31 Ways to Happiness

31 Ways to Happiness

By Awdhesh Singh

We all desire to be happy but how many of us actually methodically work to achieve happiness? Surprising, because even to do well in the next performance appraisal or the next exam, we think, plan and execute. But when it comes to something as significant as our own happiness, we just keep jumping from one emotion to another. 

This simple and engrossing book unravels fundamentals, decodes methodologies and shares practical hacks to be happy and spread happiness.

Expert Review : “Real, readable and practical with some life changing advice.” – Sonal Kalra, Bestselling Author and Managing Editor, Hindustan Times.

Reviews From Amazon

A meaningful gift to our lovely people at all occasions

31 Ways to Happiness is an useful book for all genres and optimum benefits can be achieved from this book. Being a teacher I am privileged that, the knowledge gained by me support in moral educational classes. The anecdotes the author mentioned at various perspectives, of course great help to retain the wisdom forever. The language and quality of material used in shaping the book is marvelous. The price of the book is affordable and a must for personal library.


Read it to be happy

This book is so good and interesting, the best things about this book is it contains all the great philosophies and philosophers experience and their knowledge at one place. Every thing written in this book is well contained and easy to. Follow in daily life this book took some time to soaked into your daily habits, this book have everything to be happy and well written by the author who is well experienced and a very decorated ex-officer. His life experiences are also shared in this book in a well mannered, go through it ,you will find many things valuable.

Unashish Mondal

Very highly recommended to people who want to bring positivity and success in life

It is a very well written and excellent book. I received the book last month, decided to read one chapter per day before bed.Finished the book today and I’m really impressed with it. I’ve observed that I’m more calm,blissful and cheerful after reading this book. My next step is to re read the book as many times as possible so as to apply and implement the things I learned from it in my life in letter and in spirit.

Dr.Lokesh Yadav

Handbook for living life

It’s not only a book it is a collection of experiences describe each and very aspect of life. Great book, hats off to writer, a must buy book.

Mukesh Kumar

Book to have on your desk

The title and subject of the book appear to be innocuous. However, once you start reading, you immediately become aware of the depth of thought. The presentation is lucid and laced with quotations of many great thinkers and personalities. However, the author’s original thought process is also apparent throughout. The book grips you from the moment you start and is unputdownable. Though I have completed the book once, I continue to keep it on my table and grab a quick read or two whenever free. In spite of multiple reads, it has till now not ceased to be interesting.

R Balaji Sundarrajan

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5: The Source for Joy and Sorrow are the same

“The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

We know the distinction between good and bad food, good and bad habits; and good and bad actions. We know that certain things like alcohol, cigarette, and drugs are harmful for health. We know that fatty, spicy, high calorie foods are bad for our health. We also know that fruits, salads, vegetables are good for health. We are aware that we must exercise regularly to be in good shape and be healthy. It is, therefore, possible for a disciplined and knowledgeable person to avoid what is bad and follow what is good to maintain a healthy life. 

How good it would have been, if we can identify what gives us happiness and what gives us pain?

We had to simply follow the habits that give us happiness and avoid everything that gives us pain. 

In reality, we fail to achieve happiness even when we follow some of the universally perceived good principles of happiness like integrity, honesty, love and compassion. Happiness is much more difficult to achieve than anything else in the world because the source of happiness and pain are same.  What gives us the greatest joy is also the source of our greatest pain. Let us understand this mystery of life. 

1: Love 

What is life without love? Mahatma Gandhi said, “Where there is love, there is life”. Love is even compared to God. Some saints have also stated that love is the source of ultimate knowledge and wisdom. We all know that a loveless life is not worth living. We all want to love and be loved. Yet it is also a fact that love is the greatest source of pain for many people.

It is said that when we love, our souls become one with our beloved.  However, the unification of soul often becomes a great source of pain to us because we tend to suffer every time our beloved suffer. You thus multiply your pain when you fall in love. 

It may be a great joy to fall in love but your sufferings also multiplies when you are in love.  

2: Family

“Family is not an important thing”, said Michael J. Fox, “It’s everything”. Who doesn’t know the importance of a family? We could not have survived in this world but for the love and support of our parents and family. 

A family is a small world created by us which is bound together with love. We believe that our family loves us unconditionally. We feel ‘at home’ with our family. We love our family and treat it as the greatest gift of God.

Yet family often becomes a source of pain when there is disharmony and enmity between the family members. The family becomes a hell instead of heaven when love and trust is lost in a family. The following story explains the two side of family.

It seems that Reagan and Gorbachev arranged a competition to determine whose nation had the bravest troops. The two leaders arrived, at the designated hour, on a plateau in Finland high above the water. Each was accompanied by a battalion of crack troops, smartly uniformed. The leaders shook hands.

Reagan went first. He addressed his battalion of Marines–

‘Private Jones! Front and center.’

Private Jones saluted and briskly marched to the front of the ranks, facing his commander.

‘Private Jones! March to the edge of the cliff.’

Private Jones saluted and briskly marched to the very edge of the cliff.

‘Private Jones! Jump!’

Jones just stood there, unmoving.

‘Private Jones! I said jump!’

The man’s knees started to shake, but he was otherwise motionless.

‘Private Jones! This is your Commander-in-Chief. I order you to jump’ Private Jones wailed out– ‘I CAN’T! I HAVE A WIFE–AND A FAMILY!’

The American Soldiers arrived and escorted Jones away for court martial. Reagan backed off in disgrace. It was now Gorbachev’s turn.

‘Comrade Dmitrivich! Front and center.’

Comrade Dmitrivich saluted and briskly marched to the front of the ranks, facing his commander.

‘Comrade Dmitrivich! March to the edge of the cliff.’

Dmitrivich saluted and briskly marched to the very edge of the cliff.

‘Comrade Dmitrivich! Jump!’

Dmitrivich jumped off the cliff.

By some miracle, he is snagged on a branch and he lands on a crag some 50 feet below the top of the cliff. Dmitrivich is badly injured, but still alive and conscious. He is carried away on a stretcher.

As Dmitrivich is carried passed Private Jones, Jones cannot resist asking him–

‘Dmitrivich! How could you do it? How could you jump?’

Dmitrivich answered– ‘I HAD TO! I HAVE A WIFE–AND A FAMILY!’

3: Wealth

Most of us believe that wealth is the greatest source of happiness. Most people sacrifice everything to earn wealth hoping to enjoy happiness. Wealth can provide us pleasure, comfort, status in the society and even fame. Yet our greatest source of pain also comes from wealth. 

The life of wealthy people is hardly enjoyable since there are many people who are coveting their wealth. The threat to your life increases when you are wealthy. A rich person is surrounded by selfish people who are interested in their money rather than liking the person. 

Wealth is also the greatest source of evil. Many bad habits like debauchery, alcoholism, drugs can’t be sustained without money. You are far more likely to fall into these evil habits when you have wealth than if you are poor. 

We suffer pain when we are earning wealth as we have to work harder, take more risks and even perform some illegal and immoral acts to acquire greater wealth.  We suffer while keeping the wealth as we are always scared of losing the wealth due to theft, frauds and bad investment decisions.  We suffer when we spend wealth since we often buy useless things with wealth or spend our wealth on illegal, unhealthy and immortal activities. 

You often lose touch with the divinity when you are rich due to your arrogance and pleasure seeking. 

When the gods received Hercules and entertained him at a banquet held by Jupiter, he responded courteously to the greetings of all, but when Plutus, the God of Wealth approached him, he cast his eyes upon the ground, turned away and pretended not to see him. 

Jupiter was surprised at this conduct and asked why, after having been so cordial with all the other gods, he had behaved like that with Plutus.

‘Sir,’ said Hercules, ‘I do not like Plutus, and I will tell you why. When we were on earth together, I always noticed that he was to be found in the company of scoundrels.’

4: Pleasure

Pleasure is so important for human beings that it is often equated with happiness. We enjoy tasty foods and love watching exotic places and beautiful faces. We get pleasure by listening to beautiful music and songs. The greatest pleasure a man derives is often from the fulfillment of his sensual desires. 

These pleasant activities are also the greatest source of pain and suffering. The pleasure of food leads obesity and several other diseases. Excessive consumption of food has become the greatest source of illness in people today. 

Sex, which is the greatest source of joy for people, is also the source of the greatest pain for them. The instance of rapes and crime against woman are due to the desire of man to seek pleasure in the sexual activities.  Several men lose their wealth and honour due to their sexual adventurism. 

5: Power

Power is highly valued and honoured in the world. God is often called Almighty or Omnipotent as He is considered to be Supreme powerful.  The history of a nation or the world is nothing but the tales of the people in power in the relevant times. Yet power is greatest evil as it corrupts the human mind.  Lord Acton once said emphatically, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority.”

The quest of power often becomes the greatest curse for man. Power creates hatred and the powerful people often fear for their life. A powerful man scares everyone when in power, but become most scared when out of power. Power becomes addictive since once you live with power, it is difficult to live without it. You tend to create a large number of enemies when you are in power for long time.

The Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini was the most powerful man of Italy in his time and a key player in the World War II.  He was later captured by Partisons and executed along with his mistress, Clara Petacci, at Mezzegrain 1945, and their bodies were hung at an Esso gas station in the Piazzale Loreto in Milan. One woman fired five shots into Mussolini’s body, according to Milan Radio, and shouted: “Five shots for my five assassinated sons!” Other passers-by spat on their dead bodies.

We all wish to rise in our organization and become boss. Yet the job of a boss is more difficult than the boss of the subordinates. Whenever, he exercises power in his organization, subordinates dislike him. If he becomes compassionate and nice to his subordinates, they take him for granted and performance of the organization declines.  A powerful person is hated by less-powerful people just as poor hates the riches for their wealth. Power often becomes the greatest source of miserly for many people. 

6: Fame

One of the greatest desires of man is to become famous and well known.  The famous people are always in the limelight. Their presence enhances the prestige of any function. People wish to meet them, take their autographs or have selfie with them. 

However, you lose all your privacy when you become famous. The misery of famous men is much more saleable than their successes. People love when celebrities fall from grace and leaders are caught in the scandals. 

Fred Allen famously said, “A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become well known, and then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.” Some celebrities like Princess Diana were so much haunted by Paparazzi that she lost her life in an attempt to escape from them.

While people love to be famous to fulfill their desires to be appreciated, they don’t want to be cursed by masses. A famous person becomes a captive of his own image and it becomes quite difficult for him break the mould in which the people have captured him. Kristen Stewart said wisely, “The strangest part about being famous is you don’t get to give first impressions anymore. Everyone already has an impression of you before you meet them”.  

Often the famous people become a commodity whose value is determined by the market condition based on demand and supply. When people want to know more about you, media sells your story to them after spraying spice, salt and chilly over it.  

Once Churchill was asked by an admirer: “Doesn’t it thrill you, Mr. Churchill, to know that every time you make a speech, the hall is packed to overflowing?”

“It is quite flattering,” Churchill replied. “But whenever I feel this way I remember that if instead of making a political speech, I was being hanged, the crowd would be twice as big.”

Joy is Sorrow in Disguise 

Gautam Buddha described life as suffering. Our sorrow is often hidden in our joy and our happiness is hidden in our sufferings. The famous writer Kahlil Gibran described the relationship between joy and sorrow in the following words, 

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. 

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see in truth that you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

The key to happiness is thus to use the source of happiness in the right quantity, in the right time and in the right way. There is nothing wrong per se with love, family, wealth, pleasure, power or fame. They are all necessary for happiness and living a good life. However, they becomes a source of problem, when we use them wrongly or in excess quality or at the wrong time. 

Our happiness lies in using the right resources at the right time in the right way.

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