Stumbling on Happiness – A Must Read Book

This is not a book review. But “Stumbling on Happiness” has inspired me to write this blog. Daniel Gilbert, a renowned Harvard psychologist, asks a very simple question in this book – do we really understand what makes us happy? 

Our idea of happiness is often conditioned by our past. The way we evaluate and react to a situation is decided by past impressions. 

By the time we reach adulthood, our mind  has been already programmed. It only seeks to classify people, places and experiences into right-wrong, good-bad and happy-unhappy. 

Most importantly, by that time our mind starts believing itself. It does not question it’s ability to arrive at these dichotomic decisions.

But happiness is not about past, nor is it about future. It’s now and here. It’s in this moment. It’s real and not fictitious. 

It’s our ability to intervene this program and take control of it, as and when necessary. It’s our ability to get out of this maze of good vs. bad, right vs. wrong and so on.
Why is it that we cry while watching a heart touching scene from a movie or dance crazy as kids while watching a song? It’s all because we immerse ourselves in that very moment, be it a moment of sorrow or of joy. We are right there and no where else.

In routine life if you don’t experience the same excitement, ask yourself, “Am I living in present at all? Or have I got stuck in the past? Am I really too anxious about the future?” Just introspect and re-program your mind accordingly.

A simple proof of this conjecture is right here. Reflect on you thoughts from the time you started reading this blog. I am sure they have undergone some change. Some of you probably have started feeling the change. Because you chose to concentrate on one and only one thing at a time. 

As I use to often say in my class, never keep too many windows (thoughts in your mind) open at a time. Close those programs that you don’t need right now. Kill all the Apps that are running but not required. Just free your RAM. 

Just one day, atleat for a day, stumble upon happiness. 

I am sure you will remain there forever!

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Author: anilkshatriyablog

I work as Assistant Professor in the area of Accounting at IMT Nagpur. I love teaching, writing and cycling. I follow a simple principle, 'Help ever, hurt never'.

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