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Past Issue • Jul-Sep 2012

The Myopia of Far-Sightedness

Rajagopal Raghunathan turns conventional thinking on its head as he tracks down the seemingly elusive formula for happiness. He offers four guiding principles to maximise happiness and tips to escape the treacherous grip of the traditional “Suffer Now, Be Happy Later” model.

One of my most enduring memories from childhood is of my mother warning me, usually as I was getting ready to play a game of cricket with my friends, to “work hard now, so that you can relax and enjoy in the future.” I can, to this day, vividly remember feeling fragmented by my desire to play with my friends on the one hand, and the pressure to obey my mother’s dictum on the other.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

  • Raj-Raghunathan-feb7

    Raj Raghunathan

    Visiting faculty at the Indian School of Business and Professor in the Department of Marketing at McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin.
  • srinivasan mahadevan

    Thanks for the wonderful composition. All these principles are very true when we relate it to our childhood experiences. I share my perspective on this topic below.
    Managing expectations is the key to pursuit of happiness. We, consciously or sub-consciously, set expectations in everyday life and want to accomplish them. Failure to meet these expectations results in frustration, which is damaging. But, our expectations are well under our control. We don’t need to lower our expectations, but base them on truth and realities. The great psychiatrist and holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl discovered that choices people make in that space between stimulus and response is vital. And the best way is to make such choices by listening to our conscience. True happiness, I feel is a function of this choice we make in our lives.

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