Isn’t happinness around?

Aren’t we all seeking happiness in life? Can we describe what it is that we are seeking, or is it indescribable? Or do we have the happiness with us, we carry it, but we forgot how to connect to it?

Just take a few moments to feel, if you experience happiness right now, this instant moment, the NOW. If not, can you recall feeling it in the last few moments? Just even a tiny bit of it. Maybe that smile your wife gave you in the morning while waking up, or even better your kid. At the breakfast table, playing with it’s toys? Or that moment that you wake up, happy to be at the place you are? The minute you look outside and the sun is shining, the birds are chirping?

What is happiness?

Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources. Various research groups, including positive psychology, are employing the scientific method to research questions about what “happiness” is, and how it might be attained. — Wikipedia”

So happiness starts with a state of well-being, something that is always present (either positive or negative). We are always in a state of well-being. It can be mental, emotional, and even a combination of the two. So every moment I take a snapshot of my well-being, I can define what state I am in. At this moment I might be busy with work, which creates a state of mental, emotional or a combination of those, of my well-being. Without labeling it yet with positive or negative emotions.¬† I might be busy with gardening, painting, driving, arguing, reading or whatever verb I can think of imaging what you’re doing. But you are always in a state of well-being.

Now what makes that state of well-being that it gives you happiness?

That state of well-being you are in, can give you positive or pleasant emotions. And those can vary from contentment to intense joy.

Now just think back of that moment I asked you to look back at, and the state of well-being you defined. That state came with an emotion. Find that one moment where you felt the contentment or the intense joy and you have reached happiness!

So by checking your state of well-being in any moment close to NOW, where you felt positive or pleasant emotions that ranged from contentment to intense joy, that is the moment where you can say: “I am happy” and start the day like that.

Walk a mile

-Great Spirit, grant that I may not criticize my neighbor until I have walked a mile in his moccasins-

And that’s the first thing I learned while being in India. That far away country, where people celebrate those hundreds of Gods, where cows wonder the streets, billions of people live together in Metropolitans¬† as huge we have never experienced. The unknown – as many of the Easter-Asian countries – is appealing and also somewhat scary at first.

One day I decided, I want to start working internationally. I was somewhat done with my current job. I met several people from other countries and that inspired me. New views, new cultures, but still in a *safe* way, being European people only. So, while starting discussing my expat career, things started moving fast. India came up quite early and never been to this country it felt exciting, adventurous and freaking scary.

I had been to Thailand before on a holiday, but looking forward to working and living in such a country-like, was new to me. And I mention country-like, as that is where most of the people start. Like Europe is one country for Americans, Asia is one a like for everyone else in the world. What do we know about India, or Asia in that sense? Nothing much actually. We know Koreans and Japanese for all the electronics and cars, Chinese people for creating everything we own – made in China -. We know about floods in Bangladesh, countries you shouldn’t visit like Pakistan and Afghanistan, war areas. And of course India, which country has the most inhabitants in the world, poverty, cows, gods, huge history, Mahatma Gandhi (although we mostly know Ben Kingsley), Taj Mahal and of course the stories from everyone who has been in India (although that is mainly Goa). And all of this is stereotyped, something that we know from our school books, television, Internet. But what do we really know about India? Nothing much as I said. What is news abroad, is no news in India itself.

India, as they say, is a country that you like or dislike. There isn’t much in between. I have heard several people cribbing about the smell once you exit the Mumbai Airport, the heat and most and for all, so many people. But India is so much more than that. And I will try to elaborate on that in future posts, as there is so much to write, so much to tell.

For now, I want to keep it simple, as an introduction to my life and how I ended up here, in this amazing country with so many faces. Similar and also so different. And as huge India is, so are the stories to tell. So I started an adventure in 2011. Packed my bags and moved to India. Without hesitation actually, I still wonder how I did that. Leaving family and friends behind to start something, which was appealing, new. Luckily I had the opportunity to visit India before I actually moved, for 1 week, in January 2011. I met the team I was going to be working with and I had the chance of seeing a little bit of Pune, some apartments, but most of all, see if I could live in a country like India. And looking back 3 years later, I can say I made the right decision at that time, I wanted to come back, start a life here as an expat, I loved it!

And then, from April 2011 onwards my adventure started and it was a roller coaster from the start. When moving to India I met my wife Zahabbiya (although we met in Holland) and we started our future from that moment. And that gave me the chance of experiencing India in a different way. Not 100% like an expat, although till date I am still a foreigner in India, and will always be like that. But it showed me India in a different way, the way we want to see a country, not as a tourist, but as an inhabitant, smell the daily life and experience it to the core. And that is what I am doing, every single day.

And that will conclude my blog for now, as this is the start of my adventure, the experiences I had so far, so many to tell. I will describe those in separate blogs, just as I feel like relating them to what I am doing, experiencing. And that will be one big part of my story, don’t criticize about something that is unknown, stereotyped. Walk that mile in another one’s shoes and then decide.