On Happiness

The earlier mentioned book Eat Pray Love is really resonating with me right now. I love everything about it, especially the search for happiness. I guess I am trying to call this ‘search for happiness’ fulfilment and I have heard that you it can be found in work. But if happiness is inside you and contentment is being still with God, surely a bad job is no obstacle to happiness? I’m confused and looking around for another more meaningful way to earn a living. Something that calls to the inner me, that I can call my life’s purpose. Instead of heading to a conference today, I headed out to the Starbucks, grabbed a Cafe Macchiato and read the rest of the book. No regrets other than a wonderment at how I am actually getting away with this and why I am running from work so badly.

As for the book, it is a masterpiece and a must-read. It made me want to travel, to achieve that inner peace, go visit an Ashram, learn how to meditate properly, eat good food and be moved by beautiful experiences all in one go. While you’re at it, check out the author’s (E Gilbert) talk on creativity on TED. I am going to stop describing here because her work has to be experienced first-hand.

Here’s a quote from her book on happiness:

I keep remembering one of my Guru’s teachings about happiness. She says that people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you’re fortunate enough. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don’t you will leak away your innate contentment. It’s easy enough to pray when you’re in distress but continuing to pray when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments.

On Change

I am reading the much acclaimed Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert these days and yes it is as good as they make it out to be. I have a feeling this one’s going to have a few memorable quotes. So here’s the first one.

I find the endurance of the Augusteum so reassuring, that this structure has had such an erratic career, yet always adjusted to the particular wildness of the times. (…)

I look at the Augusteum, and I think that perhaps my life has not be so chaotic, after all. It is merely this world that is chaotic, brining changes to us all that nobody could have anticipated. The Augusteum warns me to not get attached to any obsolete ideas about who I am, what I represent, whom I belong to, or what function I may once have intended to serve. Yesterday I might have been a glorious monument to somebody, true enough – but tomorrow I could be a fireworks depository. Even in the Eternal City, says the silent Augusteum, one must always be prepared for riotous and endless waves of transformation.