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This article was first published 8 years ago  » Getahead » What's the secret to happiness? Make it happen!

What's the secret to happiness? Make it happen!

By Dr Ajay Phadke
March 28, 2016 13:10 IST
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Happiness is an ongoing experience that can be felt by fine tuning your inner self.

Happy face

Photograph: Fairuz Othman/Creative Commons

All our actions and everything we desire have to do with eventually being happy. Our goals and objectives in life are a way of seeking happiness and contentment in different forms.

Most of us believe that happiness is attained when something significant happens in life or we associate it with various types of indulgence. Momentary and materialistic gains are usually considered the source of a satisfied life.

The more we strive to achieve these gains and the more we hope for something great to happen in our lives, the more we crave for happiness. It seems like a never-satiating quest, and the fact is that the quest will never end because happiness is not an ultimate goal.

Happiness is an ongoing experience that can be felt by fine tuning your inner self.

Here are some simple ways to be happy by maintaining your mental and emotional health.

The way maintaining physical health keeps your body happy, maintaining mental and emotional health keeps your mind happy.

There are primarily two ways of being truly happy:

1. Dealing with the situations in your life that cause distress and meddling with your inner peace.

2. Actions that will lead to a more gratifying life. You don’t wait for something good to happen, you make it happen.

What needs to be dealt with and how

Compartmentalising your life

Everything in your life deserves its due attention and action. However, there is nothing in life that should consume you so much that everything else becomes insignificant.

A key mistake that most of us do is letting one part of our life impact others. For instance, if you had a not-so-good day at work and you let it dampen your mood at a family dinner. So many times you find yourself distracted at work because you had an argument with your partner.

You need to train your mind to deal with issues at the right time and for the right duration, without letting it affect other things in life. This way you will be able to see and appreciate the good things in life even when some things are not as desired.

Communicating differences and letting it go

The primary reason for unresolved issues is lack of communication. If you have a concern or if you disagree with someone, voice it out.

Holding on to grudges and difference of opinion leads to an internal conflict which destroys peace of mind.

Communicate to others when you are bothered by thoughts. If speaking to others is not an option, talk to yourself. It is more relieving and comforting than you know. Sometimes you need to understand and accept to just ‘let go’.

Not all conflicts and differences can be solved. Sometimes circumstances leave little control with you. In such situations, learn to make peace and move on.

Managing expectations

When expectations are not fulfilled, disappointments follow; however, expectations are natural.

Not having expectations from yourself or others is impossible. So rather than trying not to expect, learn what to expect and how to deal with disappointments.

Have realistic expectations from yourself and others. If you are not able to do something as desired, it doesn’t mean you are not good enough, it means you need to try harder or try something different.

Similarly, when others don’t meet your expectations, try to understand the reason behind it.

How to make happiness happen

What you want to do versus what you have to do

A significant part of our lives is invested in fulfilling our responsibilities and doing what we need or have to do.

Many times what we have to do doesn’t match with what we really want to do. Leaving everything and doing what you want is not a feasible solution. So the idea is to create a balance that works for you.

Manage to take out at least 30 minutes of your day and indulge in activities or things that you want to do.

Learn to outsource or take help for things that you have to do so that you can make time for things that make you feel content.

Focus on different positive emotions

We experience happiness more than we realise. We feel a variety of positive emotions that are actually various forms of happiness.

Interests, curiosity, zest, excitement, sense of achievement are basically sources of contentment. We are so busy chasing happiness that we don’t appreciate these feelings.

Start revelling in these emotions and you will find yourself a lot more content with your life.

Happiness is a lifestyle

Make happiness a way of living rather than treating it as a life goal. Try to make most of the positive developments in your life.

When you do something that makes you happy, focus on living and feeling those moments rather than figuring out the next steps.

Try to bring positive changes in your life and appreciate and relish every change. Once you start living happiness than trying to attain happiness, is when you will be truly happy.

Dr Ajay Phadke is founder and CEO, Type A Thought and a qualified MD Pathologist.

Lead image used for representational purposes only.


(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory or

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Dr Ajay Phadke