March 2015 issue: Happiness is easy

The recipe for happiness is easy. All you need are five simple ingredients, which you can use in your personal style, to cook up a sumptuous meal of happiness day after day.

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Oscar winning Hollywood actress and movie producer Goldie Hawn was once featured in Vanity Fair magazine, where she was asked a question about her future goals. She replied, “People used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I’d say ‘Happy!’ That was all I wanted to be.” Isn’t that what you and me—indeed all of us—ever want to be?

Face it: no matter what names and labels you give to your pursuit, what motivates you in life, what you are searching for is happiness. This quest for happiness, the most fundamental of human needs, is a common thread that joins us all. But somewhere along the way, we have come to believe that happiness is found in stuff—it is in earning more, spending more, having more; it is in accumulations and achievements, or perhaps in fame and power.

Whatever your idea of happiness, there’s a good chance that it has been playing a perpetual hide and seek with you, where it seems to evade you successfully while you’re spending your lifetime seeking it. Though actually happiness never hides from anyone; if anything, it’s the most easily sought of all things in life. Then why does it always elude me? you ask. You’ve been looking for it in the wrong places.

A life devoid of happiness is a life wasted, you will agree. But happiness does not mean the absence of challenges; it does not mean no ups and downs. Being happy is a delicate art—one that involves recognising and appreciating the finer everyday nuances that make our life richer. As Patricia Lorenz tells us in this month’s lead story, the recipe for happiness is easy. All you need are five simple ingredients, which you can use in your personal style, to cook up a sumptuous meal of happiness day after day.

The beauty of her recipe is that it works for everyone just the same—regardless of present circumstances, economic condition or state of health. There’s only one caveat: Your happiness is your responsibility alone. Mincing no words, Patricia says, “Along the way I discovered that the only person who can make me happy is me. It’s not fair to blame someone else if I’m unhappy because it’s not their job. The job of making me happy is mine alone.” As she reveals the magic ingredients, she adds, “I believe that if we have the five ingredients our lives will naturally be happy. The best thing is that all five are easily attainable. All five start from deep within ourselves and grow and flourish until our happiness quotient bubbles up and out and becomes contagious.”

As you discover her five ingredients you may wonder, as I did: just when did we learn to make something this easy so complicated? Sometimes we find the greatest happiness in simply unlearning.

Just for your information, as we were putting this issue together, we discovered that 15th March is International Day of Happiness, as declared by the United Nations. A ‘happy’ coincidence, I must say.

Read the full story here.

Manoj Khatri
Manoj Khatri has spent the last two decades learning, teaching and writing about wellbeing and mindful living. He has contributed over 1500 articles for several newspapers and magazines including The Times of India, The Economic Times, The Statesman, Mid-Day, Bombay Times, Femina, and more. He is a counseling therapist and the author of What a thought!, a critically acclaimed best-selling book on self-transformation. An award-winning editor, Manoj runs Complete Wellbeing and believes that "peace begins with me".


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