Most of us don’t think that we need a formal definition of happiness; we know its feeling of positivity, joy, pride, contentment, and gratitude. As individuals, companies and nations, we strive for happiness for ourselves, our loved ones and others.
In 2011, according to a report by the U.N, India was ranked 118th on the Happiness Index list. The report takes into account the GDP per capita, life expectancy, social support and freedom to make life choices as indicators of happiness.
Are these indicators a measure of Happiness? This brings me to my question — can you measure or quantify a feeling?
Whilst I ponder over that thought, I also realised that there are 2 kinds of happiness — relative and absolute. Relative happiness is that derived from causes in our environment for e.g. buying a pair of shoes, going on a holiday, getting a promotion. On the other hand, absolute happiness is being happy regardless of our external environment. But how do you achieve absolute happiness?
Having worked in the non-profit sector, there is one thing I have learnt: doing things that make others happy is the biggest source of happiness. Whether it is taking one hour of your time to teach someone how to use excel or whether it is playing board games with children, you realize how much giving means. When you give from your heart (without expecting anything in return) when you want to share something that you have with others, the response you get can be quite overwhelming and it is that feeling that instills a sense of absolute happiness in us.
So to end 2016 on a happy note, think about what is it that you can give to make someone else happy!