Tejvan Pettinger has been blogging on issues ranging from economics to self-improvement for over 10 years, including this blog at at srichinmoybio.co.uk/blog . He is also one of the UK’s top amateur cyclists, having recently won the National Hill Climb championships.
How would you define happiness? Happiness is when we can appreciate the beauty of the world, and wish to share our good feelings with other people.
What makes me happy ?
- When I feel I’m doing something worthwhile.
- When, through selfless service, we can give joy or peace to other people
- The joy of physical self-transcendence. For me, this means going faster on my bike, setting personal bests, and even winning races.
- When I can be happy, despite not doing as well in races as I would like.
- When I have a good meditation and can feel the energy in the spiritual heart.
- When people appreciate the teachings and vision of the great Spiritual Teachers, especially my own Guru, Sri Chinmoy.
- When you can get over minor personality conflicts and appreciate the good qualities in others.
Whenever you feel unhappy, is there a particular thing you do in order to feel happy again? Firstly, move and do something! If you stagnate the unhappiness will grow, but if you can do something positive, the energy and forward movement can blow away most of your mental problems. Even just talking to people who have annoyed you can be a big step forward.
From a spiritual point of view – prayer, meditation, singing, and selfless service always do something to lift my mood.
Was there a particular habit or regimen you introduced into your life that has made you happier? Yes, I eat a nice carrot cake, at least once a week, then I cycle 200 miles a week to burn off the calories and get joy from cycling. Also, learning one of Sri Chinmoy’s hauntingly beautiful Bengali songs always gives me a lot of joy. But, unfortunately, that is something I need to make more of a habit.
Which personal qualities do you think are most important in obtaining happiness?
- Humility. I never really understood humility, until I read an aphorism by Sri Chinmoy. ‘Humility means giving joy to other people.’ It all made sense then. It was a real revelation to read that poem. I blogged about it here:
- Enthusiasm and positive energy
- Selflessness – which means getting over the ego.
If you had one wish for the world, what would it be? Simply for people to realise that if we hurt other people, we are really hurting ourselves. If we give joy and peace to others, it is ourselves who will get peace and joy in return. Life is simple if we remember the golden rule!
What gives you most hope for the future? All the great Spiritual Masters say that God-realisation is everyone’s birthright.