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The Atlas of Happiness: The Global Secrets of How To Be Happy

Helen Russell is a journalist and bestselling author. Formerly editor of marieclaire.co.uk, she now lives in Denmark and works as a Scandinavia correspondent for The Guardian. The extract below is taken from her latest bestselling title The Atlas of Happiness, a round-the-world trip through 33 international concepts of how to be happy.

When things are ticking along well, there’s very little to report. Negativity means that, as human beings, we experience ‘bad’ events more intensely than we do the ‘good’ – and we also remember them more. But that doesn’t mean that ‘bad’ is all there is. We have to work to consciously to remember the ‘good’ and remain hopeful – or we can’t make things better.

There are people all around the world finding happiness every day, both in countries that top the global happiness surveys and in those that don’t. By learning about them we can find more ways to be happy ourselves and help each other.

When things are ticking along well, there’s very little to report. Negativity means that, as human beings, we experience ‘bad’ events more intensely than we do the ‘good'.

India - Jugaad

Jugaad (pronounced ‘juu-gard’), noun or verb, a colloquial Hindi term used to mean frugal innovation, a ‘hack’, or an attitude and commitment to getting things done – no matter how. Named after the trucks cobbled together from parts of old army jeeps discarded in the 1950s, jugaad has come to represent improvisational ingenuity and resourcefulness. A distinctively Indian philosophy to make the best of what you’ve got.

Jugaad – or the Indian spirit of improvisation, ingenuity and resourcefulness – means finding a quick fix and doing whatever is in your capacity to reach your goal. ‘it might not be perfect but you’ll get there,’ says Fatema. and it’s a way of life in India. ‘jugaad is about making things happen instead of just sitting and waiting for the ideal situation or conditions; it decrees that you’ll do your best to ensure a positive outcome.’

How to Jugaad it

1. Do more with less. If life gives you a coconut branch. Whittle your own cricket bat.

2. Things not going to plan A? Try plan B. Never brood. Never sulk. One of the greatest lessons for a happy life that any one of us can ever hope to master.

3. Imagine what would happen if you just said 'yes' more. Don't know how to do a thing? I bet you know someone who can. Disregard imposter syndrome, dismiss the fear, and do the thing anyway.