What Makes Us Happy ?

There is an ever-growing body of knowledge about the nature and causes of happiness.

For one thing, it’s clear that happiness is a feeling, not a circumstance. Happiness is more than just fun or pleasure. It’s a more durable sense of well-being.

Our happiness depends not on what happens to us, but what happens in us. In other words, it’s the way we choose to think about our lives. Abe Lincoln said, “People are generally about as happy as they’re willing to be.” A Buddhist proverb tells us that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

So, what are the most common attributes of happy people? Well, it’s not money, fame, or good looks. It’s not even intelligence or talent. No, the two most important factors are gratitude and rewarding personal relationships.

The formula is simple: count your blessings and enjoy your family and friends.

Sadly, simple is not always easy.

People whose natural instincts produce a gloomy outlook and pessimism need to re-train their minds. It’s one thing to say happiness is not getting what you want but wanting what you get; it’s quite another to really be satisfied with what we have.

For many people, it takes discipline and practice to think positively.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing one’s perspective, choosing to see and appreciate the silver lining, the half full glass. In other cases, what’s required is refusing to dwell on pain, disappointment, or envy, and instead force one’s mind toward good thoughts, including all the things we should be grateful for.

Interestingly, the ability to maintain a positive attitude is also important in forming and sustaining meaningful relationships – seeing and bringing out the best.

Michael Josephson
www.whatwillmatter.com

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Finding God in the Park

Finding-God-in-the-Park-860x478

Abe was fiercely independent, even at age 85, but after a mild stroke his son insisted he move in with him. Abe missed going to the park near his old apartment, and one Saturday he set out to find it.

When he became disoriented, he asked a young boy named Timmy where the park was. Timmy said he’d like to take him there, but he didn’t have time because he was looking for God. He said he needed to talk to Him about why his parents were getting a divorce.

“Maybe God’s in the park,” the old man said. “I’d like to talk to Him, too, about why He’s made me useless.” And so they set off together to find God.

At the park, Timmy began to cry about the divorce, and Abe lovingly held his face in both hands and looked him straight in the eyes. “Timmy, I don’t know why bad things happen, but I know it wasn’t because of you. I know you’re a good boy and your parents love you and they will always love you. I know you will be okay.”

Timmy gave Abe a big hug and said, “I’m so glad I met you. Thanks. I think I can go now.”

From across the street, Timmy’s mother saw them hug and approached her son in a worried voice. “Who was that old man?”

“I think he’s God,” Timmy said.

“Did he say that?” she demanded.

“No, but when he touched me and told me I’m going to be okay, I felt really better. Only God can do that.”

When Abe got home, his son asked in a scolding voice, “Where were you?”

“I was in the park with God.”

“Really? What makes you think you were with God?”

“Because He sent me a boy who needed me, and when the boy hugged me, I felt God telling me I wasn’t useless anymore.”

From www.whatwillmatter.com

What Makes Us Happy ?

wmuh-cover

There is an ever-growing body of knowledge about the nature and causes of happiness.

For one thing, it’s clear that happiness is a feeling, not a circumstance. Happiness is more than just fun or pleasure. It’s a more durable sense of well-being.

Our happiness depends not on what happens to us, but what happens in us. In other words, it’s the way we choose to think about our lives. Abe Lincoln said, “People are generally about as happy as they’re willing to be.” A Buddhist proverb tells us that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

So, what are the most common attributes of happy people? Well, it’s not money, fame, or good looks. It’s not even intelligence or talent. No, the two most important factors are gratitude and rewarding personal relationships.

The formula is simple: count your blessings and enjoy your family and friends.

Sadly, simple is not always easy.

People whose natural instincts produce a gloomy outlook and pessimism need to re-train their minds. It’s one thing to say happiness is not getting what you want but wanting what you get; it’s quite another to really be satisfied with what we have.

For many people, it takes discipline and practice to think positively.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing one’s perspective, choosing to see and appreciate the silver lining, the half full glass. In other cases, what’s required is refusing to dwell on pain, disappointment, or envy, and instead force one’s mind toward good thoughts, including all the things we should be grateful for.

Interestingly, the ability to maintain a positive attitude is also important in forming and sustaining meaningful relationships – seeing and bringing out the best.

Michael Josephson
www.whatwillmatter.com

Mumbai Traffic

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 8.47.16 AM.png

 

It is Surprising that I am writing after a long time & that too I have to write about Traffic.

Traffic in our city is increasing day by day , every day.

I am Sharing an Article Below from the Times of India dated 27th of February which will highlight how bad is the condition of our city Mumbai.

Mumbai: With the city’s vehicular population surging by up to 50% in five years, transport officials have identified “hotspots” in the island city, eastern and western suburbs which have maximum registrations of cars and two-wheelers. While there is no way one can stop registration of new vehicles here, these areas have been the biggest contributors to the vehicular burden on roads, whose total length has stagnated at 2,000km for many years.

Officials said the “hotspots”, defined in terms of burgeoning motor vehiclepopulation, crossed the one lakh mark due to a surge in car sales or demand for more two-wheelers. In Andheri and Goregaon, in the western suburbs, it will touch the two lakh mark in few months, sources said.

Topping the charts were Dadar (island city), Andheri (western suburbs) and Chembur (eastern suburbs), officials said.

Deputy RTO Sanjay Sasane (eastern suburbs) said, “In upmarket localities like Powai, car registrations have gone up drastically in the past few years. We receive several applications for high-end cars and SUVs. Chembur has the most registrations, with almost every middle class household having a car or a bike/scooter. In many state housing board colonies in Ghatkopar and Mulund, residents want two-wheelers to commute to the railway station daily, which has led to a surge in the number of bikes and scooters.”

He said most bike/scooter buyers in Mumbai were aged 18-35. “This is a young population which is dependent on private transport to reach a station or office,” he said.

Transport experts said a lack of “good and affordable” public transport system had led to people opting for two-wheelers. When BEST hiked bus fares more than a year ago, coupled with poor frequency, many purchased two-wheelers in the suburbs to travel from home to the railway station during peak hours. Most railway stations in the suburbs also came up with bigger parking lots to cater to the needs.

In the island city, Dadar has some of the most congested roads, including the one near Dadar TT. Deputy RTO Subhash Pedamkar (island city) said, “Dadar has seen a huge growth in car and two-wheeler registrations in the past few years. The area has seen a spurt in redevelopment too. Another area where vehicle population has seen a huge jump is the Worli-Mahalaxmi belt, with scores of highrise apartments having two to three cars registered per family.”
Mill areas of Lower Parel have also given way to highrises, and this belt, popularly referred to as Upper Worli, is where car registrations will peak. Colaba-Cuffe Parade has a huge vehicular population, including many commercial vehicles, compared to tony areas of Malabar Hill or Nepean Sea Road-Pedder Road.

In the western suburbs, Andheri and Goregaon have several residential and commercial hubs where the car/bike population has swelled over the years. Traffic there moves bumper-to-bumper during peak hours and congestion is the biggest issue, especially on arterial roads and near railway stations. The other three western suburbs on the RTO radar are Kandivli, Bandra and Borivli, with many households going in for bigger cars that occupy more road space.
Transport department statistics showed that overall vehicular density in Mumbai (island city and suburbs) has increased to approximately to 1,500 vehicles per km, from 935 between 2011-12 and 2015-16. The vehicle population surged from two million to nearly three million during this period. People are purchasing nearly 100 private cars and 250 two-wheelers daily; the vehicular strength includes 17 lakh two-wheelers and nine lakh private cars and SUVs across the city, RTO sources added.

What our city needs is More Public Transport , & Better Public Transport , which will encourage citizens to stop bringing their vehicle out on the road and instead rely on the government transportation.

Let’s Hope We see some Light soon !

 

Website to Refer – http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/dadar-andheri-chembur-top-in-vehicle-registrations/articleshow/57364028.cms

Why am I not Surprised ?

I read this article on Washington post , and it really does not surprise me at all..

(iStock)

I’d rather have online friends than real ones

It hurt to have old friends slip away. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it also came with relief

By Crystal Ponti

There she is!” I whisper to my cat who has taken up residence next to my laptop.

I’m about to give an online presentation from my home in Maine to a writing group in St. Louis. My best friend helped arrange the event. I recognize her immediately as she stands to address the women in the crowd.

“We’ve never met in person, but we rarely go a day without talking,” she says in her introduction.

I gush. She’s my closest friend, but this is the first time I’ve actually seen her. I’ve seen pictures, of course, but not a living, breathing, fully animated Angela.

We met in 2011 during a Skype job interview and instantly hit it off. She’s right: In the five years we’ve known each other, hardly a day goes by without us communicating. We share the ups and downs, successes and failures, and even the latest gossip all through email. Even though she lives thousands of miles across the country, she’s the closest friend I have — and she’s only a click away.

Our relationship bridged a gap between the two hemispheres of my social life: pre-family and after-family, as I call them. Before starting a family — I have five kids — I had an abundance of friends. There was never a shortage of something to do or someone to do something with.

Now that I have a family, life has become an endless to-do list. Along the way, I lost the ability to maintain “real-world” friendships — the kind where you meet in person for coffee, catch a movie on a Sunday afternoon, or just call to vent about the latest episode of a popular sitcom. Who can hear over five kids fighting?

Despite my best intentions and endless Post-it notes reminding me to visit or call my friends, I did nothing. I was stretched too thin. Being a wife and mother didn’t allow much room for the upkeep of additional human companionship.

It hurt to have old friends slip away. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it also came with relief. Traditional friendships are a lot of work — requiring availability, constant interaction and, most of the time, pants. So much was already expected of me at home that the real-world friendships I had once cherished started to stress me out. I didn’t want to say no, but I also didn’t want to make plans I knew would be broken. My friends deserved a better friend than I could be.

So for years I was the friendless Annie who celebrated, and cried, in solitude. It wasn’t like I didn’t have someone to fill the void. Kids, husband, FedEx delivery people. Or so I thought.

Then one day, I had a defining moment. I had some big news I wanted to tell someone. But I had no one — except the cat. In many ways, I had been alone.

It wasn’t long after that I met Angela and realized I could have the best of both worlds. I could be a good, evergreen friend without the stress of a traditional friendship. Online friends are always present, but there are no huge expectations or broken promises. You don’t have to return a call at midnight. Or try to fit cocktails in after work when there are kids to pick up from day care. There’s no pressure to get dressed and go somewhere. No one can see if you’re still wearing pajamas at 3 p.m. or if you haven’t had a moment to wash your hair. Online, friendships are easier.

Today, I have no traditional friends. But I’m okay with that, because I have an abundance of online friends. And in my opinion, those are the best kind of friends to have.


This story was originally published on The Washington Post’s Solo-ish blog.

Crystal Ponti is a freelance writer in Maine. Follow @CrystalPonti

 

We are all Connected

This Guy Just Changed The Way We Think About God And The Universe. Mind Blown.

Author – Andy Weir

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a  wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

“Yup,” I said.

“I… I died?”

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?”You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

“More or less,” I said.

“Are you god? You asked.

“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

“My kids… my wife,” you said.

“What about them?”

“Will they be all right?

“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. 

“Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.”

“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”



“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where you come from?” You said.

“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

“So what’s the point of it all?”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

“Just me? What about everyone
else?”

“There is no one else,” I said.“In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

“I’m every human being who ever lived?”

“Or who will ever live, yes.”

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

“And you’re the millions he killed.”

“I’m Jesus?”

“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time.

“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

And I sent you on your way. 

Taken from –
http://makingadifferencetoday369.blogspot.in/2015/06/this-guy-just-changed-way-we-think.html

Why do Jews and Arabs / Muslims hate each other?

Taken from – http://www.gotquestions.org/Jews-Arabs.html

Question: “Why do Jews and Arabs / Muslims hate each other?”

Answer: First, it is important to understand that not all Arabs are Muslims, and not all Muslims are Arabs. While a majority of Arabs are Muslims, there are many non-Muslim Arabs. Further, there are significantly more non-Arab Muslims in areas such as Indonesia and Malaysia than there are Arab Muslims. Second, it is important to remember that not all Arabs hate Jews, not all Muslims hate Jews, and not all Jews hate Arabs and Muslims. We must be careful to avoid stereotyping people. However, generally speaking, Arabs and Muslims have a dislike of and distrust for Jews, and vice-versa.

If there is an explicit biblical explanation for this animosity, it goes all the way back to Abraham. The Jews are descendants of Abraham’s son Isaac. The Arabs are descendants of Abraham’s son Ishmael. With Ishmael being the son of a slave woman (Genesis 16:1–16) and Isaac being the promised son who would inherit the blessings of Abraham (Genesis 21:1–3), obviously there would be some animosity between the two sons. As a result of Ishmael’s mocking Isaac (Genesis 21:9), Sarah talked Abraham into sending Hagar and Ishmael away (Genesis 21:11–21). Likely, this caused even more contempt in Ishmael’s heart toward Isaac. An angel told Hagar that Ishmael would be the father of a great nation (Genesis 21:18) and, interestingly, that Ishmael would be “a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers” (Genesis 16:12).

However, the ancient root of bitterness between Isaac and Ishmael does not explain all of the hostility between Jews and Arabs today. The religion of Islam, which a majority of Arabs follow, has made the hostility predicted of Ishmael more profound. The Qur’an contains somewhat contradictory instructions for Muslims regarding Jews. At one point it instructs Muslims to treat Jews as brothers and at another point commands Muslims to attack Jews who refuse to convert to Islam. The Qur’an also introduces a conflict as to which son of Abraham was truly the son of promise. The Hebrew Scriptures say it was Isaac. The Qur’an says it was Ishmael. The Qur’an teaches that it was Ishmael whom Abraham almost sacrificed to the Lord, not Isaac (in contradiction to Genesis 22). This debate over who was the son of promise further contributes to today’s hostility.

Another root of the conflict between Jews and Arabs is political. After World War II, when the United Nations gave a portion of the land of Israel to the Jewish people, the land was ruled by the British and primarily inhabited by Arabs (although one third of the population was Jewish). Most Arabs protested vehemently against the new Israeli state, even as they refused an Arab Palestinian state offered as part of the UN plan. Arab nations including Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria attacked Israel in an attempt to drive them into the sea, but they were defeated. The defeat of the Arab forces soon became a human tragedy when the surrounding Arab nations refused to absorb the Arab refugees from Palestine.

Ever since 1948, there has been great hostility between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The tensions have been stoked by political rhetoric and the existence of groups such as Hamas with their continuing obsession with wiping out “the Zionist entity” and “reversing the results of 1948.”

Israel exists on one tiny piece of land surrounded by much larger Arab nations such as Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Egypt. It is our viewpoint that, biblically speaking, Israel has a right to exist as a nation in its own land that God gave to the descendants of Jacob, grandson of Abraham (Genesis 12:7). While there is no easy solution to the conflict in the Middle East, Psalm 122:6 declares, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure.”

Recommended Resource: Understanding the Arab-Israeli Conflict: What the Headlines Haven’t Told You, Revised and Updated, by Michael Rydelnik