Mr. X’s life is filled with an incessant round of activities. He is constantly on the move. He is driven and he pushes the boundaries. He soars high in his career. He is sure he has it all - the trappings of wealth and success, accolades and a great lifestyle. What more could he possibly ask for? And yet, strangely enough, Mr. X still feels a lingering sense of dissatisfaction. Although his life is such a phenomenal success story, he can’t understand why he doesn’t feel happy. And so Mr. X sets out again seeking that ‘something’, which always seems to elude them. He can’t put his finger on this vital missing ingredient in his life. What is this secret ingredient that will finally make him happy?

Here are some secret ingredients to lasting happiness – add them into your life a little at a time or all at once as you please.

Secret Ingredient #1 – Don’t be Possessed by Possessions

Material possessions are great! That hot new set of wheels, that designer outfit, the latest smartphone in the market…the list is pretty endless. And which one among us can honestly say that he or she hasn’t wanted at least some of these things at some point in life. But then, here’s the drawback. Did you ever notice that once you get what you have been longing for, after the initial bubble of happiness, you are left feeling strangely flat or depleted?

I guess the trick here is not to be possessed by possessions. Of course, material possessions have their place in life. But they don’t have to become the end goal of life. So if you want that designer outfit and can afford it – go ahead and buy it and then forget about it. Don’t expect to find happiness in it. What’s even more important is not to make the acquisition of one material object after another the goal of life.

Secret Ingredient #2 – Internalize Your Happiness

Things don’t last forever. Life changes, people move on and relationships never remain the same. Life is like a flowing stream, running into little nooks and crannies for brief moments, then flowing out again, moving with the current or the slope of the land, dancing and glittering in the golden sunlight, carving out its course, shaping destinies as it goes. People may touch your life for a brief moment or even a few golden years and then they move on. And at the end of the day you realize that the one person you can count on in the endless flux of life is YOURSELF. And that realization brings with it its own sense of peace for you realize that you will never let yourself down.

But most people can’t make the connection and always looked outward for happiness. They think that when this person behaves in that manner or when they have overcome this health issue or they have got that job or promotion or bought that car or house, then they will be truly happy. And so they float through life chasing the will o’wisp of happiness in people or in material objects, always wondering why it eludes them, always believing that it can be found around the next corner. And more often than not they fail to realize that true happiness is to be found within one’s own heart. All you have to do is tune into yourself and listen to the song within your heart….

Secret Ingredient #3 – Find Joy in Simplicity

Learn to savor the simple things in life. Early morning walks, watching the sun set, reading a good book, listening to music, a quiet evening stroll, a cup of tea with close friends…simple things, little things can bring so much happiness. Savor them!

Secret Ingredient #4 – Count Your Blessings
It has been noticed that people with an attitude of gratitude are often the ones who are the happiest in life.

Here’s a little thing I do every night. Before I fall asleep, I count my blessings. Even on tough days when every possible thing has gone wrong, I count my blessings. I am grateful for all the positives in my life and this helps me fall asleep with a smile on my face.

Secret Ingredient #5 – Give Yourself the Gift of ‘Me’ Time

Yes, life is more often than not crazily busy for most of us. There are always goals and deadlines and commitments. There are work commitments and personal commitments. But don’t lose sight of YOURSELF in the midst of this busy whirlwind of life. Carve out a little alone time every day. And spend it doing something you really enjoy. It could be reading, playing a sport, working out at the gym or even meditating. Some say that their schedules are so crammed that finding that alone time is a challenge. But even if it means waking up an hour early each morning, this alone time is so important! It gives you a chance to unwind and reconnect with yourself. A little ‘me’ time goes a long way in revitalizing your mind and body.

Secret Ingredient #6 - Achieve Inner Stillness

Often we may find that we have a small storm brewing in our minds. Nine out of ten times work pressures or relationship pressures may have been instrumental in creating this storm. So how can we go about quelling this storm? How can we silence the mental cacophony that shatters our peace of mind and invades us with its negative toxic vibrations?

Connect with your inner being which lies at the core of your existence. Take a little time out every day to withdraw from the outside world and focus inward. Meditation is by far the best way to do this. Meditating in an outdoor environment in close connection with the natural world is even better. Find a secluded and silent place, preferably one with which you are familiar. While meditating, close your eyes and withdraw your mind from all external thoughts, ideas, and emotions. Focus on the point between your eyebrows. Allow your breath to flow inward and outward till a deep calm and sense of peace fills your being. Allow this sense of peace to wash over you. Revel in this peaceful silence for as long as you please.

As you meditate, you will find inner stillness. Inner stillness is a state of being where you actually enter the "no-thought" state. Inside this state, there is no time and no space. As you explore this state, you will go deeper into it.
You will experience moments when you lose cognizance of being there at all. In other words you will become “mindless”.

Once you are able to "step into" this state, you are ready to seek inner stillness. This is a Zen state of total harmony with one's own being. In it, there is joy - complete, peaceful, blissful joy. And this joy is eternal and everlasting which you carry within you all the time like a little songbird within your heart.

Meditation can transform your life. As you make it a daily practice you will find your thoughts shifting from the negative to the positive. You will find that the mental cacophony is replaced by peace and constructive thought.

Author's Bio: 

Zia Marshall holds an MPhil and PhD in English Literature. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on 'Imaging Mental Disability: Representations in Selected Fiction and Film’. She is a Learning Designer and Communication Specialist skilled in performance and competency development for both personal and professional growth. She creates context-sensitive, solution oriented e-learning, blended learning and mobile learning programs for corporate houses like Wipro, Infosys, HCL, DHL and also for the education sector. She is skilled at applying instructional psychology to learning environments and aligning learning programs with learning objectives, business goals and strategies. She has designed and written several courses deploying essential life skills, communication skills and skills in dealing with workplace issues. She has also conceptualized and designed products and solutions across multiple industries and verticals such as banking and finance, business logistics, management coaching, performance management, software training, product training, process training and sales and service training. She has worked extensively in the K-12 education sector to transform conventional textbook material into story-based multimedia solutions and feedback-oriented assessment banks.
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