Thodi Si Unlearned Happiness

Be Whoever You Want Be

Around New Year’s Eve, there are 2 kinds of people. One who excitedly embrace and get swept in the New-Year-New-Me-Yay frenzy and the other who roll their eyes at the resolutions popping on their timelines because they know shit all will be achieved. By now I’ve been to enough ridiculously priced NYE events, wearing outfits I’d never wear again to know that at the strike of midnight…no Prince Charming appears to sweep you into a passionate kiss, that you still have to pay off your credit card balance that you ecstatically maxed out at Christmas and the sky is still black. (Blue. Happy, Science freak?)

Yet even the most hardcore of us cynics, can’t deny the hope that December 31st brings. The chance to wipe the slate clean and start over. Situations that seem doomed; in the twinkle of the holiday fairy lights, singing church choirs and colorful fireworks start looking winnable. Such is the magic of New Year’s Eve. A window of hope to new beginnings; a change.

One thing I constantly get asked in emails from readers and when I meet friends who read my blogs is ‘how do you make a choice to change?’ I laugh when people say to me that it’s easy for someone like me to make life-changing choices (like pack your bags and travel the world) because I’m not attached to a family so therefore that equates to no responsibility to spouse, children etc.or that I don’t have financial burdens like mortgages or debts to tie me down but for them it’s difficult.

So instead of the standard, how-the-year-was-for-me-recap blog post, dear reader – let me finish off this year by trying to answer your question – How do you make a choice to change?



You need to stop with the comparison. You and me and your friend with the new car are 3 different people. Our definitions, priorities, goals, goal posts are different so what makes me happy, wouldn’t necessarily make you.


Find what makes you happy. And no – don’t answer a lovo! Alan Watts asked a very simple question “If money was no object, what would you do?’ No matter how impractical the answer is, if that’s what makes you happy then that’s what you should be doing. Growing up in a country like Fiji, in a community like I did – happiness is considered like a reward. If you perform well or work hard, then happiness is your reward. And for most of my lifetime, that’s how I’ve approached and lived my life. That happiness is something we are entitled to everyday for just being us, is something I have just begun to learn. To quote Liz (yes me and her are bffs), “…Happiness is the consequence of personal effort.”

Read how I unlearnt to be happy here.


Once you’ve defined your happiness and what you’d rather be doing in your life, only then you can make a choice to change. You’d argue that it’s not as simple as this firstly, secondly, thirdly and I completely agree it’s not! But the moment your mind connects to exactly what your heart wants to do, there is no going back. Trust me. You will move mountains to achieve your dream. And I’m not being filmy at all. A man who doesn’t move like the wind towards his goals once he realizes them, then perhaps it’s not his. It won’t be easy but it will happen. Read how I moved my goal posts here.

The thing is it scares us. It scares us to be on the outside who we really are inside. Because to be an individual, there are no guidelines, no side rails of society’s confinement to grab onto. It’s a safe harbour to get in line and go through the process of school, job, marriage, mortgage, retirement. To step that line and to take a risk for change and to be who you really want to be because that’s where your ultimate happiness is, is then, a choice you have to make.

You know something I’ve learnt this year about change is that it’s continuously. It’s not a one-off thing. So if you take a step towards something and you decide you want to change again, well change! Be fickle. Be shallow. Change as many times as you want. Be whoever you want to be. Dare to finally be the person you’re inside your head!

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” –    Eric Roth

I’m signing off for 2015 with an amazingly beautiful song penned by Irshad Kamil from Imitaz Ali’s gorgeous new movie.

I wish you a bindass 2016 and the guts of a lioness to be whoever you want to be!

Shyamni. x

Feature Image: Todays Zamaan, Istanbul

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