Advertisement

Happiness at Work with Contentment: Enriching Workplace Well-Being Through Ancient Wisdom

  • Nidhi KaushalEmail author
Living reference work entry

Abstract

Happiness is a contented state of emotions in life. This chapter explains a wonderful and well-known aspect of happiness. Contentment reflects not only happiness but also internal happiness. It empowers a man to be happy at all stages and reinforces human private life. Even in ancient literature, contentment has been associated with ecstasy, and all of them have been insisting on being content only. It praises human beings to be happy even during various events. It also acts as a guide but requires constant practice and positive meditation. It comes from the churning of the self which is called svāydhyāya. It will also enrich the aspects of psychology and give a new direction to the field of self-management himself. The purpose of this chapter is to present the framework of happiness (Ānanda), which is based on the theoretical aspect of contentment given in eminent ancient Indian texts – Vedas, Upanishads, and Yoga Sutras of Patañjali – and this ancient yet novel model describes a balanced path to happiness. The proposed context indicates “contentment” (santosha) as a primary originator of happiness. These texts advocate the practice of yamas and niyamas for developing and maintaining happiness and well-being at work. It not only offers insights on realizing integrated well-being, happiness, and contentment ethically but also prolongs a new outlook in the realm of happiness literature, which could enhance further research consequently and substantiate “well-being” concepts of modern times. There remains a new prospect of research always available in the field of happiness and contentment in spite of plentiful literature available on the concept of happiness.

Keywords

Ānanda Contentment Happiness Psychology Svāydhyāya Upanishads Vedas Virtue Well-being Workplace Yamas and Niyamas Yoga 

References

  1. Achor S (2011) The happiness advantage: the seven principles of positive psychology that fuel success and performance at work. Random House, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Achor S (2013) Before happiness: five actionable strategies to create a positive path to success. Random House, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Alexandrova A (2017) A philosophy for the science of well-being. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Allen J (2009) Mind is the master: the complete James Allen treasury. Penguin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Anand P (2016) Happiness explained: what human flourishing is and what we can do to promote it. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  6. Annas J (1995) The morality of happiness. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UKCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Annas J (2011) Intelligent virtue. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UKCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Argyle M (2013) The psychology of happiness. Routledge, AbingdonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Arrowsmith A, D’Oyly G, Mant R, Hall S, Moses H, Cooke G (1823) pt. 1. Psalms to Maccabees. Society at the University Press, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  10. Ashe S (2012) Showing the nature of contentment. In: McMahon CM, McMahon TB (eds) A treatise on divine contentment. Puritan Publications, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  11. Barclay W (1968) The supreme blessedness. The Gospel of Matthew. Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, p 103Google Scholar
  12. Beaver J (1820) Grounds of contentment, religious, moral, and political, a sermon, vol 14. Oxford University, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  13. Berry A (2010) Institutions, organizations and well-being. In: Steedman I, Atherton JR, Graham E (eds) The practices of happiness: political economy, religion and well-being. Routledge, Abingdon, p 141Google Scholar
  14. Bharati SV, Patañjali (2001) Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: with the exposition of Vyasa. Motilal Banarsidass Publications, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  15. Bhatta CP (2009) Holistic personality development through education: ancient Indian cultural. J Hum Values 15(1):49–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bhattacharyya S (1970) Summary of works Pātañjala Yoga traditions. In: Potter KH, Bhattacharya RS, Larson GJ (eds) The encyclopedia of Indian philosophies: Yoga: India’s philosophy of meditation. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  17. Bhattacharyya A (2006) Hindu Dharma: introduction to scriptures and theology. iUniverse, LincolnGoogle Scholar
  18. Boniwell I (2012) Positive psychology in a nutshell: the science of happiness. McGraw-Hill Education (UK), LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Brenner C (1980) A psychoanalytic theory of affects. In: Plutchik R, Kellerman H (eds) Theories of emotion. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. Brock AC (2013) The history of introspection revisited. In: Clegg JW (ed) Self-observation in the social sciences. Transaction Publishers, PiscatawayGoogle Scholar
  21. Carr A (2011) Positive psychology: the science of happiness and human strengths. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  22. Cascio WF (2010) The changing world of work. In: Linley PA, Harrington S, Garcea N, Page N (eds) Oxford handbook of positive psychology and work. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  23. Chapelle D (2003) The soul in everyday life. SUNY Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  24. Clarke D (2003) Descartes’s theory of mind. OUP Oxford, Oxford, UKCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Cogan T (1810) An ethical treatise on the passions: founded on the principles investigated in a philosophical treatise. J. Binns, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  26. Cooper TC, Theobald T (2011) Doing the right thing: the importance of well-being in the workplace. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  27. Corrigan M (2010) Your quest for a spiritual life: based on the Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. John Hunt Publishing, LondonGoogle Scholar
  28. Davidson J (1749) An essay on contentment. By a gentleman of Glasgow. The British Library, LondonGoogle Scholar
  29. Deci EL (2012) Intrinsic motivation. Springer Science & Business Media, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  30. Dempsey B (2015) The psychology of happiness: the science behind happiness and how to increase it. Booktango, BloomingtonGoogle Scholar
  31. Derne S (2016) Sociology of well-being: lessons from India. SAGE Publications India, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  32. Descartes R (1649) The passions of the soul. Chez Henry Le Gras, ParisGoogle Scholar
  33. Deussen P, Geden AS (1999) The philosophy of the Upanishads. Motilal Banarsidass Publications, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  34. Devanand GK (2008) Teaching of Yoga. APH Publishing, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  35. Diener E, Diener RB (2011) Happiness: unlocking the mysteries of psychological wealth. Wiley, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  36. Diener E, Lucas RE (1999) Personality and subjective well-being. In: Kahneman D, Diener E, Schwarz N (eds) Well-being: foundations of hedonic psychology. Russell Sage Foundation, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  37. Diener E, Suh EM (1999) Personality and subjective well-being. In: Kahneman D, Diener E, Schwarz N (eds) Well-being: foundations of hedonic psychology. Russell Sage Foundation, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  38. Diener E, Larsen RJ, Levine S, Emmons RA (1985) Intensity and frequency: dimensions underlying positive and negative affect. J Pers Soc Psychol 48(5):1253–1265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Dutt AK (2009) Happiness, economics and politics: towards a multi-disciplinary approach. Edward Elgar Publishing, CheltenhamCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Dutt AK, Radcliff B (2009) Happiness, economics and politics. In: Dutt AK, Radcliff B (eds) Happiness, economics and politics: towards a multi-disciplinary approach. Edward Elgar Publishing, CheltenhamCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Easwaran E (2010) The Upanishads: the classics of Indian spirituality. ReadHowYouWant.com, SydneyGoogle Scholar
  42. Emmons RA (2004) The psychology of gratitude. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UKCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Eysenck MW (2004) Psychology: an international perspective. Taylor & Francis, AbingdonGoogle Scholar
  44. Fisher CD (2014) Conceptualizing and measuring well-being at work. In: Chen PY, Cooper C (eds) Well-being: a complete reference guide, work and well-being. Wiley, West SussexGoogle Scholar
  45. Gao Y, Edelman S (2016) Between pleasure and contentment: evolutionary dynamics of some possible parameters of happiness. PLoS One 11(5):1–24Google Scholar
  46. Gates R, Kenison K (2010) Meditations from the mat: daily reflections on the path of Yoga. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  47. Gewirth A (2009) Self-fulfillment. Princeton University Press, PrincetonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Gibbs P (2012) Contentment and education. J East-West Thought 6(2):23–34Google Scholar
  49. Gibbs P (2017) Why Universities should seek happiness and contentment. Bloomsbury Publishing, LondonGoogle Scholar
  50. Gotise P, Upadhyay BK (2018) Happiness from ancient Indian perspective: Hitopadeśa. J Happiness Stud 19(3):863–879CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Graham B (2011) The secret of happiness. Thomas Nelson, NashvilleGoogle Scholar
  52. Graham CL (2012) The pursuit of happiness: an economy of well-being. Brookings Institution Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  53. Haidt J (2006) The happiness hypothesis: finding modern truth in ancient wisdom. Hachette, LondonGoogle Scholar
  54. Harpham EJ (2004) Gratitude in the history of ideas. In: Emmons RA, McCullough ME (eds) The psychology of gratitude. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  55. Hartmann N (2003) The Nobel. Moral values. Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, p 192Google Scholar
  56. Hartmann N (2004) Ethics, vol 2. Psychology Press, North NaplesGoogle Scholar
  57. Hartmann N (2014) Ethics, vol 2. Routledge, AbingdonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Hartranft C (2003) The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali: a new translation with commentary. Shambhala Publications, BostonGoogle Scholar
  59. Haybron DM (2013) Happiness: a very short introduction. OUP Oxford, Oxford, UKCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Hejmadi A (2013) The GRID study in India. In: Fontaine JRJ, Scherer KR, Soriano C (eds) Components of emotional meaning: a sourcebook. OUP Oxford, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  61. Hirata J (2011) Happiness, ethics and economics. Taylor & Francis, AbingdonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Holden R (2011) Happiness now!: timeless wisdom for feeling good fast. Hay House, Inc., CarlsbadGoogle Scholar
  63. Holdrege BA (2012) Veda and Torah: transcending the textuality of scripture. SUNY Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  64. Hsieh T (2010) Delivering happiness: a path to profits, passion, and purpose. Hachette, LondonGoogle Scholar
  65. Hubbard LFR (1986) The way to happiness. The Way to Happiness Foundation International, GlendaleGoogle Scholar
  66. Iyengar BKS (2000) Astadala Yogamala volume-1. Allied Publishers, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  67. Iyengar BKS (2012) Patañjali. In: Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. HarperCollins, New York, p 1Google Scholar
  68. Jakubczack M (2004) Living liberation (jivan-mukti) in Samkhya and Yoga. In: Balcerowicz P, Mejor M (eds) Essays in Indian philosophy, religion and literature. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  69. James M (2012) Happiness and the art of being: an introduction to the philosophy and practice of the spiritual teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana. Michael D A James, CreateSpace, CharlestonGoogle Scholar
  70. Jankovic JF, Dittmar H (2006) The componential nature of materialistic values and subjective well-being: a comparison of students in Croatia, Germany, and the UK. In: Fave AD (ed) Dimensions of well-being: research and intervention. FrancoAngeli, MilanGoogle Scholar
  71. Johnson RA, Ruhl JM (2009) Contentment: a way to true happiness. Harper Collins, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  72. Johnston C (1999) The crest-jewel of wisdom and other writings of Sankaracharya. Theosophical University Press, CovinaGoogle Scholar
  73. Joy R (2010) Contentment through strength. A journey toward contentment. WestBow Press, Bloomington, p 2Google Scholar
  74. Kahneman D (1999) Objective happiness. In: Kahneman D, Diener E, Schwarz N (eds) Well-being: foundations of hedonic psychology. Russell Sage Foundation, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  75. Kahneman D, Diener E, Schwarz N (1999) Preface. In: Kahneman D, Diener E, Schwarz N (eds) Well-being: foundations of hedonic psychology. Russell Sage Foundation, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  76. Keltner D (2009) Born to be good: the science of a meaningful life. W. W. Norton & Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  77. Klein S (2006) The science of happiness: how our brains make us happy and what we can do to get happier. Scribe Publications, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  78. Kraftsow G (2002) Yoga for transformation: ancient teachings and practices for healing the body, mind, and heart. Penguin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  79. Kumar SK (2002) Psychology of meditation: a contextual approach. Concept Publishing Company, DelhiGoogle Scholar
  80. Kuzmiak M (2017) Yoga circles. Lulu.com, MorrisvilleGoogle Scholar
  81. Lama D, Cutler HC (1999) The art of happiness: a handbook for living. Hachette, LondonGoogle Scholar
  82. Larsen RJ, Eid M (2008) Ed Diener and the science of subjective well-being. In: Eid M, Larsen RJ (eds) The science of subjective well-being. Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  83. Linley PA, Harrington S, Garcea N (2010) Finding the positive in the world of work. In: Linley PA, Harrington S, Garcea N, Page N (eds) Oxford handbook of positive psychology and work. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  84. MacArthur J (1998) The only way to happiness: the beatitudes. Moody Publishers, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  85. Madhura S (2015) Concept of contentment in various literatures. Int J Yoga – Philos Psychol Parapsychol 3(1):14–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Madzongwe TG (2012) Sun-baked love. Author House, BloomingtonGoogle Scholar
  87. Maehle G (2011) Ashtanga Yoga: practice and philosophy. New World Library, NovatoGoogle Scholar
  88. Marden OS (1917) How to get what you want. Thomas Y. Crowell Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  89. Markel G, Madvin G (2012) Finding happiness with Aristotle as your guide: action strategies based on 10 timeless ideas. iUniverse, BloomingtonGoogle Scholar
  90. Martin MW (2007) Happiness and virtue in positive psychology. J Theory Soc Behav 37(1):89–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. McKenzie J (2016) Happiness vs contentment? A case for a sociology of the good life. J Theory Soc Behav 46(3):252–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Mehta R (1970) The call of the Upanishads. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  93. Miller BS (2009) Yoga: discipline of freedom: the Yoga Sutra attributed to Patanjali. Random House Publishing Group, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  94. Misra M (2015) Patanjali Yoga Sutra in English rhyme. Osmora Incorporated, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  95. Mogilner C, Aaker J, Kamvar S (2011) How happiness affects choice. J Consum Res 39:429–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Mohanty JN (2000) Classical Indian philosophy: an introductory text. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, LanhamGoogle Scholar
  97. Moorthy CS (2011) Gleanings from Rig Veda – when science was religion. AuthorHouse, BloomingtonGoogle Scholar
  98. Muni SR (2001) Yoga: the ultimate spiritual path. Llewellyn Worldwide, St. PaulGoogle Scholar
  99. Nelson T (2004) Cultivating contentment. Thomas Nelson, NashvilleGoogle Scholar
  100. Norton BM (2012) Fiction and the philosophy of happiness: ethical inquiries in the age of enlightenment. Bucknell University Press, LewisburgGoogle Scholar
  101. Patañjali, Baba B (1976) The Yogasutra of Patanjali: with commentary of Vyasa. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  102. Patañjali, Bharati SW (2001) Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: with the exposition of Vyasa. Motilal Banarsidass Publications, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  103. Patañjali, Stiles M (2001) On being absorbed in spirits. In: Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: with great respect and love. Weiser Books, Boston, p 10Google Scholar
  104. Patañjali, Verma V (1996) The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali: a scientific exposition with original Sanskrit text. Clarion Books, DelhiGoogle Scholar
  105. Patañjali, Āranya SH, Mukerji PN (1983) Yoga philosophy of Patanjali. SUNY Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  106. Pathak RP (2011) Philosophical and sociological principles of education. Pearson Education India, NoidaGoogle Scholar
  107. Pert CB (1997) Molecules of emotion: why you feel the way you feel. Simon and Schuster, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  108. Peterson C, Seligman MEP (2004) Character strengths and virtues: a handbook and classification. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  109. Power M (2015) Understanding happiness: a critical review of positive psychology. Routledge, AbingdonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  110. Prasad R (2012) Know the Upanishads: plus verses from the Vedas and the Bhagavad gita. V& S Publishers, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  111. Pryce-Jones J (2011) Happiness at work: maximizing your psychological capital for success. Wiley, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  112. Radhakrishnan S, Moore CA (1957) A source book in Indian philosophy. Princeton University Press, PrincetonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  113. Ramaswami S (2001) Yoga for the three stages of life: developing your practice as an art form, a physical therapy, and a guiding philosophy. Simon and Schuster, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  114. Ranganathan S (2008) Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. Penguin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  115. Rashid T (2011) Authentic Happiness. The encyclopedia of positive psychology. In: Lopez SJ (ed) Hoboken: WileyGoogle Scholar
  116. Raveh D (2012) Introduction. Exploring the Yogasutra: philosophy and translation. A&C Black, London, p 5Google Scholar
  117. Renshaw B (2011) The secrets of happiness. Random House, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  118. Robertson I, Cooper C (2011) Well-being: productivity and happiness at work. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  119. Rojas M, Veenhoven R (2011) Contentment and affect in the estimation of happiness. Soc Indic Res, Springer Science Business Media B.V., 110:1–25Google Scholar
  120. Russell B (1930a) Is happiness still possible. The conquest of happiness. George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London, p 157Google Scholar
  121. Russell B (1930b) The conquest of happiness. Liveright, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  122. Salagame KK (2003) An Indian conception of well-being. In: Henry J (ed) Proceedings of the British psychological society, volume 11, issue 2. The Society, LeicesterGoogle Scholar
  123. Seligman ME (2012) Flourish: a visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. Simon and Schuster, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  124. Sharma A (2004) Religion, philosophy and Advaita Vedānta. In: Sharma A (ed) Advaita Vedānta: an introduction. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, New Delhi, p 3Google Scholar
  125. Shearer A (2010) The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Random House, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  126. Singh S (2012) Indian perspective on happiness. Indian J Posit Psychol 3(4):452–454Google Scholar
  127. Singh A, Modi R (2010) Indian ancient thought and well-being (happiness). Shodh Sanchayan 2:1–4Google Scholar
  128. Sovatsky S (1998) Words from the soul: time, east/west spirituality, and psychotherapeutic narrative. SUNY Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  129. Sturgess S (2014) Yoga meditation: still your mind and awaken your inner spirit. Watkins Media Limited, LondonGoogle Scholar
  130. Subramanian VK (1996) The twelve-step plan of action. Holistic way to health, happiness and harmony. Abhinav Publications, New Delhi, p 4Google Scholar
  131. Subramanian VK (2001) Wondrous whispers of wisdom of ancient India. Abhinav Publications, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  132. Svātmārāma, Singh P (1975) The Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Library of Alexandria, AlexandriaGoogle Scholar
  133. Swenson R (2014) Contentment: the secret to a lasting calm. Tyndale House, Carol StreamGoogle Scholar
  134. Tamir M, Schwartz SH, Oishi S, Kim MY (2017) The secret to happiness: feeling good or feeling right? J Exp Psychol 146(10):1448–1459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  135. Tola F, Patañjali, Dragonetti C (1987) The yoga aphorisms of Patañjali. The Yogasūtras of Patañjali on concentration of mind. Motilal Banarsidass Publications, New Delhi, p 55Google Scholar
  136. Tummers N (2009) Teaching yoga for life: preparing children and teens for healthy, balanced living. Human Kinetics, ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  137. Ulrich D (2010) The abundant organization. In: Linley PA, Harrington S, Garcea N, Page N (eds) Oxford handbook of positive psychology and work. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  138. Veenhoven R (1984) Conditions of happiness. Springer Netherlands, HeidelbergCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  139. Veenhoven R (2008) The science of subjective well-being. Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  140. Veenhoven R (2009) Happiness, economics and politics: towards a multi-disciplinary approach. Edward Elgar Publishing, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  141. Veenhoven R (2013) How do we assess how happy we are? Tenets, implications and tenability of three theories. In: Dutt AK, Radcliff B (eds) Conditions of happiness. Springer Science & Business Media, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  142. Warder AK (1988) A course in Indian philosophy. Motilal Banarsidass Publications, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  143. Warr P (1999) Well-being and the workplace. In: Kahneman D, Diener E, Schwarz N (eds) Well-being: foundations of hedonic psychology. Russell Sage Foundation, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  144. Warr P (2011) Work, Happiness, and Unhappiness. London, United Kingdom: Psychology PressGoogle Scholar
  145. Wessman AE, Ricks DF (1966) Swallow, a moody man. Mood and personality. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, p 240Google Scholar
  146. Wilkinson K (2008) The happiness factor: how to be happy no matter what! BookPros, LLC, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  147. Yacobi BG (2015) Life and the pursuit of happiness. J Philos Life 5(2):82–90Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jagadhri WorkShopYamunanagarIndia

Personalised recommendations