The Happiness Quotient

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Most of us measure success by the programming we have received as children. Therefore, it is critical that all parents rethink the programming they may pass on to their children.

By Ms. Lina Ashar, Founder, KKEL

When I ask parents what they want for their children, I hear many things that range from a 'good' career to abstract notions of success but I rarely ever hear the word 'happiness'. Happiness is important because only when you are truly happy and satisfied yourself can you start focusing on other factors outside yourself. The definition of happiness then may be defined by external or internal factors. If your children observe kindness and feel happiness first hand, they will reach out to help and build a capacity for gratitude for their privileged existence and only then will the empathy begin to develop.

Most of us measure success by the programming we have received as children. Therefore, it is critical that all parents rethink the programming they may pass on to their children. A child is, after all, a child. And she or he looks up to you for guidance. We, as parents, need to look at what the child has got 'in her' (and use that to develop potential in our children), rather than focus on what has been 'left out'. A child does not have to be born a leader; she can be nurtured into being one. We should not only worry about developing our children into visionaries and activists of the future but also look to adding to their happiness quotient.

On a flight to Mumbai, I started a conversation with Kumar, a young parent of a 10-year-old daughter, and soon we got talking on the subject of parenting. Kumar works for a multinational educational company. While he was growing up, his parents ensured that he was well informed and honed his skills of logical and critical thinking. They reared a knowledge worker. Kumar knows what to do with information once he has it. He is working on integrating the iPad into learning systems in schools. He is, in conventional terms, professionally successful. I wondered if this would be enough for the child of tomorrow who may need to be not just a critical thinker but a creative one too. Tomorrow, a child will not only need to know how to use an iPad, but may be required to use it to create something new. Are we as parents and teachers really doing anything to ensure that?

The future is about life mastery.

The answer lies in tapping the innate strength of the individual. Every individual has the potential for greatness. Everyone can achieve greatness and success if they are ready to achieve it. William Shakespeare said, "Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em."

Today, there is a huge surge of life-mastery classes and books on the subject. From Anthony Robbins to Dr John Demartini, from Deepak Chopra to Shiv Khera, self-development gurus are offering answers to all our problems. Dr John Demartini is one of the world's leading authorities on human behavior and personal development. He believes that every human being has a set of values. These values arise from a combination of the conscious and subconscious mind. Each person also sets a hierarchy of values for herself. Whatever is your highest value, you will be inspired by it. You identify with your highest value. Any time you link what you want to learn with your highest value, you learn it faster. Our schooling and education has been through a fixed, per-established system, which does not necessarily link our learning to our areas of high value. Thus, we go through the process of learning without any motivation.

The clearing and rewiring process of the subconscious is based on neuroscience. It is more difficult to clear and rewire the brain than it is to programme it correctly in the first place. Isn't it simpler then for us to parent and educate our children for life-mastery.

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