Happiness is an attitude


This is my last post for the year 2008. Few hours later, we shall be saying good bye to 2008 and welcoming 2009, wishing each other Happy New Year. So, I feel like writing on happiness. What should we do to be happy? Can happiness be created even though we may not have control over events that happen to us or around us?


No one is happy all the time. We all go through failures, setbacks, frustration that makes us feel low and unhappy. What is important is to be able to come out of such moments as quickly as possible. That is why I believe happiness is an attitude.


Let’s first believe that happiness can be created, if not always but most of the times. A two-pronged approach will help in developing an attitude of creating happiness.  


First, do things that make you happy. I used to enjoy playing Cricket with my friends. Even when we finished college and started working, we used to find time to play on weekends. It kept us in touch with each other, and made us all happy. Then, life took friends to different places, making it difficult for us to meet so regularly. Now I play with my children and their friends on weekends. A short game with them gives me the same amount of pleasure as it does to them. This is just one example. We can pursue a hobby, learn a new skill, read a book or watch a movie to make us happy. Make a list of things that make you happy, and find time to do them. This could be one of your new year’s resolutions.  


Second, find your happiness in happiness of others. Ask yourself: What can I do today to make someone happy? Just look around and see people in your surroundings. You don’t have to do big things. Small acts like spending time with a lonely or elderly person will bring cheers to both. Buying gifts for those who generally don’t get gifts will do wonders to your spirits. One of my friends told me that he visits hospitals whenever he has the time to meet with poor patients who are admitted there. He spends time with them, buys them fruits and medicines. He says, “ the day I do this, I feel so happy with myself. I look forward to my next visit to them”. Through our small acts, we can help people, making them as well as ourselves happy.

 To conclude, let me share a couplet from a famous Urdu poet:

Ghar se masjid hai bahut door chalo yun hi sahi,

Kisi rote hue bachche ko hansaya jaye.

(the mosque is too far from home. So be it.

let’s make a wailing child laugh instead)


Wishing all a very Happy New Year 2009!


S.Mohammad Afsar/Opening doors




5 Responses to Happiness is an attitude

  1. Indrani says:

    The New Year has indeed started on a Happy note with these lovely thoughts. But more than trying to do things that make us happy would it not be even better to go a bit further and do things we are required to do on a daily basis, happily. By practising this, even if we do not enjoy the work in hand or find it monoronous or boring we can learn to be happy every moment of the day. Fake it till you make it as they say.

  2. S.Mohammad.Afsar says:

    Thanks for this comment. I agree entirely with the thought of being happy at the work we do. Something that we all must try. It will also raise the standard of performace. Even if we fake hapiness for a few days consistently, it will become part of us- an attitude.

  3. DR ANURAG VERMA says:

    Beutiful AND TOUCHING……….kissi rote hue bacche ko hansaya jaye.Nice to share what I always believe in! I can vouch for the smile on the childs face, being a child specialist and this is a very personal and special moment each time I visit my paediatric ward or OPD.And is it infectious? 100% and every time,it spreads to parents ,staff and sneaks out to the world every time ,everyday.love all and spread happiness as it is bound to come back to you.Thanks,Afsar saheb,you are bang on as always.HAPPINESS IS OUR OWN CREATION,VERY SIMPLE.

  4. Raminder Bhatia says:

    Its so nice to read positive articles – This was ‘begin the year the beautiful way’. Happiness is a state of mind – and once we realise how much good being happy does to us and everyone around us, that we put in efforts to remain happy. There are the sad unhappy moments in everyones life but learning to overcome them is important.

  5. Dr. Rajesh Nair says:

    Dear Sir,

    I always thought life is all about desire and satisfaction. The more we desire, more we exhaust ourselves for its satisfaction. This may cause momentary happiness, but urge for the continues satisfaction of many more desires may create frustration & hell lot of stress in life.

    I feel the quote by – James Oppenheim is most apt for finding happiness –“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet”.

    There are pain& sorrow in the life of many human and living beings. Few lines from a HIV positive person……

    When the day breaks
    With it,
    Breaks my Heart
    For who knows?
    The glorious morning
    May be my last…..

    If we are able to share little pain, sorrow of others, that may make us happy & contended for long. But happiness is a psychological construct and there are individual differences.

    I always believe a smile you sent, will always return. I just love these lines by – Abraham Lincoln

    “In the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years”


    The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.
    – Leo Rosten, American teacher and humorist

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