A letter to my grandson on the topic of Happiness.



Grandma, when will I be happy?


You can be happy now.


But you think that to be happy, your desires need to be fulfilled. You think that when your songs get recognized [he writes music] or when you get excellent scores in your exams or when you get into a great university, is when you will be happy.


Looking for happiness in people, material things and situations will disappoint us. These give us momentary happiness. After they are gone, a void appears and we long for new material things to fill us up and make us happy again.


Now you may question why all these things that you seem to derive happiness from may disappoint you. That is because they are not the secret to long term, sustainable happiness.


Have you sat on a beach and seen the sunset in silence. Does that make you happy?


I am sure it does. I have seen the way you smile every time we go for a walk on the beach.


You feel a sense of peace, almost as if nothing else exists.


Yes, son, it is called being in the present moment without any past or future worries. Somewhere deep inside of us, there is a very peaceful ocean that we must dive into to find happiness. Are you ready to dive?


Start by listening to your breath. Your breath is like a wave: it moves up and down as you breathe in and out. Next, take your attention to which nostril is more open.


Observe how this breath enters your body, how your body expands, and contracts with each inhalation and exhalation. Start with just 5 minutes of observing your breath each day.


Now how does this lead to happiness?


Observing your breath helps you live in this moment. This moment is all that exists. You reading this is all that exists. Forget about your worries whether it is work or family. When we have too many thoughts in one moment, our mind remains in a perplexed state. 


Why worry about the past or future when you can only control the present.


5 minutes of conscious breathing can transform into a longterm peaceful state of being.

Controlling your breath is a physical method that helps you remain in the present. 


There have also been two very important changes to my mindset that have helped me with this.

  1. Don’t see intentions in other people’s actions (E.g. He didn’t come over to play...maybe its because he doesn’t like me or I’m not fun enough)

  2. Accept people and situations as they are. (E.g. Coronavirus took away my graduation ceremony but I still experienced three incredible years at University.)

My last piece of advice, that I guarantee you ALWAYS work like magic:


Help someone, do Seva (service). It can be as small as checking up on a friend or cooking your family dinner. There is nothing in this world that will give you more happiness than making another smile. 

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