Never have been the relevance of Darwin’s theory have been felt so strongly as in the context of today’s world. This is not only the era of LPG- this is not only the era of technology-but it is literally the age of uncertainty. Uncertainty at workplace uncertainty at home- life is suffering through crisis of existence that has never felt so strongly. Everything is fragile- be its relation, be it success and man is in a mad race for reaching a target.
Unfortunately, the human soul does not know what the target is.
Struggle for existence is the mantra of civilized human- civil if you can call it. Stress and strain of the modern world is eating up the human from within.
In this context ‘21 Ways of being Happy’ is a timely contribution by Shama Patel which is a pious attempt by the writer to present an answer to the stress, strain ,conflict and uncertainty ridden society of today. Well, I will not say that it will present you with an alternate lifestyle that will make your life ‘content’; but yes of course it will try to rediscover a new you in the mirror if you sincerely follow the trails of the book.
What is happiness? No doubt, it is the trickiest of questions and a relative one too. Relative, because it is not the same for two individuals. For a drunken poet living fully for the present moment of your life constitutes happiness. And for a spiritual leader happiness should come deep within. On the other hand there are happiness index defined by statesman which interrelates human satisfaction with development, preservation of cultural values, governance to arrive at a composite reflection of human happiness. But what may be the definition, happiness is a term that is not created within- but the surrounding plays a pivotal role in creating the feeling within the individual.
Shama , as a practicing psychologist has worked closely with persons from all age groups and all socioeconomic background to deeply study their needs, their discontent and hindrance to their mental satisfaction. The present book is a harvest of her study, presented in a crispy style-which it will let you never get bored while reading the book. As the title suggests- there are twenty one possible ways described in depth –both from academic perspective and from the viewpoint of her first hand experience with her patients to feel better-to be at a better state of emotion, to avert stress and strain of modern lifestyle that has of late been an integral part of success.
When I was a kid, my favourite one liner was- human soul is like a match box which has infinite potential dormant inside it. I was so passionate of using the line that I was always on a hunt of using the sentence in any essay, even if the essay is ‘a Village Fair’. But from Upanishad to Buddha-the quest had haunted every soul- the quest of discovering own soul! And still the answer is unknown. But that does not mean that we are left in the lurch. Knowing yourself means knowing your positive as well as negative qualities, discovering your strength and weaknesses-in a nutshell knowing your true self!
A patient had visited our writer- who was strangled by an uncanny feeling of death. (No, I am not giving an introduction to a horror story.) As it turned out-she disliked herself! When she was counselled to embrace her positive qualities-as listed down by the individuals other than herself-like her son, her boss and so on. Wonder of wonders- she had never analysed or even tried to analyse her true self. at the end of the session she confessed
“I can’t believe I let go my 68 years of life not spending time knowing myself. About knowing what I loved to do and doing it. About taking care of myself and being there for myself. Maybe that’s why now when I need help, I immediately begin to look for someone around, I can’t handle my own self. I can’t believe that it’s today, after so many years, what I am sitting and making a list of what I think I love about myself.”
Sometimes the quest turns out to be a very stormy voyage- on our journey to life we sometimes get shattered mentally, emotionally or physically. These are the make or break situations for human soul-standing at the crossroad of life. In these hours of crisis you may need a helping hand-which can support you. But often our ego comes within, leaving us crying within ourselves….
“People often feel burdened, guilty, fearful and uncomfortable while seeking help. This is probably because we are taught hat ‘it should always be give and take.’ that is why, at any given moment when we receive any help, our mind alerts us that we have become indebted to give, even if the person doesn’t need help from us. it usually happens in friendship- a friend who seeks emotional support from the other often wonders why the other person isn’t coming to her for the same.”
This book will not overnight give you the courage to fight with the man standing in front of you at the mirror- the man who is confined within a cocoon of limitations. but as Rome was not built in a single day-so as your life will not transform to a more confident you, an you who can breathe in bigger ‘myself’ . It requires constant endeavour in your part and this book is just a catalyst.
The narrations are well directed and the experiences of the writer with her patients made this book a palatable one- rather than run of the mill ‘self success’ books. Another issue with the books I must appreciate- the cute little illustrations reminds me of the good old days –when soviet books were easily available- books that were full of such illustrations.
Being a little bit nostalgic about the past is also a step forward for being happy- isn’t it? What is your opinion?
Get to know more about the book?