“The key within”- 28 June 2011

When Sangeeta first stepped into the large hall where her administration section was located, she felt impressed by its officious grandeur. She was just 23 years old and all eager to step into the new life of a management executive of a mid-sized Indian company manufacturing a range of machine tools. She liked almost everything in the place — working facilities, library, research section, well-dressed colleagues coming from various parts of the country, smart bosses who seemed to know answers to all problems before they surfaced. She knew instantly, she belonged there.

However, as days wore on, Sangeeta realised that all was not well in her office. For, many among the senior colleagues seemed unhappy for reasons which at least she did not understand. Of course, there were happy colleagues as well. Yet, what perplexed Sangeeta was the people who did not like many things in the place. They cribbed. They formed groups during coffee breaks and indulged in loose talk. They told savage and often fictitious jokes about bosses. They also tried to rope in Sangeeta in their campaigns of spreading negativism. In short, they did everything to spoil the atmosphere.
On her part, Sangeeta was determined not to get involved in the dirty business. She had set a high goal for herself and wanted to allow no compromise on that count. And more importantly, Sangeeta had decided to stay a happy person, the troubles and difficulties on the ground apart.
As a child, her parents had encouraged her and her two brothers to extract grains of happiness in every situation. That mindset began helping Sangeeta at the workplace. She saw only the positive things around even though she did not miss the flaws. But on positives she dwelled and not on the flaws. She also realised one thing – at home, too, everything was not good or positive. Parents fought at times. There were times of money crunch. The house was rather small for the family with three adult children. And yet, the whole family made a happy home. Sangeeta realised often that even when there were some difficulties, some flaws at home, overall, they were a happy family.
Sangeeta followed this approach even at workplace. Many times, when she found it difficult to ignore the negative things, she would go to the bosses and spoke things out openly. That helped her understand the mindset of the bosses and appreciate the degree of difficulties which they had to contend with. This greater understand increased Sangeeta’s happiness quotient.
Her colleagues, of course, did not appreciate Sangeeta’s sense of happiness. They felt, she was faking the good feeling, fooling herself. That was hardly the case. Sangeeta had learnt to extract grains of happiness in any situation. She felt, the key to happiness lay within herself, in her attitude, in her ability to see positive dimensions of any situation. Not only did she remain undaunted by any situation but also learned to extract small grains of happiness at all times. There often was a faint, unexpressed smile on her lips, enhancing her good looks.
Happiness has a very special quality – it is infectious, it spreads all by itself. In Sangeeta’s case, too, this happened slowly but surely. Colleagues started noticing the difference. They started getting inspired by the young executive’s happy countenance. And even the bosses also started noticing the initially imperceptible change in the office environment. A young and junior executive could be the change agent!
Of course, the change was terribly slow to come by. For Sangeeta, everything looked like a dream. She enjoyed her happy feeling. And she sent happy signals all around her. Her attitude inspired the bosses to take up a new programme of stepping up happiness index of the workplace.
That programme may take its own time to start becoming effective, but it was, nevertheless, inspired by a young executive’s success in looking for happiness within herself.
This may appear as fiction to many, but almost every place has persons like Sangeeta, happy with life, looking forward to it, willing to share and spread goodness, committed to believing in power of the positive. The trouble, however, is that we do not allow ourselves the freedom to explore the key (to happiness) within. In an atmosphere where negativism was a default, this girl proved an exception.

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