Tuesday, December 3, 2013

MONEY TIME AND HAPPINESS - HOW TO BE HAPPY AND CONTENT

HOW TO BE HAPPY
Philosophical Self Help Article
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Here is an updated and abridged version of a self-help article I wrote long back and first posted on my blog in 2009 - url: http://creative.sulekha.com/enough-is-enough_468090_blog 


MONEY TIME AND HAPPINESS
Ramblings of a Retired Mind
By
VIKRAM KARVE


HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU NEED TO BE HAPPY

In your opinion, how much money do you need to be happy?

Give me a figure. 

One Lakh, Ten Lakhs, One Crore, Ten Crore, One Million, One Billion ... how much?

Suppose you have decided that you need a home of your own and a certain bank balance to be happy.

One day, after slogging for years, when you have earned that amount and you have a home of your own, will you sit back satisfied, relax and be happy all your life?

Or will you keep on striving to earn more and more money till your dying day?

Way back in the 1970s, when we were studying engineering we wanted a cycle and we wanted a job. 

Yes, when we were students we desired to have a cycle. 

I got my own cycle.

Then we wanted a job.

But, our principle desire after completing our B. Tech. was to get a job.

I got a job.

After we got a job we wanted a Motorcycle and then a Bajaj Scooter 

Yes, a Bajaj Scooter was the ultimate status symbol for which one had to patiently wait for a few years. 

A few years later, one day, I had a coveted Bajaj Scooter and I was happy. 

In my wildest dreams I had never imagined that I would have a car, but many years later I was a proud owner of a car too. 

Soon I had my own home and enough money to live a reasonably comfortable life. 

Now what more do I want? 

That is when I decided enough is enough and I retired from my job and decided to invest my my time in what I like to do best - writing (and blogging).  


YOU EARN MONEY BUT DO YOU INVEST YOUR TIME TO BE HAPPY ?

Remember:

You can always earn more Money 

but 

You cannot get back lost Time

That is why time is the most valuable resource

Yes, time is a much more valuable resource than money

Are you so hard up for money that you want to trade your time for money?

And if you do need money, how much money do you need and how much of your time are you willing to trade for earning money - it is a fine balance and you have to decide for yourself.

I write and blog every day.

I have written a book of short stories, a foodie book and I am leisurely writing my novel now. 

Yes, I am writing leisurely, without deadlines, because I want to enjoy my writing.

In fact, I have realized that the creative writing process (the journey) is more enjoyable than the destination (publication).

I do not earn any money from my writing and blogging.

But I get tremendous happiness when I write and blog.

First, during my working years, when I did a job, I traded my time for earning money.

Now, after retirement, thanks to the money I have earned all these years, I am able to invest my time in things that make me happy.

I am leading the life I always wanted to live.

If you are happy and content here and now with the money you have, what is the point of investing your time in doing something you don’t enjoy doing?


DO YOU HAVE A CAPACITY FOR CONTENTMENT ?

There is a Chinese saying:

He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough

It is the same with money:

“If you know when enough is enough, you will always have enough” 

Let my try and illustrate this concept by a metaphorical example.


MONEY IS LIKE PETROL AND YOU ARE THE CAR

Money is like petrol in a car. 
 
Money is not the car. 
 
Money is not the destination. 
 
The petrol in your car enables you to go from place A to place B. 
 
Now suppose you have reached your destination place B.

You are happy and content at being at place B.

Now, there is another place C. 
 
Now if you fill more petrol in your car ( “earn more money in your life” ) you will be able to go from place B to place C. 
 
But you are happy and content at being at place B and do not want to go to place C.

Then is filling up more petrol in your car of any use?

Of what use is petrol if you do not want to travel because you are content where you are?   

Similarly, of what use is earning more money if you already happy with what you have?
 
Do you have a capacity for contentment...? 
 
Do you know when enough is enough...?


AN INSPIRATIONAL STORY OF THE HAPPY FISHERMAN 
 
I am sure you have read a version of this meaningful inspirational story:

A fisherman lived on a tropical island.  

He fished for his family and had plenty of time to play with his children, to enjoy the beauty around him and to be a good neighbour.
 
A yacht arrived carrying a wealthy entrepreneur.  

The fisherman took him out for a day’s fishing. 
 
As the day went on the entrepreneur looked at the beautiful island with its silver sand fringed with palm trees, the calm blue sea filled with a rainbow of darting fish and saw the opportunity for development and making lots of money. 
 
The wealthy and successful entrepreneur was a magnanimous man so he thought he must help the fisherman by offering him the idea, so he said to the fisherman, “Why don’t you build a hotel and encourage tourists to come to the island...?”
 
“A hotel...?” the fisherman asked perplexed.
 
“Yes, a hotel,” the businessman said, “In fact you should build a holiday village with a sports complex so people can come and relax.  It could be so successful that you could build an air strip so you can offer the whole package to the tourists so you can cut out the middle man and make even greater profits.”
 
“Why should I do that...?” asked the fisherman.
 
“You would make lots of money and be rich of course...!” replied the entrepreneur.
 
“How long would it take...?” asked the fisherman
 
“I would think it would take ten years to be really successful,” answered the entrepreneur.
 
“What would I do with all that money...?” asked the fisherman.
 
“You could go on exotic holidays to a beautiful island where you could fish, play with your children and have plenty of time to enjoy the beauty all around you” replied the entrepreneur.
 
“But that is exactly what I am doing right now, isn’t it...?” asked the bewildered fisherman.  


HAPPINESS AND CONTENTMENT ARE HERE AND NOW - NOT IN THE FUTURE

Sometimes we can have happiness and contentment here and now.

But we keep on struggling and aspiring for more and more and do not enjoy what we already have. 

Yes, Your Happiness is Here and Now, not in some distant future, so there is no need to be ambitious and ruin your present while trying to chase some distant happiness.
 
It would be apt to quote Warren Buffet:
 
“I really like my life. I have arranged my life so that I can do what I want... I get to do what I like to do every single day of the year…”

I think I can say this about me too.

Barring unforeseen contingencies, I am able to do what I like to do almost every day of my life.


DO YOU KNOW WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH ?

Dear Reader, may I wish you happiness and contentment here and now, wherever you are, with whatever you have got.
 
Remember:

Money is like petrol in a car

Money is not the car

You need to fill only that much petrol which is required to take you to your destination

What is the point of filling excess petrol if you do not want to travel further?

If you know when enough is enough, you will always have enough

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
NB
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this article?  
I am sure you will like the 27 short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL
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If your are a Foodie I am sure that you will like my book of Food Adventures APPETITE FOR A STROLL. Do order a copy from FLIPKART:
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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
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Email: vikramkarve@hotmail.com
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
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