To find happiness, you have to know where to look

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 September, 2008, 12:00am

Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Carina Lau Ka-ling recently married in a country that measures its gross national happiness. Considering how down the world economy is, isn't it time we followed Bhutan's barometer and judged success by happiness? Shveitta Sethi thinks so. The former Cathay Pacific flight attendant turned life coach is hosting a networking talk tonight for the Women in Publishing Society on the topic of attaining happiness. According to the former depressive, happiness isn't a mood that just happens, you have to practise it.

'I thought I had a great life, making a lot of money, but I wasn't happy,' Ms Sethi said. 'I used to think while I was in my car 'why can't somebody hit me from behind'. I didn't want to live anymore.'

Then a relative suffered a stroke. Ironically, the tragedy gave Ms Sethi an epiphany. 'You have to start looking out on the bright side of things. If you don't look for happiness purposely, you will never find it. If you start saying, 'yes, that does make me happy,' eventually your brain will start thinking it. When you're happy, you have more energy and that attracts even more positive energy.'

She is quick to confess she's not one of those chirpy, cheerful rays of sunshine. She has bad days and gets upset like anyone. Happiness is just a skill and habit she has learned. 'Hong Kong people have access to everything but the more you have, the more you want. That's why I think there is a lot of depression here.' Her talk is at 6.30pm tonight at the Foreign Correspondents' Club. It's HK$100 for WIPS members and HK$200 for non-members.