7 Ways to Lasting Happiness

If you are new here and want to work on Self-Development, you can start with this post. This is a series of 7 posts that deals with various facets of Self Development. Do let me know your suggestions or feel free to ask your queries.

Life is the quest for happiness, isn’t it? We have heard that happiness can be found within us. Now I am giving you 7 methods of finding this happiness within you and bringing it to the surface. If you notice, these are either to be repeated daily or they make a mark in your life. Either way, they give lasting happiness. This is just a drop in the ocean of ways to be happy. I am restricting to 7 since my theme demands it.  I hope you find them useful.


1. Finding time for your passion

What was that one thing you have always wanted to do/learn/be? An artist, a singer, an author, a sportsperson, an actor, a linguist, a traveler? Whatever your heart yearns for, you still can be that. You say you already have a job? That is okay. If you’re passionate about something, pursue it during your spare time!

Observe where your time goes wasted. Reduce the wastage and invest some time per week to follow your passion. You WILL enjoy those few hours because you love doing it. Because that is the dream! Go ahead. Plan, chase, sweat it out and be what you were meant to be. 😀

2. Reward Yourself at the End of the Day

You sometimes spend way too much time on your break – watching funny videos, movies, sitcoms, reading, social networking – and at the end of the day, get stressed out as no work gets done. Eventually, in spite of doing what you love, you are unhappy. The key is to find the midway. Assign a particular time, preferably towards the end of the day to do what you love. It will be the reward for the day’s work and also a stress buster. You will eagerly look forward to this particular time and have the motivation to finish your work. When you are done, man! won’t you be the happiest and the most relaxed person on Earth? 😀

3. Writing one happy thing about the day

You have heard this before and I’d say follow it. If you have been following my Self Development posts, you already have a journal to jot down your To-Do list. In the same journal, you can jot down what made you happy at the end of each day. It could be a person, a thing, an event, a phenomenon, a feeling, an action. Anything! Even better. Take up the 100 Happy Days challenge. When you voluntarily find reasons to be happy every day, eventually you will see reasons for happiness everywhere, in everything involuntarily.

4. Being in tune with nature

We often underestimate this aspect of life – The gift of nature. But think about it. The feeling you get when you go on a trek, go to a beach, sit on the bank of a lake, walk amidst the woods, ride in the rain. It is a feeling you never get anywhere else. You are in tune with nature, the bare elements that you are made of. You are in tune with yourself. You can contemplate, look for answers or simply admire the creation of the Almighty.

5. Mark your Year

And mark my words. If you follow this, in 5 years, you will thank me. It is very simple. At the beginning of every year, decide 2 (Or any number of) realistic, amazing, practical things you will do that year.
For instance, if you want to go on a trip to Malaysia, do your homework, make a plan, fix a tentative date, determine the budget, and start saving for it in particular. Prepare explicitly for it so that you make it happen.

Remember your years not by numbers but by the amazing things you did.

The year I went to Malaysia.

The year I went Scuba diving.

The year I came across this amazing blog ‘A Few Handpicked Things’ 😛 *Hides face*



6. Spending time with a child or a pet

Children are innocent. They live in the moment. There is a lot to learn from their spontaneity and their baby talk gives you a fuzzy feeling. As for pets, love oozes like cheese fro a pizza. Hugging your dog and letting him give you saliva facial is all the therapy you need to be happy. Both these beings are always happy and do not spoil their moods with unnecessary thoughts. They are always happy and busy and if you are with them, you are always happy and busy.

I used to have a dog and whenever I was upset, she used to sense it, come and sit beside me. It took barely half an hour for me to forget my sadness.

Oh! I miss her 😦 Now I need a dog!

7. Gift Happiness

I love giving gifts. It is heart-warming to see the smile on their lips, the surprise in their eyes turning to an excited twinkle as they unwrap the gift. There is more. I tell them what I love about them, I surprise them with letters, I write things that make them feel good or create something.

Encourage, appreciate, tell them they are loved, gift little things, nothing too pricey – chocolates, flowers. In my office, when friends go out for lunch and come back with toffees, we run around in glee for those tiny treats. See? It is that easy! 😀

I sometimes tell strangers that I like there top or dress etc. It makes them smile and I feel good about appreciating someone. I send out happiness to the universe and get some back.

Psst! Appreciate my writing and I’ll be mentally pirouetting for the rest of the day (Okay I’m done promoting myself. Promise!) 😉



The Stranger on the Bike

There is a beautiful stretch of road I often take to get home. Being in the city, I almost always avoid the central areas and junctions. While the alleyways are narrow, long, winding and time consuming, I prefer the coolness of those interiors rather than the heat and pollution of the main roads. Lined with trees, shrubs and simple houses on either side, it is a silent, residential area.  

As I entered this stretch of road, a bike passed by me. In a short while, I noticed that the bike had slowed down, much below my pace and so, I overtook him. It did not take very long for him to overtake me again and that was when I actually began to take notice of him. I decided to slow down for a while and not go past him but I lost my patience and increased my pace.

It began to get interesting as he passed by and slowed down again.

I took a look at his mirror.

Our eyes met.

He smiled.

So did I.

And I overtook him, this time playfully.

Image result for strangers in life

Image Source

If only the road stretched on forever… But alas! It ended at a junction and after a while, we found each other on the same path again. A shorter one this time. After one last drill, the road diverged and he took the deviation. As I went ahead to melt into the traffic, I looked at my mirror to see him take a last glimpse at me. With a hint of a smile, he vanished.

All I knew was his smile and his eyes. The conversation happened between our bikes. I didn’t know his face, his identity, his beliefs or virtues. There were no fears, no expectations, a tad bit of curiosity that didn’t even require any sating. Yet, I had a wonderful time with him. The stranger on the bike.


Featured Image source: Here

Conversing With the Waves

100 Happy Days – Day 86

Happiness is a chair, a book and the threshold of an Ocean and not knowing which one makes you happier.

Every Bibliophile’s dream – A serene spot with a view, some peace and a book. Behold! An evening at the beach, watching the waves breaking against the rocks, holding a book and finding a nice spot to read.

The Book facing the Sea

I flipped a few pages as the Ocean’s music filled my ears. There was a feeble breeze and the rocks were drenched with water from both the Sea and from the drizzle that had just stopped. The tides were high, way before twilight and it looked as though the Sea would rise any time and gobble me up. I thought it was the rains, but it was something else.

I had come to this very same beach yesterday. I sat atop a bench, cross-legged, closed my eyes and tried to meditate. It took me barely few minutes to abandon my efforts. Not because I couldn’t sit still, but because of what was before me. I looked around at all the people meditating. How could one close his eyes while facing these magnificent waters, I wondered.

Now, I was mocking myself. I walked to this very same beach with a book in hand. How could I delve in one’s ecstasy and ignore the other? I couldn’t read. Not as long as I wanted to watch the Ocean. And I couldn’t watch the waves if I read. I wanted them both – my spouse and my love.


But Alas! I couldn’t handle them both

The Sea threatened, in her deep throaty voice, to swallow me up. Oh! Well, that explains the angry high tides. I must have hurt her pride by bringing along my Love. Sure enough, the book remained untouched while I conversed with the waves.


Day 2 – Playing Games With Friends

100 Happy Days – Day 2

Happiness is playing indoor games with friends. 

This is something that happens very rarely. As you know from my previous post, our exams just got over. And this time, I really studied my brains out. I was looking forward to some nice activity after exams and sure enough it has been quite good so far (apart from my allergic eyes).

Last night, three of us – two very good friends of mine and I – decided to go for a movie today. Trust me, there are so many movies left to watch for all three of us since we all had exams. So we had lots of options. One by one, we cut each of our options and finally ended up meeting at my place. 😛 Ahh yes! World’s weird ways, that is exactly how plans work. Unplanned!

So, the idea was to play some indoor games. UNO, Sorry, Carroms, Monopoly etc were some of the games in the list. We ended up playing three of them and it was so much fun. At one point of time, while drawing cards from the UNO pile, we ended up laughing non stop. The reason being… well, I don’t want to spoil a joke by explaining it. So, let it be.


Anyhow, some of them find the idea of getting together under a roof and playing some indoor games stupid. One thing I always felt was that, it doesn’t matter where you are, nor does it matter what you do. All that matters is the company. If you have a bunch of people who would laugh with you for anything and everything, they will laugh with you anywhere. 🙂

So, do call up your old friends and play some games. Do let me know if you enjoyed.

PS – If you haven’t played UNO, do try. The cards cost very less and it is so much fun to play.


Did You Make Those Lists?

Have you ever wondered why people do what they do?
Why do we study?
Why do we work?
Why do we eat or breath or drink?

With each answer, if we ask the question why, we reach the destination.

We do all that we do because we exist and we have to continue to exist until we cease to be.

But is mere existence sufficient? Imagine your existence without happiness in it. I can’t imagine that. Literally. My imagination can’t tell me what would happen if there was no happiness. Happiness is the center of everything. It is everywhere. It is within us. All we have to do is bring it out.

If you ask 10 people what is necessary for a happy life, you will get 10 answers or even more. If you ask me, you will get an answer you weren’t expecting: Make lists! Those tiny slips of paper help you a lot. From reminding you things, to clearing your head, a list could do miracles. Take a few for instance:

A List of your closest people – So that you really know who are the important ones in your life. When you write down each person’s name, you deliberate on why that person is important. You are reminded of the times you spent with them. You might even feel like calling them right then and talking to them. To let them know how much they mean to you.

Keep this list safe and when you feel alone, try calling up one of them. Sometimes, unexpected people come to your rescue in unexpected ways. 🙂

Image courtesy: lastlemon

List of Things to do – Do you want to make a trip to Canada? How about Kulu Manali? Want to try bungee jumping or sky diving? Skinny dipping? You don’t have the time or money or company? Never mind! Write them all down. Whether it is star gazing or taking a midnight walk, whether it is a big dream or small, write them all down and make the list.

Now imagine! You really did go bungee jumping. You get back home, take this list and slowly strike off ‘Bungee jumping’. Can you fathom that feeling? It is just an act of striking off. But that is a dream come true. That is happiness! 😀

List of your Friends – Not your besties. They would be included in the above list. By this list I mean those friends who come close to your besties’ list. All of us have such friends. We like them, but not enough to call them besties. Some of us, don’t realise or remember such friends. That is why we need this list. Once in a while, when you take up this list and remember them, just give them a call and you never know. You might have just regained a beautiful friendship. Also, when you prepare this list, you might know why you haven’t included a certain person. Remember? It acts as a reminder and also clears your head.

List of Things to buy – People talk about ceiling on desire. I more or less agree with the concept. But you know what is more agreeable? The happiness of owning what you desire. Saw that expensive shoes and can’t forget about it? Write it down. Oh well! They need not be inexpensive. Make list for those tiny things too. For instance, I have a blue kajal on my list. I am a bit skeptical whether the color would suit me. So it has been there for almost 2 years. Once I own it, my joy will know no bounds. Because I get to strike off one thing from my list.

My list of things to buy 🙂

It is better if you have small things in your list. You will find yourself striking them off more often. which means more happiness.

List of things that make you happy – Yes! 😀 Rain, music, friends, watching sitcoms, talking to someone, a color, food, chocolates, puppies, babies. Be it anything, just make a list. When you are down, go through them. You might have something in your list that you could do right then. You will be shooing your blues away using that list of yours. It is also a self help.

Lists never end. The types of lists changes from person to person. I can only give my ideas. Your needs are different and so is your source of happiness. For instance, I write and so I have a list of things to blog about. When I am in short of topics, I open my list and voila! I have loads to write on. I have a list of books to read, movies and sitcoms to watch. You could actually peep into another list of mine.


This might be a bit too much. But these are my ambitions and I am not ashamed of them. Whether I pursue them all or not, I will definitely try. And when I do, that would be my happiness.

If you noticed, we just made a list of things that are important to us (like chocolates :D) and also, some unimportant things (like friends 😛 I am dead).  Whenever you go through these lists, you will remember some important goals, lovely people and life changing accomplishments in your life.

After a number of years, when you take your book of lists and go through them, it will say a lot about you. A lot! It will remind of some of your desires and experiences. Some of your friends and loved ones. Sometimes, you would read it with awe, wondering how you did all those things. Or maybe, it would bring so much of happiness because you know you celebrated every moment of your life. 🙂

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Simple Things And Happiness

Our doorbell rang. When I got the door, I saw our neighbor holding a black puppy in his arms. He had found him on the road. Since he worked with an animal shelter, he brought the puppy home. I love puppies, but due to personal reasons, we can’t keep pets at home and so, I was always upset about not having one. My sister and I took this guy and played with him for the entire day. Initially he was silent and sleepy. But soon he was playful. He was a little prankster tricking us and playing tirelessly. He was weird and funny. He was the cutest black thing I have ever seen. Though I had to give him away, the few hours with him was true happiness. J


My work schedule was hectic. I was falling sick now and then. I had failed in my exams and there were too many things to take care of. After a month worth of struggling, I had gotten used to the life of rat race when I got the message.

Your account has been credited with Rs. xx…

My first salary. I jumped up, screamed, whooped and punched the air. For the next fifteen minutes I was jumping around and squeaking. It wasn’t about the number. It was about the fruits of my efforts. That was happiness.


Being fond of writing, I wanted to do something solid in the area. As a stepping stone, after months of searching, I found an ad about a writing job. I applied for the same. Soon, I got the reply. After two sets of screening, I got a call. The lady on the other end told me that I was selected. I hadn’t told anyone that I had applied for the job. When I got it, I told them all and my family and friends looked proudly at me. I was doing a part time job in a field I was passionate about. J That was true happiness.


One fine day, I opened Indiblogger and found a new campaign – Happy Hours. Unable to believe my eyes, I wrote a post on the given topic. The very next evening, I got flipkart vouchers worth Rs. 1000. I went around telling everyone what had happened. It was my solid earnings from writing. My joy knew no bounds. I would distinctly remember how happily high I was.


Happiness is defined as experiencing the effect of favorable fortune.That is as far as the definition goes. But the favorable fortune and its intensity differs from person to person. All it takes to make me happy are; a word of appreciation, an effort to surprise me, expressing the joy of seeing me, when someone says that I am missed, puppies licking, incomprehensible baby talk, finishing a blog post, the color purple, the color black, the word Harry Potter or anything related, Powerpuff girls, a comment on my blog post, pizzas, extra oregano, chocolates, coke with pizza, gifts, long drive, dresses, rain etc.

Well, Barbie dolls, toys, cartoons and Harry Potter never ceased to make me happy. 🙂

Linking this post to http://CokeURL.com/96jnc and the 30 sec commercial below. That definitely tempted me.

I Can’t Keep Calm Because It Was My Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday to meeee…
Happy Birthday to meeee…
Happy Birthday to meee meee…
Happy Birthday to meee 🙂

It all began with the wishes at midnight. After which I finally slept, though with difficulty. There were so many thoughts passing through my mind – my previous birthdays, the surprises I got, how the next day will be, how sweet of my friends to wait until 12 AM and call etc. And the most prime thought was, ‘Yayy! It’s my Birthdayy!’ 😛

When I woke up, mom wished me with a cup of coffee, followed by the others. My baby sister gifted me a pair of earrings. And guess what!? It was made by her friend. 2 months back she gave the order, chose a color combo I would like and arranged it. Isn’t that sweet? Oh, I loved it! 😀

Here are the snaps :)
Here are the snaps 🙂

Dad gave me some cash & asked me to buy whatever I wanted.

My Anne Cherian Thomas 😉 did call me as usual. Yes, she is my bestie. No, there aren’t any midnight calls during birthdays between us. It was there during the initial years of our friendship. But later, it was alright without them.

Later I went to a Shiva temple nearby. Mr. Shiva looked majestic. The face made of Gold just emblazoned the Shiv-linga. It shone all the more bright and austere with all the lamps. I stood there drinking in the beauty, spoke to Mr. Shiva for a while & got back home.

Now comes the dull part of the day. Firstly, I felt sleepy because I slept late and got up early, on top of that, I had my Financial Reporting questions spread before me. For the next few hours I scratched my head, stared at the walls & doodled on my book wondering why on earth those stupid companies had to amalgamate. :O Even if they had to, why couldn’t they just add all the items in both the companies’ Balance Sheet together and form another company? Why complicate life? :O

Sorry dear non-commercialites. I got a bit carried off there. But still, I don’t get it. Why?

Then came the lunch time. My chweet Ammamma (Grandmother) had prepared many dishes to celebrate this angel’s day *blush*. She made rice, parippu, sambhar, potato curry, pachadi and pappadam. To start with something sweet, she put some sugar in my mouth. And then I had that sumptuous feast. But she was upset because she couldn’t make payasam. 😦
I know, right? She is so adorable you have no idea. The entire day went by with her telling how upset she was about the payasam not being there. *Choo cute!!!*

Courtesy: Google Images


Meanwhile, more calls, more texts, more whatsapp messages and facebook posts poured in. Oh! And I couldn’t attend few calls because of this & that. Sorry folks! I felt bad when I saw your missed calls. But the wishes have been accepted. Thank you. 🙂

Evening came & I had my music class. The rains, the cold & my birthday were all screaming at me not to go. But I pulled my raincoat over, rode my lavy, crossed all the puddles and went for the class. I was back by 8PM and after some loitering around, settled to study when the door bell rang.

I opened the door. But no one was to be seen. I took a step forward and people just sprang at me from both sides ‘Happy Birthdayyyyy!!!’. I first jumped, then stood there open-mouthed & gaping when my sister came with an all knowing smile.

Ashwin, Godwin & Blissen came in, unpacked the cake and placed it on the table. It took me some time to register what was happening. Slowly I came to my senses while they gifted me a bottle of wine. This was followed by a Bournville sent by another friend Varna. Both have a backstory.

The wine: I had mentioned a month back that I badly wanted wine. Earlier, we used to have it for Christmas. But it has been quiet sometime since I had. So a craving had begun for the same. I said it, forgot about it & here it was; my birthday gift. 🙂

The wine :)
The wine 🙂

Bournville: I love Chocolates. Like crazy! Most of my friends know that. My favorites are Dairy milk fruit & Nut and Bournville (Also any other dark chocolate). Just before I left office, many of my friends either lost a bet with me, or they had to give me a treat. Every time, I insisted on a Bournville. So, sure enough she knows I like dark chocolates.

After the gifts session, as usual, pulling each others’ legs went on. Should I mention that I was the scapegoat most of the time? I’ll skip that part 😛
Apparently, those guys were really hungry and there was nothing at home to eat. I made some delicious tea (Oh yes! They said they liked it.) and tried to keep them entertained. Soon, all sang the birthday song & clicked some snaps while I cut my cake. I hurriedly gave them some cake to appease their hunger a bit.

My Birthday Cake :)
My Birthday Cake 🙂

Meanwhile Amma swished her wand, converted the lunch’s potato curry into masala (Guess they didn’t know that). You should have seen those faces when I announced they will be having Masala Dosa. I swear I saw someone punch the air & say a triumphant ‘Yes!’ 😀 They relished the food while repeatedly saying that the sambhar was awesome & the Dosa was superb.

From somewhere my sister appeared and smeared some icing on my face. And I was like :O.

After a few more sessions of pulling legs (mine!) and some laughters and chit-chats, they left.

When I checked my phone, I had a voice message waiting. My friend Sharu and her parents (Yes, her parents :D) sang the birthday song for me and wished me!!! 😀 Isn’t that lovely?

That was one of my special days folks. Whether it is typing that message, ringing me up and telling me how much I mean to you, appearing out of the blue and ringing the doorbell, recording a birthday wish with the entire family, singing the birthday song while handing me the coffee, ringing me up at 11.30 PM with an intention to talk until 12 AM and be the first one to wish me, cooking my favorite dishes or getting a custom-made gift for me. Love you all for this love. 🙂 :*


20140823_150645Once again, Happy Birthday to me. 😛 Love myself too for this love! 😀

PS: Next time you’re planning to come home unannounced, let me warn you in advance. All the snack items here, finish in a jiffy. So ensure that you’re sufficiently loaded. 😛