A Little Happiness Pep Talk

Occasionally we like to give a pep talk. Today’s is on happiness. Let’s start off with an existential type quote “To be happy one should do one’s duty without attachment to its results.” This is a bit of Hindu wisdom found in the Gita, where Krishna teaches this philosophy of Nismam Karm to Arjun. Logically, it adds up.

If we are not too anxious about the success or failure of our efforts, but are interested giving our best, we do not become unhappy when the results are not as expected. Happiness does not mean being delusional or living in a fool’s paradise.  We all know that life is not a bed of roses. You have to struggle and fight for justice in this life.

Everything we do is with a view of some expected result.  Unfortunately, there are times when we fail to achieve that result. Failure in achieving our goal often leads us to unhappiness. One of the solutions to it is to not link effort with outcome. It does not mean that you get free reign to do whatever you want without thinking of its consequences though.


What it is is to put things in perspective. If you really think about it, it is the best theory about life.  Attachment brings uncertainty, worry, and tension.  In fact, this non-attachment to the results is very psychological too.  Too much worry about the results of our actions affects the latter negatively.  And now let’s talk a bit about worrying.

You may not realise it, but worrying can be a silent killer. As a Christian, this is mentioned directly in the Books of Matthew and Luke. But spiritual beliefs aside, it also makes sense. Worrying about the past is futile, while worrying about future is folly.  Worrying is the root cause of many physical and mental illnesses.  Worry is a great waste of time and energy.

Put it all in perspective. When you consider it in depth, you would find that it is really no use worrying about anything.  It is foolish to worry about past or future. Nobody can change the past.  Whatever has happened has happened. Soo…. why worry? Take some time to grieve and deal with emotions, then move on.

What about the future. Well, how can something that has yet not happened affect us? How are we so certain that the future is so bleak? Things may turn out well in the long-term. Worrying is bad because it can tire us out and even diminish our capacity of clear thinking and planning. It promotes negative thinking.  Not the best idea, is it?


If worrying is an answer to the problems of the world, everybody would and should worry as much as possible.  Problem solving requires clear thinking and planning. This blog has written extensively about this topic. But what does worrying do? It makes us incapable of clear thinking and planning. I hope I’m getting the point across.

Now, as a counsellor, I’d like you to put things in perspective. When you worry about something, how big is the matter really? If you are on your death bed, would you worry about the exact same thing? It might be trivial in the long run, right? Sometimes going through some exercises and resources online can put things in perspective for you.

That being said, it is much easier said than done to stop worrying. It just comes naturally to us as a flight or fight response. What I have found, apart from the usual good diet, exercise, mindfulness type stuff, is to think it through and have it written down. That way, anytime the worry starts, you can refer to it and remind yourself that you have thought through it. Hope this helps.

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Also published on Medium.

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