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  • Raghav Sand

New Year 2024: Purposeful Pursuits

The single most important objective of human life is the pursuit of happiness. Given the present circumstances and situation in the world, it is a challenging task to feel happy. In contemporary life, joy and economic prosperity go hand in hand, but a select few have mastered the art of experiencing contentment with limited means. Every human should try to push the boundaries of their potential and aim to be a better version of themselves. Even after all the advice and therapeutic content available at our fingertips, most of us find it tough to follow certain basic commandments for a blissful time.

This is not another holier-than-thou and preachy article that many of you would have read or will read around the new year. The tone of this article will be conversational and not chatty. Adults do not like being told what to do with their resources – especially their time and money. There have been no radical discoveries about the philosophy of life in recent times, and that makes us bow to the profound knowledge of our ancestors.

The Guru-shishya Parampara or master-disciple lineage has been the divine vehicle through which wisdom has been imparted through the ages. Few masters of our times turn out to be imposters, while the spiritual text seldom disappoints the seeker. Patience is key in overcoming all difficulties of life, and little progress is far better than none.

An individual quest for life’s purpose and trying to bring an end to suffering can take various routes and form, but the basic principles are standardized. The first and most important step in this regard is the acknowledgement of wanting to affect transformation. If a person is fortunate enough, every new realization will be exhilarating and sooner than later the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts. If you are reading this article, it means that you have access to internet. The web has good content for seekers from all backgrounds and various levels of ability and adaptability.

Accounts for Joyfulness

How does anyone keeps a track of their expenses, profits or assets & liabilities? They keep track of accounts and record transactions. It may seem foolishly childish at the outset, but keeping tabs on the little joys pays rich dividends. We tend to understate happiness and romanticize failures. It should also not be the other way round, though, it is advisable to strike the right balance between negative and positive emotions; unrealistic exuberance / gloom will lead to nowhere.

Consuming Food with Reverence

Every food item we consume had life at some point of time. Whether it is raw vegetables or other forms of processed food, once we consume it, the energy is transferred and transformed. A food item served to us, becomes a part of our flesh and blood. Consuming food as an act of worship may sound a little old-fashioned, but the psychological effects of this practice can be enriching.

Connecting with Earth

Anything and everything that humans consume originates from soil. Whether it is food or fuel, agriculture and mining are the core activities for sustenance of life. Connecting with Earth can be achieved by spending time in nature or doing basic gardening at home. One need not become an eco-warrior to make a worthwhile contribution to make the planet a better place; not consuming single-use plastics will be “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Wake-up With a Smile

As per some estimates, 3,00,000 people do not wake-up from their sleep and leave behind memories for their near and dear ones. So, whenever you wake-up in the morning next time, please make an earnest effort to bring a mild smile on your face. This is not a futile exercise, but an act of self-affirmation that another day filled with opportunity is upon you. Now, do everything in your capability to improve the quality of life for yourself and for the people around you.

Get Rid of the Fear of Suffering

Suffering and joy are the two sides of the same coin. Neither of these feelings exist in isolation. If there is suffering and persistence, eventually the path leads to joy. If there is joy, over time, the happiness may plateau or diminish. Change is the only constant; presumptive pessimism is seriously injurious to health. Action, without constant concern for outcome has been prescribed in holy scriptures. Being mindful of action and speech are the hallmark of learned individuals. If you are looking for the concise summary of this article, then, the last two sentences shall serve the purpose.

From The Land of the Rising Sun

IKIGAI: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, an international bestseller book, starts with a simple, yet powerful proverb – “Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years”. Don’t underestimate the importance of basic exercise and doing some manual work at home or in your community. Japanese are one of the happiest and longest living people in the world. They are an inspiration, and taking a cue from one of the most humble and simple civilization will not cost you a fortune.

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