Another year has passed like a fleeting moment in time. The older I get the quicker the years seem to fly by. Apparently I’m not alone, friends have complained the same to me.
Last year was laden with the typical highs and lows that life offers us. I am thankful for the birth of my healthy, rotund as a compact, naked turkey ready for the oven second son Shant, who is another sweet joy in my life. Back in September I was honored to give a TED talk in Yerevan, one of the most monumental endeavors of my life, third to being a father and actually recovering from the sickness I discussed during the talk, which incidentally was warmly received much to my delighted surprise.
I have many wishes for the new year, not only for myself but everyone around me, for the entire world.
1. Live a healthy and happy life.
This sounds like a cliché. Who doesn’t want to be content and well? It’s something we take for granted, though. Those of us who are less fortunate may have difficulty raising their heads above the water, while others are too caught up in the frantic pace of their daily lives that they forget to appreciate what they have. No matter where someone is in his existence, wish them peace, and in turn be happy that you did. We as human beings need to feel empathy towards one another in order to grow and survive.
2. Stop taking things personally.
Earlier this year I read a book by Don Miguel Ángel Ruiz called The Four Agreements, perhaps it can be labeled with a “self help” title but actually it is written in a way to simply make you realize things you do every day without fathoming how damaging they are when they constrain you from achieving. Ruiz encourages readers to prevent letting others get to them, no matter what they say or do. When you convince yourself that it’s not worth taking seriously, or to empathize and try to imagine what the person you are in contact with might be going through deep down, you conserve energy for what you need to accomplish. You cease being offended and ignore impulses that you have been slighted in some way. You walk away, dissolving the conflict in your mind and pushing away the negative thoughts that may have germinated in the conflict waiting to happen. This method is extremely challenging; deflecting bullshit demands patience and practice.
3. Taking the previous step further, stay away from energy sapping people or situations.
It’s best to avoid contact with others that you feel have been tapping into your valuable emotional resources. Sometimes it’s really hard trying to come to understandings with those who are close to you, whether they are dear friends, family members or co-workers. But if the possibility exists short of separating from your spouse, give the relationship a time-out.
4. Get out of situations where you are unhappy.
I know from personal experience that it is pointless to stay in a place or a relationship where you are miserable. Follow happiness, even if it means taking a huge risk or a significant pay cut. It’s not worth your nerves or your sanity to remain disappointed or unchallenged.
5. Do your best.
This might seem like another standard cliché, but it will always hold true. Designate something in the day for which you’ll do your best to achieve -- I usually choose being a good father. You don’t have to do or be your best in everything obviously, it’s impossible. So long as you give it your all for something that’s important to you on a daily basis, whether it’s a specific work-related task or more personal in nature, that’s more than enough.
6. Give yourself a break.
No matter how relaxed and ecstatic you want to be in your life, something discouraging or unnerving might come your way and set you back. I’ve had to deal with some rather surprising and frustrating episodes during the last two months, and I felt myself slipping away from my sustained level of contentment. But I always caught up again. If you focus and never stop loving life you will always reach happiness.
This list will get longer as the year progresses, and it should. To dwell in happiness you need to continuously identify what will sustain it and the steps that must be taken when you lose your footing. That’s what makes life so wonderful.
Labels: Personal Experiences, Thoughts and Musings