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Samantha Sheoprashad: A state of mind

Samantha Sheoprashad: A state of mind

A look at what makes people happy and advice on how to find happiness

What is happiness? Queen’s Young Leader, Samantha Sheoprashad examines different interpretations for Leading Change, and shares what she has learnt about finding happiness.

Some people believe happiness is an end destination while others take it as the beginning towards greatness. People usually define happiness from different perspectives. Some may even argue happiness is just a state of mind.

If you are reading this article looking for a definite answer to the question “what is happiness?” then I may disappoint you. We shouldn't forget each one of us is different. 

What is happiness?

Every person has their own perception of happiness.

According to researchers from different backgrounds, it is believed that human beings can learn how to create more meaning and gratification in life. One of the strongest theories about happiness is positive psychology which focuses on cognition, personality and mood.

Alternatively, some of us might attach the feeling of happiness to material items. We think we can only be happy if we can buy the new iPhone, if we are able to afford a nice house or take our family on vacations to exotic beaches in the Caribbean.

In addition to that, we expect to roam around with huge smiles on our faces, and laughter, and call it “happiness”.

What makes me happy?

Growing up was not a happy time for me. I felt so stifled. Most of the time I hated being at home or in my village, so I found ways to counter my suffering.

Studying, volunteering, writing and playing sports brought me tremendous joy and freedom. I was with positive people, expressing myself and giving form to my ideas. The most important thing was no one judged me in those environments. My life had meaning and purpose when I was out there living it.

I wasn’t escaping from my family life, I was simply doing what I could to be happy for myself. But at the same time, I was creating master confusion for my family. So I had to pause, and start making way for them to hop on the train to happiness too.

My decision to do a 'happiness action plan' made me feel great, glad, grateful, vibrant, optimistic, hopeful, inspired.

Even while I felt stuck and sad at times, I always faced the storms with faith – setting goals and navigating my path to get away from negativity, improve my life and make my own happiness.

We all have the potential to create happiness. We have to realise happiness comes with discovering inner strengths and reinforcing them in life.

Psychological wellbeing brings internal satisfaction and contentment. It is not necessarily associated with the material world.

Happiness is pleasurable but most importantly, it involves finding meaning and purpose in life.

Man and child walking towards sunset

Journey to happiness

There are few simple keys to finding happiness. Yes, simple!

You need to align your passion with your purpose to generate “profits”, which can be defined as social, financial, emotional and recreational.

Lets jump right in!

1. Find your purpose

The process of finding yourself requires you to know who you are, where you are going and how you are going to get there.

Understand your true range of skills, talents, experience, strengths and weaknesses.

Look inside and out of yourself and get to know you.

Look at what stimulates you and what you enjoy doing.

2. Be clear on your personal values

What do you value? Do your values align with your purpose?

Can your purpose and personal values combine to create impact?

Reflect on your actions and see if they are aligned with your personal values.

3. Create a vision for your life.

What is your life all about? When you die, what do you want your eulogy to be? Imagine for a minute that you are in the coffin. Who do you want them to describe? Look at the gap between where you are and your eulogy.

Now is the right time to set some goals. Focus your energy on achieving your goals and spend more time doing units in your action plan?

Commit to creating opportunity that closely reflects your vision.

Create action plans, journey maps, networking maps.

Learn something new, take lessons from failures and make better choices from your own values.

4. Finally, cultivate your purpose.

Breathe oxygen into your ideas. Bring those ideas into reality.

There is nothing greater than realising your purpose. Finding purpose is like fuelling your Ferrari for a smooth ride.

Optimists see that glass half full, see bad events as one-time occurrences, and good events as things they had a hand in. This kind of thinking goes a long way toward moving you forward when your results are not what you hoped for.

These teachings were adopted from lessons in the Leading Change Course and the Master Class Institute, Guyana.

Samantha Sheoprashad at Buckingham Palace with her Queen's Young Leaders award

"You need to align your passion with your purpose to generate 'profits', which can be defined as social, financial, emotional and recreational."

Samantha Sheoprashad