Don't Worry, Be Happy…

It has been more than 3 months that I have added a new post to my blog or commented on any of the blogs that I regularly visit. There was no particular reason for this. The only reason was the workload, but I still could have managed a couple of posts. But somehow I couldn’t find the time to write one.

Even though I was reading the wonderful posts that all of you were writing, didn’t find the time to write a comment. So my sincere apologies to all my blogpals. I hope to be more regular now onwards and thanks to all those people who sent me mails and who were commenting me the Merry Christmas post. It was Geo’s comment “It’s almost the next Xmas time.” that made me realize the amount of time that elapsed since I published a post.

This is something that I came across a few days back—How to be Happy by R. L. Stevenson. Found it interesting and what he had written made a lot of sense. Thought of sharing it, as the first post of this year.

More than 100 years ago, author Robert Louis Stevenson offered the following tips for maintaining a positive attitude. They still apply today.

How to be Happy

  1. Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.
  2. Make the best of your circumstances. No one has everything, and everyone has something of sorrow intermingled with gladness of life. The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears.
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t think that somehow you should be protected from misfortune that befalls other people.
  4. You can’t please everybody. Don’t let criticism worry you.
  5. Don’t let your neighbor set your standards. Be yourself.
  6. Do the things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.
  7. Never borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than real ones.
  8. Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish jealousy, enmity, grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.
  9. Have many interests. If you can’t travel, read about new places.
  10. Don’t hold postmortems. Don’t spend your time brooding over sorrows or mistakes. Don’t be one who never gets over things.
  11. Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.
  12. Keep busy at something. A busy person never has time to be unhappy.

Robert Louis Stevenson
Poet, Novelist & Essayist (1850 – 1894)

I wish you peace, success and happiness…


  1. Anju said,

    March 9, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    Sometimes people ask me why I am so cheerful all the time…next time I will point them to this post.

    Wishing you too peace, happiness and success!

  2. Alexis Leon said,

    March 9, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Anju: Nice to be back and really nice to get the first comment from you. RLS makes a lot of sense, isn’t it. In most cases, it is we who decide how happy we are or want to be, through our attitudes and actions.

  3. Bindu Mathew said,

    March 9, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    When I read abt one Mr. Alexis Leon in RD and susequent visit to web site & blog i thought we have many common interests I thought of writing him. But instead I just wished him happy new year. After that almost every day I used to check for personalised wish in return but alas! I think u should read some tips on how to make others happy coz i think thts also equally impt. :)) Be happy always 🙂

  4. Alexis Leon said,

    March 9, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    Bindu: I apologize for not sending a personalized reply to your New Year wishes. I am sorry if it had hurt your feelings, but it was totally unintentional. I was not checking the blog and hence the lack of a personalized reply.

    Thank you for your advice on the importance of making others happy and also about reading tips on that. But I am not into hospitality business and so my mission in life is not making everyone happy. If you want to be happy, then it is within your power to be happy.

  5. chekku said,

    March 9, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    nice to see you blogging again.. 🙂
    and yeah i guess those points are so perfect..i have managed to follow most of the points in there..and i guess living simpler and by not thinking too hard is what makes us happy..and there is nothing rewarding than helping another person smile.

  6. emmanuel said,

    March 10, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Nice post……and happy to see u back…. 🙂

    hope u r doing well and fine…. 🙂

  7. Rachel said,

    March 10, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Thank God you are back!! I visited this page almost everyday since Jan and each time kept wondering what happened to Alexis. All the points noted above are so true. Liked most “Don’t take urself too seriously” :-)) “Be Yourself”.

  8. Deepti said,

    March 10, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Great to see u back ….

  9. vinay cleetus said,

    March 10, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    I read , how you fight with life in mathrubhumi sunday supplement. you inspired me a lot

  10. Dhanya said,

    March 10, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    So happy to see you back n that too with an inspiring post .. 🙂

  11. Alexis Leon said,

    March 10, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    chekku: Thanks Mats. I completely agree with you.

    emmanuel: Thank you, I am fine, bit busy…

    Rachel: I was a bit busy. But now plan to be regular here. Glad you liked the wisdom of RLS.

    Deepti: Thank you…

    Vinay: Thank you… and welcome to my blog.

    Dhanya: Thanks Dhanya.

  12. muneera said,

    March 10, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Hi Alexis,
    Great to hear from you after along time. I became a regular reader of your blog after reading articles about you in RD, Mathrubhumi, Vanitha. My son (Ashwin’s age )very fond of stories .Why can’t you write a book narrating stories for children? May God bless you.

  13. Raghav_K said,

    March 11, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Hi Alexis…..

    Glad tat ur back and nice post tooo.. made me think…

    i liked one the most..
    “Don’t let your neighbor set your standards. Be yourself.”

    And thanks for posting in my blog too 😛 Hope u post more often…

    Seeya 🙂

  14. Ruble said,

    March 11, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Very nice to see Alexis back. I never commented on your posts. But really liked each one and the points you have mentioned is very correct. Especially this one:Don’t be one who never gets over things”.Cheers Alex.

  15. madhu said,

    March 11, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    hi alexis sir..
    Thank you for your RETURN with good topic..
    your return itself made me happy..

    Yieldful.. is it HAPPY..

    Thank you sir for given us Robert’s tips.. be well.. do well..

  16. anu said,

    March 11, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Hi Alexis

    Very apt post. Gave lot of tips to be happy


  17. neermathalam said,

    March 12, 2008 at 2:34 pm stevenson….
    i feel the 12th point is the most important one…
    keep yourself busy…if you can do that..happiness is just a by product..

    Easterinu munne postitattu nannayi…:P

  18. Dhanush said,

    March 13, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Hey Alexis. Welcome back. So nice to see you around, most of these days i used to come and check whether the Santa has changed to some hilarious memoirs. Waiting for those 🙂

    Be Happy

  19. ananya said,

    March 16, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Uncle

    Very good post. I will try to implement few of them in my life


  20. AlAmeen said,

    March 17, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Welcome back Sir..
    I find very less time to think about myself. I think that’s the reason why I am happy most of the time 🙂


  21. Geo said,

    March 19, 2008 at 10:37 am

    Wow! 🙂

    It was kind of a chain reaction. I too was kind of sloppy with my posts for almost a year now. Then I found a mention in Jiby’s advice to new bloggers and decided to kickstart it all over again. Next thing I did was to go through all of yours blogs and I found this place kind of deserted 🙂

    Nice post as usual. We can either choose to be disappointed for what we don’t have or to be happy for what we have. The choice is ours.

  22. Dhanush said,

    March 20, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Happy Easter Alexis

  23. Deepa said,

    March 20, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Totally, completely agree with the poet RLS.

    Nice to see you post after such a gap and hope the break was restful. Also since it is lent, I remember something I heard many many years ago but which stayed in my head, about the significance of the season and I mention it as it seems related to the topic here too ;

    L-eave E-very N-egative T-hought.

    Happy Easter to you and all loved ones.

  24. Jaguu.. said,

    March 21, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Dear Alexis,

    It has been a long time since I have been in touch with you. 🙂 Coming to grips with married life and questions galore :). Just saw the article about you in “Vanitha”. Been a long time since i even went to my blog site..have to revive it.Hope you are keeping well.

  25. venus said,

    March 22, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Good to see you back! In fact, I came to your blog to leave a comment hoping everything was fine with you, and found this surprise 🙂

    I believe that no one or no circumstance makes us happy. we choose to be happy or sad.

  26. Nikhil said,

    March 22, 2008 at 3:28 am

    Frankly saying this is my first experience with a blog and my first ever post.Recently my wife gave me an article about you. After reading that I couldnt wait anymore to know more about you. Thanks to my wife for introducing me to a person like you.


  27. Alexis Leon said,

    March 22, 2008 at 4:47 am

    muneera: Thank you muneera. I am planning to branch into fiction, but it will take some time as I have certain commitments and projects that have to be finished before I can do that. Thank you for your wishes and may God bless you and your family too.

    Raghav: Thanks buddy.

    Ruble: Thank you Ruble. Glad that you liked the post. Best wishes.

    madhu: Hi Madhu, Your definition of HAPPY is great.

    anu: Thanks anu.

    neermathalam: Thanks buddy. I completely agree with you.

    Dhanush: 🙂

    ananya: I wish you all the very best.

    AlAmeen: Good man. Keep it that way…

    Geo: Thanks buddy. Hope you are fine.

    Deepa: “Leave Every Negative Thought”— that is a nice one.

    Jaguu: I wish you a wonderful time and answers to the questions 🙂

    venus: Thanks venus. Yes, you are right; we do choose to be happy or sad.

    Nikhil: Welcome to my blog. Glad to know that you liked it.

  28. sandeep said,

    March 23, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Alexis, Nice to see you back…

  29. Suji said,

    March 24, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Good to see you back Alexis. I have also not been very regular in checking blogs, but whenever I checked used to see good old Santa here. A very nice first post for the year. How true that your happiness is in your hands….you have to decide to be happy only then will you be happy. Keep blogging. Take care.

  30. anu said,

    March 27, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    very true.. but we have to keep reminding ourselves these things..

  31. Anto Mathew said,

    March 28, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Today I read your profile in Malayala Manorama and it’s really inspiring. Good to know that you have overcome the physical challenges through the intellectual capabilities. Seldom people do this. You have lighted the minds of many people with positive thoughts. Good luck, Good things to come.

  32. suchita said,

    March 29, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    so nice to see u again , i was waiting for ur blogs. and used to check any additions and found none. . today i just checked and found ur new blog. felt so happy. wish u happiness and peace . suchita.

  33. Nikhil Narayanan said,

    March 30, 2008 at 12:05 am

    Manoramayil vayichu 🙂
    Angane chumma oru comment ezhuthunnu…


    PS: I am an occasional visitor here. Have come here earlier too. Alla..Manorama kand vannathalla 🙂

  34. Anju said,

    March 30, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Life is not perfect! just when you think that everything is going fine, life gives you a shock to remind you that you should not take the good times for granted!

    You are tagged!!!! 🙂

  35. ankit said,

    March 30, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Dear Alexis Uncle,

    I was rarely happy, but reading your blog made my day 🙂

  36. Neetha said,

    April 1, 2008 at 1:03 am

    Nice post!…I got ur link from Neermathalam..and this post has made my day!

    I hav realised many time dat ponts 4 and 5 are the main reasons why I get upset! I try to please everyone…Thats my weakpoint..I like to be the good books of evryone! Bad…I know!! 🙂

    Anyways..nice to meet u…


  37. Poornima said,

    April 1, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Thanks a lot Alexis for sharing this good post. It is most useful for me as most of the times i am unhappy without any pointable reasons. I was visiting your blog thrice a day for new posts. From last one month i didn’t visited as i was busy with my work.
    I like your writing style.


  38. Kesi said,

    April 2, 2008 at 10:41 am

    you’ve been tagged…check out the tag when you get the time and see if its one you would like to take up…

  39. Quills said,

    April 2, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Lovely post! 🙂 I am taking a print out of it.

  40. Emmanuel said,

    April 2, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Please do the tag. Awaiting to read something “very” interesting. If you get time, please read my take on the same tag too 🙂

    Hope you are doing fine. Take care 🙂

  41. gayathri said,

    April 4, 2008 at 12:04 am

    Dear brother,
    I got your website from Reader’s digest. Dont worry be happy is the first thing i saw in your website. Its so nice. Thank you very much for sharing it with others.
    Have a nice week

  42. vikkas gupta said,

    April 4, 2008 at 12:58 am

    I am very inspired by reading about urself.I think u gave me a new way to think about myself.I m a final year engg student & read the ERP book which is in our course.I just started searching with ur name & I think i found what is required by me. THANX

  43. prika cade said,

    April 10, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    I am 15 and I live abroad.I have come to visit my family in india .After reading your article in reader’s digest , I switched on my pc.Your life story is extremely inspiring.I can and will never forget these lines-when God closes all doors,He opens a window.To be honest I was feeling depressed lately because of some personal problems but the article just incited in me the feeling to live happily again,to cherish every moment.Your strength and determination has made me more powerful.So thank you very much and keep writing books because they are really helpful.

  44. Sini said,

    April 11, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    Hi sir,
    This is for the very first time I do visit your blog. I have heard about you and your blog from vanitha.
    Now I understood that I am too late to know such a great man with god’s special blessing!!
    I haven’t ever read such a simple but touching advices to make ourself happy……..
    Your other posts are also brilliant sir…..really brilliant(Especially very attracting language)!!!!

    Wish u good luck for your future ventures sir…..

  45. Kusum Rohra said,

    April 15, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    It’s good that you are back in action 🙂 Since I personally know what a generous soul you are I definitely would vouch for you getting all the peace, happiness and success in this world 🙂 Amen.

  46. Sreejith Kumar said,

    April 16, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Great to see you back! And thanks for the post! 🙂

  47. Sathish Kanna said,

    April 18, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Hi Leon,
    I’ve studied your books without a faint knowledge that you’re an indian. Thought you’re an American or a Scandinavian guy. The credit goes to RD for introducing your true nationality. Gave immense pleasure when that reality hit me. I’m an avid reader of autobiographies of business magnates such as Lee Iacocca, Jack Welch- to name a few and the article on you was a succint version of your life so far. It was so inspiring that i read it every time the tides are low. I hope one day your autobiography would hit the stands and enlighten a million lives.
    All success in all endeavours.

  48. Alexis Leon said,

    April 20, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    sandeep: Thanks Sandeep

    Suji: Thanks Suji.

    anu: I completely agree with you.

    Anto Mathew: Thanks Anto. Good luck and best wishes to you too.

    suchita: Thanks for the wishes.

    Nikhil Narayanan: Thanks buddy.

    Anju: Very true. Will do the tag soon.

    ankit: Thanks Ankit. I wish you all the very best in life.

    Neetha: Thanks Neetha.

    Poornima: Thanks. I am glad that you liked my blog.

    Kesi: Have already been tagged. Will do it soon.

    Quills: Thanks Quills.

    Emmanuel: Read your tag. Good take.

    gayathri: You are welcome. Have a great 2008!

    vikkas gupta: Thanks Vikas. Glad that you liked the post.

    prika cade: Thanks Prika. Wish you all the best in life and a great year ahead.

    Sini: Thanks Sini. And good luck to you too.

    Kusum: Long time no see. Nice to see you.

    Sreejith Kumar: Thanks buddy.

    Sathish Kanna: Thanks Sathish. Thanks for the wishes. I wish you the same.