The Power of “Hello”

Little acts of kindness can make a world of a difference to people.

Throughout our lives, every day, people experience a range of emotions. Some days we are happy, some days we are excited, some others we are just content or peaceful. At times, we may experience a wave of emotions at a given time – which are usually a result of either external factors (people, work, school, etc) or a reflection of our physical-mental balance.

Likewise, we may sometimes experience emotions that are more difficult or negative in nature. We may feel anger, frustration, boredom, or simply indifference towards our daily routines. It is perfectly normal to experience a wave of emotions because, at the end of the day, those emotions are part of what make us human.

When we start our day, as we start interacting with people, it is sometimes difficult to determine what kind of mood they are experiencing – and sometimes, it is very easy to tell.

What can we do when we know that a person is experiencing difficult emotions? Is having, for example, a difficult day full with anxiousness?

I believe in what I call “the power of hello”, which means the power and significance that a greeting can convey onto a person, especially when they are experiencing negative or tough times. By saying hello to someone, we acknowledge their presence in our surroundings and break the ice. It is also a way to demonstrate our respect and goodwill towards them.

The effects that a simple greeting can have in a person, particularly one experiencing a difficult day, is almost magical. It can indeed make someone’s day better, and it can open our doors to bonding better relationships with our fellow humans And all it takes, is only to say the magical word to someone “hello”.

We all have the power to convey positivity onto people’s lives, and it starts by doing very little and often overlooked acts of kindness – like a simple greeting.



Pleasure vs. Happiness: Where to look for true happiness?

In our current, modern way of life, we are sometimes convinced (by the media, or by behaviours of other people) that happiness is correlative to success, and success is correlative to economic wealth. In other words, the wealthier we are, the more successful we are – hence the happier we are. If this equation was true, then devouting our lives to work and consumerism would lead to a happy and perfect life.

But this equation could not be farther away from reality. In our pursuit of happiness, it is important that we make a clear distinction between happiness and pleasure. Whereas there might be some fringe relation between the two, pleasure tends to be more of an ephemeral -and misguiding- sensation.

Let’s take the example of a person who buys a luxurious car.  As soon as they drive out of the car dealership, they will for sure feel a rush of adrenaline and a sense of pride and achievement running through their veins. At the end of the day, the luxurious car is a result of their hard work, more like a reward for their efforts. Will that feeling last forever? Unlikely. How long will it take, then, until the adrenaline and pride rushes wash off? Once that happens, this person will feel the need to reward themselves again. Maybe next time they’ll be treating themselves to an expensive dinner with champagne and caviar?

What this person obtained by buying the expensive car was pleasure: A momentary sensation, produced by external stimuli. Indeed, the car is not a source of happiness. In fact, neither the car nor any material possession can ever be considered as a potential source of pleasure because happiness is a state of mind. As such, happiness comes from within, and has the potential to outlast the effects of any pleasure.

Happiness is all about finding the goodness within ourselves, and absorbing the positive energy of our surroundings. To achieve happiness, you should not aim to satisfy your need to be happy with the pleasure from possessing material wealth. Look into your body, mind and soul first, and find out the necessary balance that will open the gates to happiness. In the words of Paramhansa Yogananda, “You must first establish it firmly within yourself and then, with an undying resolution always to be happy, go through the world seeking health, prosperity, and wisdom. You will find greater happiness if you seek success ever with a happy attitude than if you try to gain your heart’s desire with an unhappy mind, no matter what that desire may be.

Mens Sana in Corpore Sano – Exercise and what?

The Romans wisely coined the phrase “Mens Sana in Corpore Sano”, which roughly translates as “Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body”.

The very base of this thought is not only that by doing exercise, our mind will stay clear of “noise” that allow us to ascertain our world in the most transparent way. Very deep inside, the very message that this phrase conveys is that a balanced life keeps our Mind and Body clear. Indeed, we must pay equal attention to our body and mind to achieve a plentiful Physical Existence. How so?

Vitruvian Man

Let’s start by speaking about the healthy Body. As science has correctly taught us, a healthy Body requires exercise, balanced nutrition, hygiene and regular examinations to make sure that it is always at its peak performance rate. If we only did this, would we automatically know that this healthy Body contains a healthy Mind?

Probably not per se. Despite of the fact that a healthy body provides an ideal environment for a healthy Mind to exist, there is also some maintenance that must be done to the Mind – and such maintenance comes in the shape of relaxation, meditation, and exercising the mind (i.e. thinking!), along with recreational activities and an adequate management of stress.

Being so, Without a healthy Mind, we cannot have a healthy body. Without a healthy Body, we cannot have a healthy Mind. Only achieving a healthy Body does not grant us a healthy Mind, nor vice versa. Life is all about balances – and this famous Roman saying is just a timeless reminder of that for all generations that were, are, and will be.