How to live and die

How to live and die

I’ve often thought about what it is that makes people happy—what one has to do in order to achieve happiness.

1- First and foremost is good health. If you do not enjoy good health, you can never be happy. Any ailment, however trivial, will deduct something from your happiness.

2- Second, a healthy bank balance. It need not run into crores, but it should be enough to provide for comforts, and there should be something to spare for recreation—eating out, going to the movies, travel and holidays in the hills or by the sea.

3- Third, your own home. Rented places can never give you the comfort or security of a home that is yours for keeps. If it has garden space, all the better. Plant your own trees and flowers, see them grow and blossom, and cultivate a sense of kinship with them.

4- Fourth, an understanding companion, be it your spouse or a best friend. If you have too many misunderstandings, it robs you of your peace of mind. It is better to accept the differences than to be quarrelling all the time.

5- Fifth, stop envying those who have done better than you in life—risen higher, made more money, or earned more fame. Envy can be corroding, avoid comparing yourself with others.

6- Sixth, do not allow people to descend on you for gossip.

7- Seventh, cultivate a hobby or two that will fulfill you—gardening, reading, writing, painting, playing or listening to music. It’s important to concentrate on something that keeps you occupied meaningfully.

8- Eighth, every morning and evening devote 20 minutes to meditation or introspection.

9- Ninth, don’t lose your temper. Try not to be short-tempered, or vengeful. Even when a friend has been rude, just move on.

10- Above all, when the time comes to go, one should go like a person without any regret or grievance against anyone.

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