How to be Happier, How to Live Better and Go About Finding Meaning in Life

Now that’s a pretty tricky question isn’t it? I mean how the heck am I going to tell you how to be happier? Am I the happiest person on earth myself?

But I have observed one simple thing – and whenever I have done it, I have always been happier.

That thing is to stop asking myself what I should do – and genuinely ask myself, what I want to do.

I know that’s pretty vague. So let me tell how I was happier in my life when I gave up “should” and adopted “want” once.

How to be Happier – Incident 1

In January 2007, I was studying paper science and I was very concerned about my career. “What should I do after college?”, I kept asking myself. Many answers came up like an MS in Chemical Engg, or an MBA or a job ….

I was confused. Not happy.

In June 2007, I suddenly stopped asking myself what I should be doing and asked myself – what would I really want to do if it was OK for me to not do what I “should” be doing?

That changed EVERYTHING. I was terribly sad and confused. But the moment I asked myself – what I wanted to do, I was INSTANTLY happier!

Instantly, a vision came up of me writing about everyday living and anchoring quizzes and debates and ceremonies every once in a while. That felt so nice!

Today, after passing out of college, I write my thoughts out on this website and I am much, much happier than I was when I even thought of an MS in chemical engg.

How to be Happier – Incident 2

Another example of how replacing “should” with “want” made me happier.

I had started writing content on this website, but I was still feeling forlorn – not awesome. Why? I thought. I mean, I was writing because I wanted to right?

SUDDENLY, I realized this was not so! I looked at my homepage. It was full of flowery words like “this site will help you face your anger and make career decisions..” Many other pages smelt deeply of what I “should be” writing so that people visit my site – even if I did not want to write it! And guess what! Most of the pages were full of words like ”you should think like this, you should think like that”…What I wanted was to simply share what I learnt as I lived on, what the heck was I writing then?

VERY soon, I decided to REVAMP every page on the site and write what I WANTED to. INSTANTLY, I felt happier! Within seconds I knew I was doing something I liked so much!

In both cases, my perspective shifted from ”what should I do?” to “what do I really want?”


Now let’s look at your life. What are the things that you are doing that “you should do?” Maybe it is your job. You are doing it because you “should be doing it”? Or your relationship – you are there because you should be there?

The simple way to happiness is to just ask yourself – what do I want? If it was OK to not be having this job or doing what other people are doing – what would I want?

Just ask that.

No, no I am not asking you to quit your job or relationship or change half your life just by reading this. You won’t do that of course. 🙂 But, today and tomorrow and in the next few days as soon as you think “I should be doing this” – will you promise to ask yourself – but what do I want really? For example you may go to college – and ask yourself – why am I going? What do I really want? Is it because “I should go?”

I guarantee, that as soon as you question why you “should be” doing something and move towards what you want, you’ll be happier.

All the best to me and to you. May we replace “should” by “want” today.