The pursuit of happiness

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Published: Fri 25 Sep 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 25 Sep 2015, 8:19 AM

Happiness is often elusive: the more we chase it, the farther it runs away from us! I believe there's no greater blessing in life than to be healthy and happy till the end.
I salute the spirit of these centenarians, who, even at the age of 100, can give us a run for our money (How to be Happy and Healthy, Whether You're 100 or 10, Sept 18). How fascinating it is that even after raking up a century in years, they still harbour a tremendous zest for life.
Happiness is a choice we need to make every moment. Life is fraught with worries and stress, but despite that we can choose to be happy. The key to happiness is within us; as the American author William Ward once said, "Happiness is an inside job." We tend to forget to smile, to connect with family and friends and to care for ourselves as we hurtle through the race of life playing multiple roles, meeting deadlines, appeasing clients and bosses and often trying to be 'perfect'. In the mêlée, we forget to 'live'; we merely exist.
We ignore the very things so essential to longevity and happiness in our 'presumed' pur-suit of both. We need to slow down and take a word of advice from these veterans who have 'been there and done that', and who've managed to decipher the purpose of life in the process.
Many social experiments have proved beyond doubt that lasting happiness comes from bonding with others and helping out each other. It is heartwarming to note that the 100-year-olds and the 10-year-olds think alike on many aspects of life, especially on bonding with family.
In these times of dysfunctional families and broken homes, it is indeed a ray of hope that our children appreciate and cherish family ties. 
Congratulations on your winning entry, Sarala Mohan! We will contact you shortly. 
There is definitely more to eyebrows than meets the eye. In books on romance, à la Mills and Boon and Barbara Cartland, the hero - not having limpid brown eyes or a quivering, heart-shaped mouth - made full use of his brows to show off his rakish good looks, his power and authority, with lines like: "He looked at her questioningly, his one brow arched high made many a female hearts aflutter", or, "his brows met in a formidable straight line as he looked sternly (at the helpless heroine)".
While the eyes may be the window to our souls, the brows are the window dressing. ?Well-shaped brows can add beauty to the eye and give the face a desirable look. They render character and substance to the face and certainly help in making the overall look more attractive. I always remember the admon-ishment from my beautician, when I get my brows done. At my 'ouches', she says, "To look good, you should be able to bear a little pain."
F Kaizer, Dubai
My obsession with my arches was finally validated, after I read The Ultimate Brow Beat (Sept 18). The article provides us with insights on how to get lush eyebrows and avoid messing them up, and even how we can define them to make our eyes look more captivating. It's important to shape them well based on our face type, because eyebrows are one of the features that can make our face memorable.
Beyond their function as a filter against dust, dirt and sweat that might enter our eyes, eyebrows have a strong social significance in emotional expression as well as facial recog-nition. Well-shaped eyebrows help express one's personality and increase our confidence levels. It adds to our face value.
With the help of growth-stimulating serums, filler pencils, stencil kits, we can all hope to get the set of bold beauties we crave for.
Tasneem M, by email
Happiness is a state of mind, which no amount of money or prestigious college degrees can buy. How to Be Happy and Healthy, Whether You're 100 or 10 (Sept 18) is a perfectly placed article in such a stressed-out world, where everyone is busy playing games, and success and competition are the keywords.
The most interesting fact in the article is that a significantly higher per cent of older folk are happier than youngsters. Perhaps this gap would not have been so wide about a decade ago. But we are rapidly moving into a fast-paced and unforgiving society. It's important that we take time off to relax and de-stress at regular intervals to prevent burnout and our health spiralling out of control. Statistics have it that yoga, bonding with family or friends, or even reading a motivational book can increase the endorphins in our systems.
The older and wiser generation have been through their share of fast-paced corporate lives. They have realised that, through it all, it is family and friends who see us through our roughest days. We need to make time for those who matter. We need to learn that the ultimate goal in life is to accumulate a lot of wealth. in terms of loved ones and good health - the true priceless jewels that cannot be bought.
Theresa Fernandes, by email

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