Friday, April 27, 2012

Most 'looked for' course in Harvard is...

It is Friday night, and while sitting on the couch, working on some research on my computer, I have the TV on for some background noise, then the announcer on RI PBS announces the next segment on the show, it got my undivided attention - The topic is the most 'signed up for' class in Harvard. No, it's not law, no, not mathematics either, and not any of the other expected fields either. The most looked for class in Harvard is 'HOW TO BE HAPPY'.

Yes, that is right. The course with the most number of sign ups for is exactly that 'HOW TO BE HAPPY - WHAT IT TAKES TO BE HAPPY'. I got to say, it makes me think.
Funny is to realize that we grow up learning so many, things like how to read, how to behave, how to speak, learning different languages, how to play sports, how to be successful at work, in life in almost everything we do, but we usually don't learn the most important thing in life - HOW TO BE HAPPY. Sitting here and thinking about as I write I realize that this to-do list is basically made to make us conform to what the world and others expect from us. It sounds like we are doing something wrong in the path, and messing up the whole balance of life.

Go figure! Like most people, we worry about all the other things that relate to others and how others will perceive us, how will others be able to say that we are successful. Have you ever noticed that in the turmoil, of making the rest of the world satisfied, we forget the most important? Missing an important step on learning how to have a meaningful life.

Looks like we spend so much time pleasing people, trying to be what we are not so we can be accepted by our pairs. We forget who we really are and become more what others want us to be. We, sometimes, worry on making people see how strong, powerful and triumphant we are, afraid of showing signs of weakness. 

So many time we so worried impressing people that, not too rarely, are not that important in our lives that we forget to be successful inside ourselves.

What it really means to be successful? From inside out? I believe it starts with a simple thing...being happy with the person we are. All the exterior success means nothing when at the end of the day you honestly look at image reflected in the mirror and realize that all that you have achieved does not bring you true joy and happiness.

At this point I am curious on what they teach on that class, I wish I was living in Cambridge once more so I could sign for the class myself to find out. But since now I am away from Harvard, the only thing I can think of are the simplest instructions; the ones our grandparents knew well; the ones we knew when we were children before we were corrupted by becoming like 'everyone else' idea.

I believe that the secret and response to the question is simple as A,B,C.

A - Don't ever take people and life for granted, love your family and friends (most importantly - let them know that you love them);
B - Be who you are and the people who matters the most will love your for that, not for who you pretend to be;
C - Live each new day as they come, with good, bad and ugly experiences. They, after all, makes you who you are.

Listening to the panel of scientists and professors it comes as no surprise that people who take time to enjoy their family and friends, who exercises a couple of times a weeks, who forgive themselves for mistakes made, who makes time to do something meaningful to others (it does not mean how big or small), who laughs and take time off to just relax and be goofy once a day are much less at risk to be depressed and have higher chances to be a happy and consequently a healthier person.

As you see happiness, now proven by scientists and professors at Havard: is not related to financial achievement or possessions; it does not required complicated formulas or calculations; it's not for sale and it can't be bought regardless of how much money one might have; is not in a distant land nor will only happen when you get there. It's here and now, it's acessible to everyone who cares enough to get it; it comes from inside and then, reflects on everything else.

N. Cardoso 05/2010

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