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Rachana Gupta’s insightful book explores what truly makes us happy, and how a Happiness ki Khoj is not as difficult as it sounds.
Happiness. We all want it. We all seek it. But what does truly make us happy? We try our best to meet the checklist with what we know of happiness. Relationships, marriage, family, parenthood, job, career, money, success, fame, spirituality. But once we meet these self-certified or rather society-certified milestones, we are left with a raw emptiness where we confront our inner demons – It is not enough. Something is missing. Somebody else seems to have it better.
Happiness coach and debutante author Rachana Gupta explores the mystique of happiness in her book, ‘Happiness ki khoj’. The book is written in a simple language and was an easy read. Rachana has provided examples from different walks of life and circumstances to show us that happiness is more of a choice we make, and not a sum of our circumstances.
Some thoughts expressed in the book resonated very well with me. Quoting as follows:
Unhappiness breeds attention, happiness breeds neglect.
All that (happy people) they care about is their own happiness, and not what others make of it.
We are constantly seeking people’s approval of our decision and actions.
We can be happy only if we are true to ourselves and understand what makes us truly happy.
Instead of focusing on what we actually need, we focus on what other people have.
What kind of work makes you happy?
I remember a regular day when I had got up feeling alright. Just had my tea, when I heard that an old classmate (who was not so good at studies) had got into IIM.
My mood immediately changed and I felt like such a loser!! What is funny is that I have never really wanted to do MBA and have not even appeared for the GMAT and CAT exams. It is just a thought in my mind that I should do an MBA as that is what successful people seem to do. Still, I managed to feel inadequate just because I heard that somebody who I might never meet, and have nothing to do, with cleared an exam that I have never attempted!
I loved this section of the book where the detrimental impact of making comparisons is analysed.
Feeling low about ourselves has become easier than ever before thanks to social media.
Whenever I open my Facebook newsfeed, the whole world is either taking vacations in exotic locations, or posting professionally choreographed couple videos, or announcing work promotions. Everybody is looking good, and has a lot of money and love. We are constantly made aware of how “blessed” their life is.
It is not like I don’t do it myself. We are all more interested in posting about our major life events on social media than even actually enjoying it! We love to project ourselves in a way that satisfies our ego. Sadly, it is a lost battle that we can never win. If we keep looking at other people’s lives we will only disappoint ourselves.
Bringing out this point very well, the author makes a point about ‘Digital Detox’ which made me laugh. I agree. I have friends who feel a need to announce on social media how they are taking a break from social media! They then come back on social media to enlighten us with how meaningful their life had become without social media! This discovery is futile unless other people ‘like’ and approve of it on social media! How ironic!
The author has also talked about how women are expected to sacrifice themselves to make them happy. Yet, it is a happy mother that raises happy children, and not otherwise. This part was also well crafted with personal examples from her own family.
While citing the personal experiences, the author has talked about the women of a particular caste, and their lifestyles. I personally feel this part was avoidable as in India people are already too caste and region conscious. Probably the same examples could also be given without emphasizing on caste, but simply as an individual lifestyle choice. This part makes more sense though, when in the next section, she compares them with the habits and lifestyle choices of the women of another caste with a different way of life, to reinforce the connection of lifestyle choices with health and longevity.
A lot of people find self-help books preachy, boring and philosophical. Writing a book on the age old topic of happiness is a challenge. People are resistant to accepting theories on happiness, positive attitude, and the laws of attraction because these seem to undermine their misery and put a responsibility on them for their own happiness. We do not like this as we like to blame our circumstances, or other people.
In my view, the author has overcome this challenge effectively. I felt that Rachana Gupta has made a conscious effort to ensure that the book is reader friendly. It has been written in a colloquial language and the illustrations, studies, ideas cited are all something we can relate to, and doable!
The universe does not owe us happiness. We have to find it within ourselves. We learn this as the years pass by.
I reflected about what I read and it did help me. Go for it! Even if there is a slight chance that the book can give you clarity on how to develop a more happy attitude towards life, it is very much worth reading it.
If you’d like to pick up Happiness ki Khoj by Rachana Gupta, use our affiliate links: at Amazon India, and at Amazon US.
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Top image via Pixabay and book cover via Amazon
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