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Make Happiness a Lifetime Habit

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Growing up, when things were not going the way I wanted them to, cribbing to my mother that I was not happy did not yield the desired sympathetic response. Instead she would refer to the Bhagavad Gita and remind me that happiness came from within.

I was too young and inexperienced to understand the depth and meaning of those words but I did understand that while I could not, beyond a point, control the externals I most certainly could do something where I had control. That became my attitude and reaction to situations and life in general.

This thought was further validated and reinforced in the form of a book that my father gifted me to back up my mother’s sage views – Bertrand Russell’s The Conquest of Happiness.

Russell believed that happiness could only be achieved through thought and effort. The book of essays is guide on living a happy life and if I may dare add a true self-help classic from a time when the concept of self-help didn’t exist. It’s one of many books that I recommend reading. While the cover of the book that is available is not as pretty as the one I got as a teenager, the essence is more important than the look.



In my post Self-Help Tip for Happiness, I’ve addressed the art of happiness from the metaphysical aspect and teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. In this post, I’m addressing happiness from a practical habit forming perspective.


5 Habits of Happy People

With the book I was gifted, I found new insights and information presented in a logical form (not surprising as Russell is considered to be one of the 20th century’s premier logicians!).

From there the happiness habit began to form which I find does help. While one size does not fit all, there are 5 habits that one can start with and then make new habits once you get the hang of it.


Be grateful for the good in your life

Understandably, when things are going wrong, it is difficult to be grateful for anything. Our experiences make us who we are and there is always something to be found even in a bad situation which helps you to avoid mistakes further on. Being grateful for all the good things already present in your life will make the tough times easier to handle.


Happiest people habit


Believe that hope floats

No matter what is going wrong in your life, make positivity and optimism your secret ally. Focus on your actions and detach yourself from the results and the things that are outside of your control. Treat each experience as a challenge and an opportunity to learn and grow. Make optimism a habit and you will see the same world from a different perspective.


Develop your coping strategies

You know yourself better than anyone else will. Analyse and understand how you react to situations. Are your actions always the best for coping or do they aggravate the situation? Knowing your reaction triggers and working out a strategy in advance helps you to cope better with whatever situation you find yourself in. Different strategies may work for different situations. The strategies don’t have to be very complex, sometimes calling a good friend or going for a walk might just work.

You can also consider the tools in this book as part of your coping strategies. These exercises plus tips have worked for my clients and participants in my Creative Visualization workshops. Click the image or here to learn more.

Chakra balancing for stress management ebook



Develop meaningful social relationships

Happy people are surrounded by meaningful relationships whether they are with family, friends, colleagues or personal relationships. These are people whom you may not talk to or even meet very often but are there for you when you need them and vice versa. It may be cool to have hundreds of cyber friends on Facebook but they don’t have the same impact as genuine social interaction where you can chat and share your life experiences.


Do little acts of kindness without any reciprocity expectations

This is my favorite habit. The feel good buzz from helping a senior citizen at the post office or even helping out a friend in distress without any reciprocity expectations cannot be described. It has to be experienced. Ironically, the more you selflessly do little things for others, for some reason, the Universe does respond and send you helpers and guides when you need them the most.


Need help in forming habits or breaking bad habits? Try the tips in the following chart.


Tips to Break and Form Habits from Karmic Ally Coaching



At the end of the day, it all comes down to the lens with which you view the world. A happy person will always find something to be happy about, the silver lining while an unhappy person will find fault with everyone and everything. Given a choice, I would much prefer being Sunshine than Whinny.

Practice these 5 habits for 21 days and see how it raises your happiness and positivity level. You’ll also notice that you start attracting opportunities for further happiness and success without any effort on your part because your vibration level will attract more happiness.

As a parting motivator, I’m sharing a favorite quote from Kevyn Aucoin. I feel it sums up all our choices – including the one of forming a lifetime habit of being happy.


Choosing Life and Happiness


What about you? Is happiness a habit you strive to perfect? How do you manage to stay upbeat and cheerful when the chips are down? I’d love to read your tips.




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14 Responses to “Make Happiness a Lifetime Habit”

  1. Vanita says:

    Hi Vatsala, thanks for this post- I totally agree! I try to practice the 5 habits and it does help. One of my colleagues seems perpetually unhappy and these habits will definitely move this person towards a happier state of mind.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Good to know the habits help, Vanita. Perhaps you can help your colleague by suggesting the habits in a discreet manner or even recommend Bertrand Russell’s book – that is an awesome self-help resource.

  2. This is just beautiful, Vatsala. I’m working now on detaching from outcomes, and sometimes that bites me still. I’m going to practice the belief that hope floats today–thank you. Love that.
    And I just love the quote from the Gita that you opened with 🙂

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you Susan. The Gita quote is one of my favorites and it is soothing to the mind. Detaching from outcomes can be challenging, especially when we have a lot riding on our desired outcome. Hope floats is a powerful tool in such situations. Believe it or not, but often what we receive is much better than what we desired. Virtual hugs.

  3. As someone who has always been a ‘hope floats’ kind of person, I found that really carried me to find new directions or new opportunities in my darkest of times. Currently when I hear myself or others complaining, I have been flipping the perspective and finding something to be grateful for! It definitely helps change everyone’s mood. I’ve also heard that happiness is most often dependent on external things in our lives, while joy is an attitude of the heart. I’ve always loved that distinction and now look at what joy is coming from within, even when the external circumstances may not be ‘happy making’ ones. Thanks for the lovely tips, Vatsala!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you for sharing your life insights, Beverley. Hope floats does indeed help us sail the choppy waters of uncertainty until we reach the shores of safety. Being grateful for the small things in life raises our vibration and attracts what we need most to get ahead.

  4. Reba Linker says:

    Beautiful post, Vatsala. I love the expression “Hope floats” and I love the anecdote you share about your childhood ‘cribbing’ and your mom’s response.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks Reba. My Mom is a wise lady and I have tons of anecdotes of how she raised her daughters. My father was the more observant one who studied both daughters and found ways to help us understand the learning in a logical and practical manner.

  5. Great advice on one of my favorite topics. I believe our attitude serves as a filter to our world. You know when we first began working on our collaboration for the book Women Breaking Barriers and I was trying to decide about which of my ‘trials’ to write about it occurred to me that if I listed every hardship I’ve overcome in one place one might think that fate had been pretty harsh toward me. But I am supremely optimistic, some say naively so, and consider myself to be very fortunate because I overcame, grew and thrived despite it all. It all comes down to interpretation. Oh, and I especially have to agree with your point about experimenting – I love experimenting in every area of my life! What a beautiful way to start the weekend. 🙂

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you Marquita. I agree with you about the collaboration project. When I sat down to write my piece, I thought of many experiences and then finally after much contemplation, chose to write about one where the decision was unconventional but which was a defining moment for me. I’d prefer to be supremely optimistic any day. It makes life an adventure worth experiencing.

  6. Suzie Cheel says:

    love this especially the chart and the I want power AS I say Happiness is a choice we make each day xxx

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Happiness is definitely a choice, Suzie, and an all-round good choice. I’m glad you loved the habit chart. I created it a long time back when I was experimenting with graphics but never got the chance to use it until I wrote this post.

  7. Joyce Hansen says:

    I’ve noticed how so many people force their happiness. They reply on the end-result to make them happy. I prefer to be happy in the process and if someone should love the end-result I’m even happier. I make myself happy first and that’s the most important “happy” I can have.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      That dear Joyce, is the best way to be happy. Stop relying on external validation, enjoy the journey to the results and experience true happiness when the goal is reached.

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Meet your coach

I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that deliver results.

When my clients first reach out to me, they are not in a very happy place, needing clarity about themselves, their desires, chosen vocation and what will give them peace of mind. They are drawn to me for the very reasons that I highlight in Who Is Karmic Ally Coaching.

Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because I’ve experienced that dark night of the Soul. I know firsthand the outcome of getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to other aspects of my life.

I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, corporate politics, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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