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You ain’t a have-not

Count_your_BlessingsCount your blessings instead of taking things for granted; this will put you in a positive frame of mind. Rather than feeling low about what you don’t have, think about what you have — you’ll feel more happy and confident.

It will also induce you to think about how you can capitalise on what you have and find ways of overcoming what you lack.

Practise acts of kindness to get that inner feeling of joy. This works when you’re trying to distract yourself from being cynical and dwelling on the harshness and unkindness that others sometimes target at you.

Make a conscious effort to savour the joys of life. For example, the taste of the food you eat is often eclipsed by the muddled thoughts that occupy our mind.

Focus on the sweetness of the mango, the cool breeze in the evenings, the spontaneous acts of children, the beauty in good music and art.

I do my best not to discuss my children’s academic performance at the dinner table. I have realised that doing so takes away the joy of dining together.

Experience has taught me that if my children have done well, they will volunteer to tell me their marks as soon as I reach home.

And if for some reason they have not done well, then there is no value added by discussing it at the dinner-table. It ruins the experience of being with the family and doesn’t help comprehend how they can improve.

Thanking a mentor does wonders; the mentor could be your parent, relative, friend, teacher, boss or a customer. Thank your mentors by writing a letter, an email or even sending an SMS. This will make two people happy — you and your mentor.

Learn to forgive. Why allow resentment to settle in your mind. Remember that we teach others how to treat us by setting an example.

Fine-tune the ability to show them how you want to be treated; this will also prevent others from hurting you. Similarly, allow others to teach you how they want to be treated, and avoid hurting them.

Invest time and energy on your friends and family. Where you live, how much you earn and even your health has little effect on your happiness even though not having any of this will make you unhappy.

Share your success — monetary and otherwise — with your friends and family. There is no better energy booster than to spend quality-time with your friends.

Take care of your body —get plenty of exercise and sleep. Sleep for at least eight hours every day, and exercise for at least 45 minutes. Spend time on humour; make sure you laugh for at least 30 minutes every day. Do this daily and you will remain happy and positive.

Develop strategies for dealing with challenges and stress. We are blessed with challenges to learn from and become better individuals and professionals.

Beliefs such as ‘this too shall pass’ and ‘an experience that does not kill me makes me stronger’ should be upheld during challenging times. Keep calm and focus on your objective while dealing with problems.