A scientist sitting a hundred miles away from you has discovered that your happiness graph is likely to be U shaped. We begin and end the race on a happy note, but might experience a trough while running the race of life.
As kids, we have a pretty high happiness quotient, smiling all the time and giggling without reason. For oldies too, happiness is in the being, a toothless smile, a hairless picture-perfect, and wrinkly soft skin.
It is only when we tread on the thread of life, from one end to the other, that we lose track and are too confused to be happy. We don't really know what we want, how soon we want it, and whether we really need it.
There is an old lady with a young soul waiting to see you smile. Granny, the old but young protagonist of our story, is a little concerned about this and wants you to smile again. She wants to spill some secrets out of her happiness kitty. She wants you to be happy right now.
Granny too has witnessed the ups and downs of life, but she knows she can smile despite all odds. And her secret is – "True happiness lies inside me, not around me".
She compliments this secret with a few more that she wants to share.
Granny's Secret #1 – Ordinary Things, Extraordinary Experiences
Granny's happiness curve moves an inch higher as she takes immense pleasure in the little gifts life has to offer. Her grandchildren might find these activities mundane and too boring to do. "Oh," the younglings say, "I need a larger-than-life experience to make me happy". And in that craving, we have somehow forgotten that happiness begins with us. Granny wants to make the best of however little time she has, and that makes ordinary gestures like a hug from her granddaughter an extraordinary experience.
Can we follow Granny's footsteps? Yes. But only when we realize that our happiness cannot ebb with the tide of time, because we are the source.
Granny shares that she doesn't have many expectations. She accepts her family as they are and does not try to control them to bring her happiness. She is wise enough to understand that acceptance is the intelligent way of life. She believes in "Let me be happy, come what may".
Granny wants you to sit in quietude and have this conversation with yourself: "Do I remember that hug from mommy when I came from an exam I thought I hadn't fared well in? Oh, if only I could hold on to it forever... Mommy hugs me every day, but that hug was so special. Why? Because I valued it and I recognized that that is what I needed most at that time". Being in the moment and valuing the "ordinary" gifts of life makes these extraordinary.
Granny's Secret #2 – Whatever Is Mine Is Definitely Yours
Granny believes in caring and sharing and random acts of kindness. A smile on your face is enough to make her happy. She believes in "what is mine is definitely yours" and she loves to share. She once happily gifted her favorite pair of earrings to Bethy from the neighborhood when Bethy paid her a visit, for the simple reason that Bethy adored them too. Happiness means satisfaction—it means finding calm within, and it comes from making others happy. Granny wants to know, "Will you share the secret of your success with your colleagues?" That is sharing, that is service. Granny remembers Sri Sri saying, "Love in action is service". And Granny is living these words.
Granny's Secret #3 – Granny Loves Meditation
Granny prefers following a pretty disciplined life even at her age and wakes up with a positive thought, "It is going to be an amazing day. What a beautiful morning!" As part of her morning routine, Granny settles to meditate—her best friend for life. It takes her to the depth of her consciousness, which whispers to her, "You are happiness, and you are here to make others happy. This life is a gift, treasure it, share it". And that sets the tone for her day. Have you tried meditation as a tone-setter? If not, you should try it now. If you ask Granny, she'll say this is the shortest route to happiness – discovering that you are the source of your happiness when you reach that beautiful spot of deep meditative silence.