Chirawat Siribamrungsuk

Village Director SOS Children's Villages in Thailand
photo: © 2018 Stefan Lechner Photography

Happiness. Happiness is the reason to live

In my everyday life, I feel the flow with everything. Every day is filled with happiness and I am thankful. What a perfect life! How can I do that? What is the key to happiness in times of pressure?

Pressure in the job environment
I work with SOS Children's Village Phuket as a village director. At the beginning I was very happy and excited. I aimed to use my full ability to raise the children and support the mothers. I worked hard. I sacrificed myself for both my family and SOS families. I expected everything to go well. However, I was wrong. Life was not that easy! I had very little experience. For the first 2-3 years I was unable to meet people's expectations. Nothing seemed to satisfy anyone. Many problems made me too stressed. I began to feel down and depressed. I became moody and aggressive. I started to yell at my wife and my son. Our family became unstable. My health was suffering. I often had a cold or headache and I was tired… I was burned out! I was not happy anymore. Finally, I felt I had had enough and decided to quit.

Before I resigned, we were visited by Ms. Avon, the first village director of Thailand. We had some helpful conversations, and she asked me to promise that I would not leave the children! Of course I agreed with her but what was I to do? I decided not to quit and to stay on as village director.

Finding yourself through individual learning
I then started to learn more by myself, I learned what university had not taught me. I read books, listened to audiobooks. I learned so many things about my work. Moreover, one day, I decided to consult a psychologist. From my learning and therapy, I finally found an answer: it is a peaceful mind. Actually, I had learnt many things and known many people, but I had never got to know my own mind!

As the proverb by King Solomon goes: guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

I realised that the key is to dig deep into my own mind, to observe it and see what is actually happening in my mind at this moment, whether there is happiness, peace, anger or worry. It is important to notice negative emotions quickly and get rid of them as soon as possible. In this way, whether the situation is good or bad, I am ready for it! I have no need of people or a situation to make me happy. I am happy because I am happy!

I worked intensively on this way of looking at reality and I do not mean that I have already succeeded. However, every day has lessons to learn, and every day I need to consciously consider everything. As I write this now… I am telling myself too! I need to practice every day, in every real situation.

I have five things for my mind practices every day:

  1. Meditation - Meditation makes me calm and peaceful.
  2. A thankful and grateful mindset - Believe that everything that happens today, good or bad, will lead to a good result in the future. 
  3. Enough deep sleep and time to relax.
  4. Accept the reality (especially the reality of people) and respond with positive thinking and actions. 
  5. Happy without a reason - Sometimes in a bad situation and facing a difficult problem, I just give a simple smile to myself in the mirror!

I will never stop learning and sharing my knowledge with my co-workers, and I've tried to make an opportunity to teach happiness to children as a life skill: if they have the skill of happiness, success is not too far for them!!!

Chirawat Siribamrungsuk (Art)

is village director of the SOS Children’s Village Phuket in Thailand

His passion is to support each child in their development. He focuses on “ETHICS”, as ethics are not only about religion, but also about life. He strives to improve himself by learning and passing on his knowledge to co-workers and children.

He was born and grew up in the peaceful city of Chiangmai. He grew up in a very small family with his mother and a younger brother. Life changed when his mother passed away. When he came to SOS CV Phuket he recognised that working as a village director is more than a job, it is life.

In his spare time, Art reads books or listens to audio books. Knowledge for him is like the glue that brings everything together. Art comes from Thailand… the land of the smile! People from all around the world come to visit the beautiful country and islands.

Video Harvesting Workshop 2018