Being happy and at peace is the ultimate objective of every human being and everyone seems to aim for it.
“Happiness cannot be created. It is a feeling” – Gauranga Das Prabhu
A few days ago, I happened to listen to Gauranga Das Prabhu, where the title of his speech was “The Art of Happiness”. Gauranga Das is an IIT alumnus who became a monk, a leadership consultant, a corporate coach, a motivational speaker, an environmental leader, a social reformer, a spiritual leader, a teacher, and an academician.
In this blog, I will share two takeaways that I found very relevant and important.
The first concept I learned was the Happiness formula, ESCAPE where E - Expectation, S - Success (retain hope), C - Comparison, A- Appreciation, P - Principles, and E - Endurance.
1. Expectations: “People are not always the reason behind your disappointment but most times the reason is your expectations from them.” Gauranga Das Prabhu in his speech said the gap between expectation and reality is the root cause of stress.
2. Success: Find the right definition of SUCCESS. The speaker says that success is the ability to retain hope in all circumstances and that the definition of success is more internal than external. Even if things are not in your favor, which at times is, success is not giving up and having the hope that things will get better.
3. Comparison: Comparison is the thief of joy! Each one is different in their own way but many of us ruin our self-worth by comparing ourselves to others. The speaker here says that Comparing, complaining, and criticizing are like cancer and that instead of comparing yourself with others, let's all try to contribute.
4. Appreciate: Have gratitude for what we have. Though this may sound like something you have heard a number of times, the importance of gratitude cannot be undermined. The more we are thankful for what we have, the happier we will be in our lives.
5. Principles: Gauranga Das Prabhu says that one should have principles in their life. These principles can be achieved by managing our senses and mind, which otherwise run wild and generate confusion. You should learn how to control the 3 gates to hell that is Greed, Lust, and Anger.
6. Endurance: Develop tolerance, no matter what. Make sure you continue performing your duties even in the hardest of situations.
The second concept I learned from his book was:
Know your ABCD, that is A - Association, B - Books, C - Contemplation, and D - Diet.
Association: Associate with people who prioritize self-development, who share your goals, and who have the habits you wish to incorporate into your life.
Books: Keep reading books for self-improvement. But don't read "best-selling" books just because everyone else is reading. Read books only on those topics that interest you. They will prove to be more useful in the long run.
Contemplation: Spend some time contemplating and comprehending your true self. Learn to pause, meditate and reflect. Reflecting on your ideas and actions helps you improve as a person.
Diet: As the popular saying goes "You are what you eat". So, prioritize a healthy and nutritious diet because it has a positive impact on your consciousness.