I think anyone with the slightest knowledge in investments will ignore this article after just reading its headline. It’s one of the certainties in life that any form of investment could fail.
But let me explain this story to you.
One of the most important talk show hosts in the Arab world, Mr. Amr Adib, would not end his visit to us in Al Arabiya news network a few days ago without leaving “a public opinion matter” behind him.
I am not idiomatically referring to the episode in which Amr Adib participated in in the drama series Qadiyat Ra’y Am (A Matter of Public Opinion) but I literally mean his smart question to our quick-witted colleague Leen Shouman which intrigued me after that long, pleasant day with him and the Al Arabiya team.
The question seemed expected, not just from Amr Adib but from anyone who meets someone who works in the business department, as Leen does, and who has gained credibility and professionalism which everyone acknowledges.
The question was logical and professional, and I admit that I did not expect the question. What’s interesting though is that I did not pause for a moment from the astonishment of the answer which planted smiles and garnered admiration!
Adib surprised Leen with the direct question: “What do you advise me to invest in?”
She did not think twice and immediately said: “Invest in your happiness!”
This kind of answer does not leave you with an opportunity to resume the conversation. You take your share of words and another part lingers with you to think about, as you try to involve others so they can think about it too – like what I am doing now writing these lines.
Sometimes years pass by without one realizing what really makes him happy, let alone devise a plan to invest in itTurki Aldakhil
I hope Amr Adib does not precede me in talking about this to his wide audience, and I know that he has begun since that moment in doubling the investment in his happiness, and meanwhile, we, in Al Arabiya, do not expect Leen to take a vacation to publish her first book about investment in personal happiness.
Sometimes years pass by without one realizing what really makes him happy, let alone devise a plan to invest in it. But one can simply recall something he likes to do or things he is proud of having achieved or visit exhibitions he likes, and he is a new person all over again.
He can recall an old passion that never ceases. He can meet a friend talking with whom gives hours an entirely different meaning!
I personally admit an old joy that’s still in its youth and when I later realized throughout the years that it means a lot to me, I’ve become more persistent in pursuing it.
This joy is the acquisition of interesting headlines at book exhibitions. Sometimes I wish I can go back to be someone who can start a simple conversation with a publisher who only sold two books a day, a young man in high school whom the library seller pities and gives him a discount to encourage him to read.
Ecstasy of discovering
I may have invested more than I should in my happiness as I established a publishing house years ago and among all this, what remained is the ecstasy of discovering a great work among the piles of new publications.
I also admit that I do not resist calling a young writer whose book I liked before it’s printed and tell him that I wish he chooses a certain headline, while of course he has the right to name his work as he likes. And now I acknowledge what’s funny as I feel this incomprehensible joy when I steal time and write an article or write an introduction for a book using a pen – as I’m bored of writing on the computer.
Those who are very close to me know that I love poetry a lot, and I like to recite it even if for myself. When I really like a verse, I choose a pen which I am fond of and write the verses and gift them to a dear friend or keep them to myself because this really makes me happy. I consider this, even before Adib’s question to Shouman, an urgency to man’s happiness.
I am thinking now and I’ve been thinking since yesterday in investing in happiness. What can we plant today so it contributes to what’s hoped for tomorrow?
I do not precede Mohammed bin Rashid in anything as he has preceded us in investing in this, not just on the level of individuals as he has also launched a global alliance for happiness as his vision is far-sighted.
He confirms: “Investing in happiness is an investment in security and peace and in co-existence between peoples of the world. It is the enemy of hatred and extremism.” He even looks forward to establishing the international alliance for happiness in order to produce positive change in the world!
The path to happiness
Achieving a healthy morning routine seems like a real long-term investment in happiness. There is no beautiful morning without sound sleep and no real sleep without altruism and no altruism without patience and good habits, and all this cannot exist without real faith in the necessity of finding happiness for ourselves and for those around us as it’s every man’s right on earth.
A little smile is contagious and so is arriving happy to work or to a friend’s gathering. Those who surround themselves with happiness and people with good hearts will be safe and after all this they will be happy.
There is something that’s very important in enjoying small things as those who are not happy with small things will not be happy with big ones!
Invest in building yourself, raising your children and in connecting with those who sometimes do not expect this link. You can always take more than you give if you choose wisely and if you have fewer expectations.
And before I forget, always lower your expectations but raise the strength of your reasons so you don’t get angry at yourself if the ball backfires against you.
Anyway, all this does not mean that you have to be convinced of Leen’s answer to Amr Adib as her advice to you may be different, and we also do not know if having this investment in happiness has a certain age or date!
What’s important is to never predict the answers in a conversation between two media figures!
This article is also available in Arabic.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.