Stuck in a Rut?


If you are feeling lost and without a sense of purpose or direction in your life, then you can take the assistance of experts who can help you identify the root problems and enable you to restore your lost enthusiasm. You can also take part in the quiz that has been designed which will also help you determine how well you are leading your life at the moment.

Happiness is not a commodity that can be bought

It has been proved many a time that happiness is a state of mind and is not something you can get just by buying all the material things you want. You may have the costliest pair of shoes or one of the swanky looking cars, but that is only going to fuel the demand for something bigger and still better. Alan Gettis, who has authored the book, ‘The Happiness Solution: Finding Joy and Meaning In An Upside Down World’, has mentioned this fact in his book. He says that the immediate exhilaration and joy that the mind experiences upon buying something new and costly quickly fades away and very soon hankers for something still better. It is therefore clear that if happiness could be bought at some price, those who are able to afford it would have bought it long back.

For those who still believe that money can buy happiness, there is interesting news. A study conducted in Illinois confirmed that some of the most affluent billionaires in the US as well as some people from the Masai tribes in East Africa had the same happiness quotient. This proves the fact beyond doubt that it is not only money but other factors that can make you happy.

Increase your interaction with people.

Very often loneliness can be the sole reason for depression. If you think just connecting with some of your friends or acquaintances can cheer you up or catching a movie with them can help you overcome your depression, do so by all means. In fact there is enough evidence that when you do something that makes you happy, a neurotransmitter called oxytocin is released and this helps you achieve peace and tranquility. That might explain why many women over many centuries made it a point to do activities together like grinding the corn, weaving baskets or even knitting sweaters and quilts. They seemed to know by instinct that such group activities were good for them as per Rebecca Radcliffe, the writer of the book, ‘Hot Flashes, Chocolate Sauce & Rippled Thighs’.

Though it is very beneficial to have close friends, it is equally necessary to also interact with individuals beyond this close circle of friends. Radcliffe says that speaking to strangers or just chatting with neighbors can also help in boosting morale.

Spend time in the lap of nature

It was Claude Monet who believed that his inspiration and motivation came from rich natural surroundings. He was not the only one who benefitted from this largesse of nature. Many poets, musicians and creative artists have drawn deep inspiration from Mother Nature. You too can go away for the weekend on a picnic and gain from the lovely natural surroundings of the picnic spot. Alternately, a quick stroll or spending time gardening or even just looking at the blue sky through your windows can be highly invigorating and refreshing. Nature has this wonderful ability of reducing levels of stress and boosting the feel good hormones within the system.

Take joy from small things

It is very essential to seek joy and happiness from small things that happen daily in our lives. For instance the alarm which wakes you up at the desired hour is doing a fantastic service to you and helping you go about your tasks for the day. If it had not performed its duty, you would have perhaps reached your office late and in a disheveled state.

Similarly other things like the hot water which enables you to have a nice bath, the cereals you take for breakfast, the quick start of your vehicle or even the smooth manner in which your computer switches on are all stuff that you should be happy about because these are things that have happened the way they should. The message here is to focus on the things that went right instead of picking on the few that did not quite go the way you wanted.

Do things that you love and enjoy

More than any of the material things, it is the passion and zest to do things we love that keeps us going and enables us to live life with joy. Unfortunately, in our mad daily rush, we hardly get time to focus on the things that make us happy. It would be useful to delve back into childhood to identify what gave us the maximum joy. It could range from joining a club, going hiking, trekking, biking, playing the guitar, learning a new language, penning a poem and so on. The trick is to identify and rediscover your passion for the stuff you always wanted to do and then find the time to do those things even in your busy daily life. That will provide you with a lot of healthy digression and relief from monotony. Radcliffe maintains that this is the only way to seek happiness that is sustainable.

Do not punish yourself or be hard on yourself

When even airlines have limits to how much baggage can be carried on flight, who are we to keep carrying excess emotional baggage over a period of time and for no apparent reason. You should not keep mistakes made by you in the past in mind and let it spoil your present. Everybody makes mistakes and you are no exception. By continuing to focus on the past, you are not helping your cause. Forgive yourself, accept your limitations and try to learn from the errors you made either knowingly or unknowingly. Gettis believes that you should never fall into the trap of going back in time and thinking of what could have been different. You have to keep forgiving yourself and move on as only that will ensure happiness and progress in your current and future life.

Take pleasure and joy from the present

There are many things that happen in our daily life that have the potential to give us immense joy and satisfaction. These moments need not be restricted to the cocktail or any other social events you may be a part of. There are other seemingly boring moments which you spend at the grocery or at the petrol station that are often dismissed as inconsequential. The trick according to Gettis is to be fully aware of the present, soak in its joy and take pleasure out of seemingly mundane jobs and errands we often have to undertake daily.

So what is the best way or the secret to knowing how to live in the present?

There is a story in the book written by Gettis that explains it well. There was a Zen master who was on his deathbed when one of the followers suddenly recollected that his master loved a particular kind of cake, which he took the trouble to fetch. While watching his master savor the cake even as he was drifting towards death, the disciples thought they should ask him about any last wishes or thoughts to which he replied that the cake was indeed delicious. This just goes to show how steeped in the present the master was and that incident was an abject lesson for the disciples to understand how to appreciate and live in the present.




  1. I agree; true happiness and fulfillment will never come from the outside in. We have to change our thought life, change our attitude, be okay with who we are and how we were made, and then that positivity will flow out of us!

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