Happy New Year. Really?

I stare at the blank page in front of me, both literally as well as metaphorically. It is the first day of a New Year.Image I know pretty well I am not going to write another set of resolutions, having long realised the futility of this exercise. But I do want to scribble a few thoughts, which would be more than ephemeral & fleeting. Thoughts, which could serve as a reference point, a lighthouse through the year ahead. And may be beyond.

“Happy New Year” isn’t that the most common greeting that we begin the year with? And despite all the hoopla we’ve created around it, is the world a happier place? Are we happier as individuals? I am afraid an honest answer would be a resounding no. The most natural thing would be to look for reasons why it is so and how we can be happier.

The most important reason for our unhappiness to my mind is imbalance. Our life is made up of three major components: physical, emotional and spiritual. They are like the legs of a tripod, each playing its critical role in making the entire structure stable. If, as often happens, we neglect any one of them life becomes shaky and insecure.Image

Imagine using the best wood, polish etc in making one of the legs very strong while the other is in a state of utter neglect, would such a structure be stable? How then do we expect our lives to be happy and contended while as generally is the case overemphasising the physical aspect of it. We pay the greatest attention to the superficial; our clothes, looks, cars, homes, vacations etc while paying little attention to the emotional and probably completely ignoring the spiritual dimension of our lives.

Balance doesn’t happen by accident, it can only be achieved by design. One has to consciously keep all three in focus and work on them. Two words consistency and discipline make sure we do that. If our wish of a happy year is to come true we need to focus on these three dimensions in a disciplined way and consistently – one day at time. The result; when we look back on the 365th day, we see our happiness has increased incrementally and accumulated bringing the greeting alive. Happy New Year.

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8 comments

  1. There are many words, in many books, that offer us tools for living a more peaceful life. But to only collect them and not use them does no good. Until they have real meaning, through experience, they are only words.
    We have become a people of wanting fast results, big pay offs, with little effort. Forgotten are the words, ‘ That which is worth having is worth working for.’
    Continuing to spend our days complaining, worrying about the state of the world, our lives, and the emptiness we feel inside, yet we go right on doing the same things we do. With the slightest of effort, we could realize that it is the things we do, that brings the things it does. And so therefore, it makes sense to think, we should do something different.
    Taking responsibility for my actions, is a good place to start. My thoughts, words and deeds are very powerful and I’m constantly creating the world I live in within my heart and the world I see… with them. When I take responsibility for my actions, chances are real good, I’ll make better ones.
    Only when I make choices that unite rather than divide, will peace live in my heart…and the world. One by one…little by little, the molehill becomes a mountain.
    * smiles*

  2. Well said Sanjay! Enjoyed reading this and agree we are more worried about externals and averse to our internals. Looks to me like a timely reminder to begin focusing on balance in life. The more grounded from amongst us are already on track but it is also our task to ensure bringing in our youngsters to imbibe such thinking and values. May the year ahead help us instil this as best as we can.

  3. A very creatively looking piece I must say. I enjoyed the analogy to the tripod. I am in accord with your observation that we lay too much store by the superficial while giving little, if any importance to the emotional and spiritual growth/balance. However, I do feel this balance may happen by accident as well. An incident, an experience can touch us,changing our emotional & spiritual make up-forever. Or temporarily. A lot of times, its not necessarily an earth shaking experience- but one, much like that comfortable cushion on our couch we put in our lap everyday as we switch on TV. There, but not felt. And then one day you do feel it-in all its clarity , feeling the texture & the beauty of every switch put in. For this, no date or change of year is needed. Happy New Year! 🙂

  4. What I like best about this approach is how you make it clear that we need to do things one day at a time. Often, the reason resolutions collapse is because we eternalise them (I will NEVER do this or i will ALWAYS do that) and it starts looking like a task that has to be completed. It’s how I run – just that one extra step – no clocking miles or speed or calories. Just one more step, as long as I can go. That approach alone has helped me reach new milestones 🙂

  5. Hi Chief….First of all a Very Happy New Year 😀 😀

    I think this article does a great job of making people reexamine how balanced life looks and feel.
    What you have conveyed in your article is so close to everyone’s reality – a real eye opener.
    We should all begin to focus on balancing our lives for making every second,minute, day and years filled with Life and True Happiness 🙂

    Thanks for the share !

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