Not happy? Best formula for happiness (With calculator)


I see our driver going really crazy when it is 9pm. He gets off most of the day, he comes at 9:30 am and goes back and only returns at 6:00 pm. He gets a lot many free hours (even sometimes just 30 mins of work in a day) but still on Sunday (or Saturday sometimes) he need to work for 12 hours (that is what he is paid for, contract says 12 hours per day).

There are many people who gets frustrated (including you and me). Is there a way out? Yes ofcourse. Are you getting frustrated at office? Are you frustrated because you have to work extra hours? Are you frustrated because you are not paid well?

Are you unhappy because …..

  1. your pay is less
  2. you need to work extra
  3. your quality of job is not good
  4. your family is not spending time with you.
  5. or some other reasons

We are unhappy because we are expecting wrong

For all the unhappiness and frustrations, I have only one reason. Wrong expectations. Let’s take an (real) example:

Mr X was really happy with his 30k per month salary, he was in one of the top bands in the company. His happiness turned to unhappiness in just a single day when he talked to his 2 friends about the salary. Both of them got lucky and grabbed an opportunity in a new MNC for 90k per month. When Mr X compared his salary with his friends to see a difference of 60k, he was just not ready to go happy. Did anything change in the world except Mr X’s expectations?

It happens even more often when we visit our relatives and friends. We start expecting a bigger car, bigger house, better family relationships, bigger happiness, better kids and so on.

Is it wrong to expect something better?

No, not at all! Not at all! There is nothing wrong in expecting something better but it is absolutely wrong not to expect something lower than your expectations.

It is good to expect an AC room to work but it is not right to not to expect a non-AC room for work. It is good to expect a good job but it is not right to not expect a non-job period.

What is needed Vs What is expected

Because of my loans I need close to Rs 25000 per month to live ok but my expectation per month is Rs Rs 1,00,000 (as my previous salary was something like this). If I live on my expectation I won’t be happy untill I earn 1,00,001 but if I live on what is needed (the most minimal expectation) then I will certainly we quite happy with Rs 30,000 per month. So I am currently focusing on Rs 30,000 per month by teaching students and doing other things (for atleast 2 months).

We compare with one parameter when our lives are with multi-dimensions

I had talks with many people (even my parents) who come over comparing one good thing about somebody. Example: “See how rich their kids are” or “See how studious are monu and sonu”. If you are ask back “How happy are their parents with the richness of their kids?”, “How often do they meet together?”, “How healthy are they?” and so on ….. “How bad are monu and sonu at parties?” “How bad are monu and sonu at football” and so on …

Mr X in the above example did not compare working hours, did not even compare with other friends to get a better picture of market salary.

Generally we compare and put our expectations on the best things from 100s of people we meet. We want to be rich like Bill Gates and privacy as our next door neighbors. We want beauty as Ash and eating habits like a foodie.

3 tips to go happy (more tips will follow)

  1. Setting the right expectation: You need to cross check your expectations and redo some. Religious people go unhappy when they fall sick (or something bad happens to them) as they were not expecting it from God.
  2. Reduce the loss: We all go unhappy for any loss, loss of our family time, loss of money, material etc. I was standing in an Auto Rickshaw stand when one of my junior jumped in front of me. He called a taxi and pushed me in, we talked and went on. He got down after sometime and offered me money but I refused to take (Life is more than money, right :) ). I was on a tight budget. I got down home and felt unhappy for Rs 120 (don’t remember the exact amount, something like 120). Then I calculated my usual expense (Rs 10 + 5 + 5 = Rs 20), then calculated the friends expense (Rs 10, which I had to pay anyway). Since it was raining, so I had to spend more than usual may be another 20. So over 50 I had to spend anyway. So my loss is 120-50 = 70. Which is ok :) , so you can reduce the loss at times by recalculating few things.
  3. Writing down the trouble list: If you can write the list of issues that are troubling you then you can solve it even easily by setting a new expectation for each of the item in the list.

Coming back to driver

Driver can go happy if he expects that in 3 days he will have to work over 12 hours and rest 4 days he will have to work for just 2 hours a day. He will be much happy person in life. I used to do this at office. I always expected that I need to leave at 8pm (instead of 7pm) and every time I left at 7:45pm, I was happy that I am leaving early.

Share your own go happy tips

8 thoughts on “Not happy? Best formula for happiness (With calculator)

  1. Mithilesh

    Great explanation and very true picture. It was floating images when I read it. Very nice post Aji. I am happy that I am again getting very good materials to read.

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