HAPPINESS

What makes us happy?

The other day I purchased a comfort chair for my reading corner , I was very excited and waited for the chair to be delivered .

It’s been a few days now that I have the chair , it’s good to have but the excitement of having it has now gone.

This happens every time , a packet from Amazon arrives and I am happy and excited to open it.

But within a few days the excitement is forgotten.

We do feel that when we get things we will be happy, but when we get those things there is momentary happiness and then we shift to the next thing.

We do feel if we reach somewhere we will be happy, when we are in school it is college , when it is college it is the dream job in the dream company , when we have the dream job it is the promotion.

It always seems to be the next thing or the next place that will make us happy.

It seems happiness is an outside job. Some thing has to happen, or we have to get something, then we can be happy.

But what if we don’t get that thing or what if we don’t reach where we wanted to go?

We would be unhappy?

Also with this approach to life the person who has the most would be the most happiest , is it so ? Do we see that in life.

Scratch beneath the surface those that seem to have everything may not be as happy as you think.

Social media pictures are certainly not the depiction of reality.

We put out the best pictures, and then we use filters to make our pictures look good.

We take the glamour of stars as real and we start chasing dreams to be like them , we create idols and we worship them , we become fans.

The heroes we worship are fragile because life is fragile.

Advertising lures us with things and the way it does so is by telling us , we are not ok. What we have is not enough.

We then chase excitement in things. We want to feel ok , we want to be like the stars , we want others to see us , appreciate us , maybe put us on a pedestal.

We want to be in the spotlight, or we feel so , everyone is watching us .

No one is , everyone is selfish, focused on self.

Ask those on a pedestal how afraid they are.

We feel excited chasing things. Have you experienced the excitement of getting something new ?

During the pandemic when non essentials were out of reach we did feel restless .

Yet we survived on the essentials , we found our pleasure in other things , like spending more time with family.

I have come to the realisation that we are constantly in chase , always feeling a gap.

It is almost like being on a treadmill that does not have a stop button, but also does not take us anywhere.

We keep running but we are at the same place , yet we keep running all our lives and then one day we drop dead.

Yet we keep chasing, the chase seems to be exciting, till it lasts.

Till the time we are and we are chasing there seems to be excitement, we hope this thing if we get it we will be finally happy.

We get it , we get there , there is momentary happiness then again the gap then again the chase.

Happiness I have come to realise is not out there, somewhere in the future.

It has got nothing to do with the outside.

Happiness is an inside job and it is certainly not in the destination.

It is not the destination, but the journey that matter.

It is not the things we own , but the moments we live that matter.

It is not what we get but what we give in the world that matters .

It is not what the world thinks but what we feel that matters .

Happiness I have noticed when I have gratitude for what I have.

When I drop the chase I start living. When I don’t seek spotlight I am most alive as me.

There is no happiness out there it is just there where we are.

THERE IS UNCERTAINTY

What happens outside of us we have no control over that , life changes in a moment just like that.

There was no warning, it had never happened, the world shut down , everything stopped.

A sudden death in the family , major illness , financial loss , job loss , anything can happen any moment.

We seek our lives to be comfortable, pain free , certain and in control.

But life is not in our control, outside circumstances are not in our control.

Resistance to what is does not help . What is has already occurred, now fight as much , cry as much , resist as much the situation has already occurred.

There is no choice to change what is happening outside. None.

There is choice to change what is happening inside , that is the only choice we have.

Life has dealt a difficult card , there is turbulence within , you cannot run away.

Can you find meaning in your pain , it has showed up in your life for a reason.

Can you convert your pain into a purpose ? Can you learn from it .

The scientist did what was never done before in one year we have a vaccine to fight the pandemic.

The world has a deeper opportunity to course correct on the damage we have cause our planet and the balance of life on our world.

Individuals have an opportunity to learn from what happened and pick up the lessons that will make them stronger to face challenges in the future.

Businesses have a lesson to rethink purpose and the way of life and work.

Everything happens for a reason are you ready to learn ?

ALL CREATION HAPPENS OUT OF ABUNDANCE MINDSET

Look at any creator and you will see an abundance mindset . Creation never happens out of scarcity mindset.

Yet what we learn from our childhood is largely driven by fear and scarcity. Only a few kids in a class rank top in a defined curriculum so we are taught to compete . What is missed is that each child is different, each has a unique gift . We try to box the definition of success , only a few can succeed and most are doomed to live an average life is what we are told and what we also see.

Competition : if the resources are limited or only a few can reach the top then competition is a natural behaviour that is driven into children . We are constantly reminded that only the fittest survive and that it is a dog eat dog world out there. This implies that most have to either fail or live an average life and only a few can succeed. Every magazine puts the pictures of the top 50 most successful people in the field , what happens to the rest ?

Money : As we grow it is then instilled that the one who has the most money is the most successful so we get driven by greed and desire to accumulate more . Our bank balance starts defining who we are . The race moves from scoring high marks in school to who earns the most or has the most.

Yet ask anyone who has a big bank balance and they will tell you beyond a point having more money does not add to life. A bigger house beyond a point does not add to happiness.

Risk : The schooling system teaches us to avoid taking risks as failure is looked down upon . Safety of the crowd is what is hammered in every child.

“Don’t take risk , don’t be different” is a lesson we learn. At each step the majority learns to operate from scarcity, that there is not enough. Our definition of success. Itself pushes us into a scarcity mindset.

While you look at any creator the key quality is abundance mindset. What if you were to turn the game and ask different set of questions.

Q1. If there was no problem with money what would you love to do ?

Q2. What is your unique gift ? what makes you most alive ?

Q3. What is the value you can add to the world?

Q4. Who can benefit from the value you can add ?

Q5. How would you live if there was no limitation to what you could create ?

A creator mindset operates from abundance, is willing to take risks , The future of work is more individuals living their passion. The pandemic has made this even more possible as work from anywhere is now mainstream.

The keyword is ‘Value Exchange’ . There is enough in our world for everyone, we need to drop our definitions of success. Abundance mindset is what we need, knowing that we will be taken care as long as we add Value in our world.

A SMALL BUSINESS STORY

Every business has a story.

I met Renuka after my cycling today , she has a food truck that sells healthy detox juices.

I asked her her story.

Renuka had lost her job of 19 years during the pandemic.

She was managing the CRM at a real estate company.

The business vanished , “we were like white elephants for the company, I was fired after 19 years.” she said.

I did not find any regret in her voice.

Renuka has a charming smile and is a happy person.

I proved her further, why healthy juices .

She said her parents suffer from Parkinson’s and diabetes.

She learnt the benefits of healthy juice detox from her grandmother.

One thing has changed for her after she started the business, she now gets up early at 4 am to make the juices.

“ I was never a early person but all that changed after the job loss” she says.

He food truck is called ‘Naividyam’ which means ‘offering to God’.

She is not just in the business of making juices for her her work of healthy juices is an offering to God.

I made a small video on her story from my mobile phone and shared it on my social media.

There are stories and and stories .

We forget to tap into the power of story to build human connections.

When a brand story integrates with that of the customer magic happens.

Renuka can be just running a food truck selling healthy juices , but she has a story.

The story of her struggle , the story of her food truck , the story around her healthy juices , then the stories around her customer.

We forget to tap into the power of storytelling in business.

Renuka is inspiring, I like her spirit to fight back.

She has no regrets but a lot of hope.

That is the story of every business owner. The story of hope despite the challenges.

Tell your story

Sanjay Mudnaney

#brandstory

http://www.CrowTales.in

PUT YOUR EXCUSES ON HOLD

The cage is fictional, there is none , we create our imaginary cage .

The day I understood this I experienced freedom.

When you put your excuses on hold the other side is joy.

In school and then college I was always on the stage participating in elocutions and debates.

I loved the stage and the audience in front of me.

When I would be on stage I would be in a zone.

I loved to communicate ideas , enrol and inspire audiences.

I could get those around me find their expression and express more fully.

But then life happened. I put myself on hold.

There were more important things to do.

“I will do it some other day in the future” I said “when the kids are grown up , when I have enough money in the bank , when I am well settled.”

I kept postponing my dreams to the future.

Then I turned 50 and it occurred to me I have finite time.

One day I made a bucket list and I jumped head on.

I wanted to sing , I went ahead and recorded my first song in a studio. It’s there on YouTube.

My first song recorded in studio

I bought myself a professional home studio equipment , now I sing whenever I feel like.

I wanted to cycle . I was warned it is risky and this is not my age .

I went ahead and bought a cycle , I invested in the best I could.

I am now a cyclist, I cycle every day , weekends is for long distance.

When I cycle , it’s just me and the wind on my face , I can feel the freedom.

I wanted to see the stars I went ahead and bought a professional telescope.

That experience of watching the planets was surreal.

Felt the vastness and being one with existence , limitless.

I wanted to write a fiction story book . I did that and self published it . It’s on Amazon .

I got my first royalty check , felt good.

I wanted to teach non profits the art of fundraising with storytelling.

I travelled to five cities and over 500 non profits in India attended my workshops !

I always wanted to start my business.

I kept postponing afraid of the unknown.

I finally jumped in at 55 !

It is profitable and growing.

But more importantly I am doing what I always loved to do , helping individuals , businesses and causes express themselves fully . Live their potential.

I wanted to tell stories of good through films . I had no experience, no team and zero budgets.

One fine day I just decided I will do it . And that too during peak lockdown !

In a few months we have made over 10 short documentary films .

Launched the YouTube channel’Heroes of India’.

We now release two films a month.

I wanted to camp next to a waterfall overnight in heavy rains.

Camping next to a waterfall

I did that , the sound of the water splashing against the rocks and tapping of raindrops was out of the world experience.

From a typical corporate formal life , no fun wardrobe and look , I decided to just be myself.

A small step but one more step in the direction of freedom.

I love being myself

When I stopped my excuses , I truly found my joy.

Have to do it for pay check was an excuse.

Have responsibilities was an excuse.

What will others think was an excuse.

I cannot do it was an excuse.

I am not capable was an excuse.

I will do it sometime in the future was an excuse.

Excuses kept me safe in my comfort zones.

We have reasons , many excuses, why we postpone life.

We make up by trying to live on the weekends.

We trade our joy with a cage.

Sometimes the cage is golden. Yet is after all a cage.

When I look deeply there was no cage , it is all our own creation.

Now I have stopped all excuses , I have started living every day , every moment.

I have no regrets as every step of the journey has been a learning experience.

I refuse to die with my song in my heart.

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

P.S – Passion project is a message, life is finite , don’t die with your song in your heart

WE LIVE A STORY

We are here for a finite time and one day nothing will matter.

Dreams and worries will be buried , turned to ashes when it all ends.

Just in a moment everything will be over.

Finally it all ends , one day sometime in the future even our planet will vanish into a void.

How can we make sense of anything.

What is the point of it all , all our struggles are meaningless.

We add meaning to this seemingly meaningless existence with our Stories.

We seek to be immortal with our Stories as we fear vanishing into a void.

Religion is a Story that gives meaning to our lives .

Country is a collective Story of the tribe.

We are willing to die for our Stories and we are even ready to kill.

We create villains, the others , fight , create divisions with our Stories.

We live and die for our Stories.

All creation happens with a Story.

We create the Story of life after death as not existing does not make sense.

Leaving a legacy is a Story of our desire to be immortal.

We stretch beyond our physical limitations all because of Stories we tell.

In our Stories we have our heroes and villains .

We admire heroes and despise the villains.

We try to be like our heroes as we admire their stories.

We learn to hate our villains.

We try enrol others into our Stories.

Then there are those who we call our leaders who tell us a Story we all buy into.

We hear their Stories, get inspired and become a part of their tribe.

We are not ok is a Story told by advertising.

We need to get somewhere from here is a Story.

From here to there is a Story.

Success is a Story so is failure.

Self identity is a Story.

Yet finally it all ends and nothing matters .

Life is just a grand Story.

We are the Stories we tell .

If this is so why not tell a Story that inspires.

We have the choice , only humans have this choice to choose their Story.

Why not have fun while the Story lasts.

Why not live a Story that makes waking up every morning exiting.

Why live a Story of fear , survival, limitation.

Why not live a Story of gratitude and love.

Remember finally it is all meaningless .

In a moment it all will just vanish.

Till then let us have hell of a ride and live this life Story fully.

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

DROP YOUR AGENDA TO FULFIL YOUR AGENDA!

I have been reflecting on the subject ‘What is the concept of business and why does all commerce exist ?”.

If we look around most of the time of the human race in the world as we see today revolves around the idea of ‘Money’ .

‘Money’ is central to everything, things we can buy , things we can experience, status , power even health services we can access with money.

Either you are a seller or you are a buyer as an individual or as a collective called the organisation.

Employees sell their time and expertise to organisations , organisations sell services , expertise or products to the masses .

Central to every transaction is “Exchange’ and if we dig deeper there is the concept ‘Perceived Value’.

When you dig deeper there you find there is ‘Agenda’ . “Why do we do anything?” . Every human being at any given point has an agenda.

Why do you do a job , why do you run a business, why do your customers buy . There is an agenda .

The agenda is always about ‘Me’ , break it down people are interested in ‘Self’ . No one is interested in the ‘other’ .

This is an interesting contradiction, all the while when any exchange is happening there are two parties and there is an ‘Agenda’ .

Even every noble cause has an Agenda , religion also has an Agenda.

‘Getting’ and Giving’ are two sides of the agenda . And there is fair exchange.

Agenda of Individuals

1. Survive : pay the bills , stay healthy

2. Thrive : fulfil desires

3. Fame : Get recognised and liked

4. Belong : family , friends, community

5. Contribute : Individual talent that is valued in the world , make a difference

6. Spiritual : ( a false belief , those who truly understand would know the falsehood of ego at play ) Going Beyond self

Agenda of Organisations

1. Maximise Profits and returns for stakeholders ethically

2. Consistently Grow in a profitable way

3. Survive through difficult times

4. Solve a problem in the world

How is this useful ?

Whether it is individuals or organisations they have THEIR OWN AGENDAS.

Yet the interesting part is is to fulfil Your own Agenda , you need to fulfil the Agenda of others – whether individuals or organisations!

It is in this space that VALUE Exchange happens. The question individuals and organisations ask is

“What is the Agenda being fulfilled and what the value they get so what is the value they they are willing to pay for”

Naturally low the perceived value , lower the pay.

Perception is not just the quality and quantity of service and product delivered but a more complex equation of how it is seen in the mind . Perceptions are held in the mind . A label can decide the value . It has to do with emotions. The shoes may come from the same factory but add a label and Value jumps . It’s fulfilling an higher agenda of being seen and liked .

Money is nothing but an exchange measure of the perceived Value delivered .

Where things go wrong is when individuals and organisations focus on personal agendas . No one is interested in YOUR AGENDA.

Do you hear these statements

“I want to grow a million subscribers”

“This year we will make a record sale”

“I want to change the world”

No one is interested in your agenda . Full Stop .

The other place things go wrong is when there is safe play . Playing safe you become a commodity. And commodity will be replaced sooner or later with something or someone cheaper .

When organisations become ‘Me To’ and offer commodities the only way to survive is by offering the lowest price.

The way to Thrive with Your Agenda then is

1. Fulfil the agenda of others – solve a problem for clients , customers , employer , donor

2. Be valuable – Don’t follow the crowd , Stand out , be different, be rare , be authentic

HOW I GOT OVER MY FEARS

I had the fear of flying, the fear would begin when I boarded a flight and if there was turbulence I would be in an internal mess .

I have seen panic attacks after I saw a close relative pass away suddenly with a massive heart attack. After the incident, I would land up in ERs at night with breathlessness , I was told that I am experiencing a panic attack . Nothing helped , no advice helped .

Today I love to fly places, turbulence is ok (unless it’s real bad ( : ) . I can walk into a cemetery , talk about death and be ok , panic just vanished never to come back.

How did this change occur?

1. Face the fear : I was running away , I wanted to run away . One day , I stopped, looked at fear in the eyes . Felt the fear in my body . I did not run . I got on the other side of fear and it vanished.

2. What is the worst that can happen ? I asked this question and the answer was “I will die”. And then it struck me “I am going to die anyway one day , everyone is going to die one day , why die NOW ! I will die when I have to , let me live NOW!”

3. In this moment : Being here now , dropping the future helped . I have learnt that in this moment, this moment as I write these words , there is no problem. When I get away from this moment, in the past or the future, stories begin .

4. Accept this deeply : In this moment, now there is no problem and “this moment is inevitable” , it has already occurred. No choice , can’t do a thing . Accept deeply without resistance.

5 . This too shall pass : I am not God , I am not perfect, I do get shaken up by events in life , I do falter , but I get up , I know “This too shall pass” , it does . One day we all will be dead and gone , my parents who are no more would have lived through so many fears , what is the significance now , nothing , it’s all dust .

When you deeply understand this that we are here momentarily on a journey as visitors on this planet , you will understand that this too shall eventually pass , everything will . Yet while on the journey, let us make the best of our time to live , love and leave a legacy behind.

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

BE YOU , BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE IS TAKEN

Be you,everyone else is taken. This one step can be liberating.

We are obsessed with what others think of us. We want to be liked, famous and approved. We seek attention because that makes us feel important.

We can easily be put down with unkind words and picked up if appreciated.

In organisations there is a game , it is called “What will the boss think” and yes it’s important because the boss decides the future growth within the organisation or so we think.

We seek approval of our peers because it makes us feel important and we want to belong.

Social media feeds on the inherent human desire to be liked so we post and then look back to check likes and comments.

This wanting to be liked , approved , appreciated, creates a unseen pressure and ties down our freedom , freedom to be who we are .

Freedom comes from being authentic, confident in our own skin , not wanting to be like anyone , not being a copy.

And then we have the rebels, who also are trying to project an identity of being different, rebels . Yet there is the pressure of hold an identity that is not authentic.

What if you could just drop your wanting to be like someone else , anyone else or seeking approval.

There is a famous Hindi film song in India ‘Kuch to log kahenge , logon ka kam hai kehena‘ ( people will always say something, that is their job). And you can never please everyone.

What if you can ignore what others think , and you truly can , just try it now , drop the baggage of wanting approval , and see how it feels.

Do your stuff , rock your boat , be different, be you because you are made different.

Each one of us is unique, and there is no one else like us anywhere in the world. We have our own unique gifts .

What applies to individuals applies to organisations . There is a unique story of each organisation. ‘Why’ it exists. Find that why and live that why.

Carrying an image that is not you is stressful, being authentic is liberating. And when you are genuinely authentic it reflects and you stand out. Not because you want to be liked but because you are who you are , different.

I found being authentic truly liberating experience, I blog because I want to , I express what I want to , I cycle, I sing , I create because that is who I am , I love to create , build on new ideas , grow business, mentor individuals and business to play to potential . This makes me happy.

What will others think stops people from taking the first step , from living their dreams . And it is not worth it , no point with dying with your dream in your heart.

Be YOU because everyone else is taken.

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject