Some of these have been published. Being here now is what really matters.
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