Better Perceptions & Better Decisions Enhance Happiness

The concern is normal, fear is normal, uncertainty is normal! But do you have a better strategy or are we going to stay in freeze mode? Frontline warriors face everyday uncertainties, emergencies!


Is Corona fear a pseudo perception? Yes, many rationalists are not wearing masks and avoid social distancing! No, it’s as real as rock-solid. Many rationalists having faith in corona existence are having anxiety attacks and clean themselves every hour with the exact number of times the government has prescribed to wash hands and do gaj ki doori !

How to make better decisions? Every human being makes on an average 35000 decisions a day! The range can be from insignificant or significant. The one who thinks that it is better to die of disease rather than hunger or the one who says it’s okay to give up profits for many months and save one’s life in today’s time when there is no clue what is happening or what’s coming next? What are we going to trust whether we will get infected or not? Is fact befooling us or is intuition befooling us? Validation is needed based on what we see or feel! Facts, knowledge, or experience. But most decisions are made by the brain by recalling from the knowledge bank about this a perceptual world!

Happiness in today’s chronic times seems a far-out cry as if someone has asked for a tank full of water in a desert where people are running here and there for a drop of survival water! 43 million infected patients till today end of October 2020. Almost 12 countries accounting for 80-85% of infection with India among the top 3 in the list of infections and deaths. How can one attempt to be happy or even dare to show happiness during such times when multiple things are falling apart around! If a person sneezes and has a fever does his happiness lies in going to the hospital and informing them about his grave situation or keeping mum on that. Happiness is in that case is silent suffering and believing that pain is lesser than his assumed pain. Is hip replacement patient pain lesser than corona patient case? Will doctor happiness be more if he keeps corona patient and let go of the hip replacement patient with ibuprofen or Piroxicam. Has happiness become irrational or irrational for all categories of people during pandemic times? Can you feel or see that too? Is your happiness concept validated by perception or facts! Is your happiness a concept of cartoon movie who sees cartoon doing killing evil onscreen or NGO volunteer who goes to slum or filed or village to educate or save a life!

What’s the good Strategy to be Master happiness during pandemic times? Do you have implemented during Pandemic times to can stay active or at least have some kind of a plan? Both are assumed to be a good strategy by positive thinkers! Breakdown any problem into actionable items is good but this pandemic has scared the shit of many plans! Still, hope can’t be let go even during a pandemic! The concern is normal, fear is normal, uncertainty is normal! But do you have a better strategy or are we going to stay in freeze mode? Frontline warriors face every day uncertainties, emergencies! Single parent mother, father or life in face to face with lion roaring when no one is around, all have emergencies of some kind in routine life. But this is different from this collective emergency. Unlike war where you can see the enemy but here enemy hides inside us. Nature has made us enter into a symbiotic relationship with all bacteria and viruses! Amazing!

What prevents thinking! How to be happy now? What to focus on? Which side of the WHO story or media story or your family doctors' story is correct? Which side is shade and which side will kill you? Is W.H.O. perception trustworthy than society security guard perception who is stopping you to leave your home when you are sick? Reality breaks into such fundamentals! DNA of Global perception is local too and touching the last mile! If my immediate family, street, the neighborhood is panicking, it affects almost every aspect of my life be it excluding maidservant from my home, or jamming the society multiple gates and making only one functional, or limiting visits to guest and family outside the home! It's hard when one sees one’s NRI family or next-door neighbors don’t want to come during the unfortunate death of one’s family members! Pity or wise? Blame or applaud? Confused or clear?

How to bring balance in such overwhelming situations! How to judge the helplessness of society? They were all good. But survival instinct has kicked everyone deeper than any other desire to be social or connected or any caring nature of many! All got sidelined by just one physical survival instinct! All others can wait. It doesn’t depend on what perception you had about doctors before corona, did you thought them as money-sucking monsters or do you think them as Godly messengers! All are looking upto them now! It doesn’t matter what level of decisions you were taking before corona, did you decided for the future of 80,000 employees in leader’s capacity in your Global Organization or of a 2 member family only. All have seen some wall between one and others as thin as mask width or as big as unsympathetic attitude towards who suffered due to corona in diverse ways. People are getting tired day by day. Imbalance is higher than before day by day! People are saying for the first time, we don’t want work from home. Open the offices! We want to breathe without mask! Many kids want to reimagine that their fathers are still superhero as they grow up believing that their macho father can do anything magical. Someone’s kid must have asked “ Papa , corona mar gaya kya ?. Raavan to mar gaya, par corona kyu nahi mara?”. “Daddy, is corona dead? Raavan is dead, but why corona is not killed.” Is corona virus more real than inflated images of macho fathers? The power imbalance actoss the borders or across the minds or hearts have happened for sure. Reality is face to face with assumed imaginations of what is good or who is good.

Happiness is not about just following guidelines during overwhelming, but it is something about making decisions based on the best information you have it and embrace the resultant with least complaint! If Chemistry is the science of changing one substance into other substance. Similarly, happiness is the science of changing one decision into other decision. One information shows that Corona virus can’t survive for more than 14 days if individuals avoid becoming the part of new chain for virus! Virus for survival needs hugs and kisses and crowds to put the guard down for long! Happiness for survival needs guard up forever. The water can’t rise up on its on to 4th floor of any high rise building. We need motor to raise it up. Water by nature moves down. Similarly, Unhappiness by nature moves with guard down! For happiness to rise, motor of sacrifice needs to be on! Motor of collective consciousness needs to be up! The decision is needed to switch on the motor!

Nature or perception of collective consciousness is far inclusive than perception of collective unconsciousness! Decisions taken from the peak of collective consciousness is far more inclusive and sustainable or long-lasting than that of disconnected ones which are unsustainable, accidental, or short term. Short term investors mindset is different than like of Warren Buffet (long term investors). Happiness of villagers are more solid than the happiness of metro ones. The difference is the scope (how many persons impacted) and duration (length) and tangibility (possessions) / intangibility (memories) and multiple reverse ripple effect (others sharing their happiness with you). Does stories of impact of one person on many inspires you and makes you feel the pride of power of being human? Or does the stories of one person beating one’s chest on Page 3 of newspaper and being replaced by someone in next day. Individual stories also inspire that someone fulfilled their suppressed dreams during corona by learning to master dance or sing or even write a book! But whose happiness is sustainable? Does how can I help you attitude somehow enhance happiness better than how can I help myself? The questions get so confusing during pandemic times on what choice is better and we know that with 200% confidence what happiness meant! In corona start pahse in Jan 2020 and now in November 2020 happiness concepts all are getting wrong or atleast confidence has been shakened.

New Perception during Pandemic times has somehow made us believe that we have to agree with all behaviours and expression assuming others too have some genuine issues that we can’t imagine or know why they behaved in that manner!

New decisions taken during pandemic times has somehow made us act and behave in one master stroke that we were avoiding for millennia! Respects for employees doing work from home or students doing home schooling in India and many others.

New Happiness concepts during Pandemic time as simple as able to eat food, able to spend time with a spouse in the kitchen and doing dishes, talking to parents, giving potty training, playing with the dog or talking to one’s laptop 24x7! Corona has largely far more efficiently persuaded masses to find common ground to decide upon what constitutes minimum or basic happiness. Decisions revolved around that common ground only for more than 7 months of a lockdown or controlled movements. Corona has magically brought the north and south poles of arguments in each others’ lap. Who cares if what we believed in the past. Emperor corona has forced us to accommodate to its demands of self-care so swiftly what million of dollars worth types of research of professors and public policy scientific conferences failed to convince the employers or government.

Sustainable Happiness Awakens. Happiness was never supposed to be found only if we find water on the moon. It was always local. It was always an individual’s inner awakening. Has corona made humans more some more awakened, more powerful, power compulsive, or powerless? Corona did press the Happiness switch by reminding all of the importance of invisible inter-dependencies. Survival instinct switch when activated will bring back the reality from under the carpet hidden for long. An awakening, the gestalt shift in the perception has definitely happened. Many have accepted the tough decisions due to Covid-19 pressed down their throats unwillingly. They all have to now embrace the reality of interdependencies than they were able to do so before corona! Has corona made us sit and face to face with reality than we ever just philosophized about but never really wanted! Shall we be thankful to coronavirus and forget the reasons or shall we enter in 3rd world war once we get back to normal! Corona has confused everyone’s lifelong perceptions. Decisions are confused! Happiness will start opening from crevices of new broader perceptions and new inclusive decisions.

Reminders. All that matters is now if the new caring consciousness like requesting everyone to wear a mask or keep social distancing by encouraging one's spouse to cheat during this corona times-sustainable! Or we will come back to old unconscious habits or islands styled living once corona ka rona is over! Is pandemic the last reminder for us to be human! Or is there something more fundamental to perception and decision that rules our happiness that such pandemic situations wish us to realize? Have these tough times made us rethink the way we interact with people, the better way to respond to bosses and employees, a true prayer for people whom we hated? Is this a new form of happiness we have never encountered before in one's lifetime! Have these tough times helped us brought happiness by bringing clarity between safety and empathy? Is this new variant of happiness asking you to hang up on those issues that don’t really matter existentially? Let’s stay alert, safe, and maintain distance from all those beliefs that had prevented us to be more collectively happy. Don’t let this global tragedy pass by without awakening you to higher realities and truths of human consciousness. Awaken possibilities inside you for happiness to touch you today!

Better perceptions will deliver better decisions. Only Better decisions will enhance Happiness at all levels.

(The given article is authored by Dr.Nitin Arora, Head Amity Centre of Happiness at Amity University, Noida)


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