The secrets to a happy life


Could a mere car ever bring you happiness? Quite possibly so, but only for a couple of years at best. Otherwise, no one would ever trade an existing car in for a new one.

Lasting happiness is not something to be found in a material good, of course. It has more to do with a way of living, and of creating the conditions in which it can flourish. 

While the Toyota Harrier Turbo is a sleek-looking car, however, it also embodies some valuable lessons in finding joy in life — if you know how to look.

Build up your energy, but conserve it

Youthful energy is something society prizes and celebrates, but living life in maximum attack mode is a recipe for exhaustion, not happiness.

Instead, energy is a well to be drawn from, and conversely, the more of it you have, the less effort it seems to take to use it.

The Toyota Harrier’s turbocharged engine produces 227 horsepower and 350 Newton-metres of pulling power, which gives it plenty of energy — not so that the driver can charge along at top speed all the time, but to make every drive feel effortless and refined.

At the same time, the deep reserves of power make it easy for the Harrier driver to zip into gaps when traffic is heavy, or to pull off a quick overtaking manoeuvre.

While turbo engines are usually associated with excitement, the Harrier shows that they can be used to bring a sense of ease and calm to a driving experience too. 

In a similar way, regular exercise is highly correlated with increased happiness. That’s because a tired body is the home of a tired soul.

Communication is vital

The made-for-Singapore Harrier sold only by Borneo Motors may be assembled in Japan, but all of its controls and functions are displayed in English. And so is the owner’s manual. In a car, that’s a vital way to fully and properly utilise all the features it comes with — including all-important safety items.

But on philosophical level, the English-ready Harrier shows how important communication can be — just as it enables you to get the best from the Harrier, proper communication is also essential when it comes to nurturing a relationship.

Someone who speaks a language you can’t understand is only ever going to be a stranger to you, and you probably wouldn’t set up home with them. By the same token, why have a stranger in your carpark?

Establish a support network

Had a bad day at work? The cure is to have someone lend a sympathetic ear, which is one simple example of how having a support network can do wonders for your mental health. It’s easy to see why happiness is highly correlated with the breadth and strength of our connections to other people, and the Toyota Harrier demonstrates this principle, too.

When you purchase one from Borneo Motors, it comes with an army of technicians and aftersales professionals who are all dedicated to ensuring that it runs perfectly. It also comes with a ready supply of parts, and one of the best warranties in the business: five years, or seven years for the Luxury variant.

Although customer surveys routinely show Toyotas to be some of the most reliable cars in existence, life itself is unpredictable, which is where a support network can help.

Share with others

Sharing is probably built into our species (cooperative cavemen probably stood a better chance of passing their genes on than selfish ones), which could be why it makes us feel warm and fuzzy — whether it’s a meal, a windfall or simply a joke we happen to be sharing.

The Toyota Harrier embodies this with, well, its body. It has room for the family, with rear seats that recline to provide a more relaxing ride than most other cars do. It’s wide enough in the back for three adults, so children are bound to be comfortable there, even as they grow with time.

Having space for the family also entails a large boot, which the Harrier has too, although it does one better by having an expandable cargo area and a wide opening.

Still, the real lesson the Harrier’s roomy body teaches us is that it’s important to make room for others in your life.

Comfort is about calmness, not decadence

We all seek physical comfort, which is why it’s easy to appreciate the Toyota Harrier’s refinement. The powerful air-conditioning system creates the perfect micro-climate in the cabin, and the way the controls are so easy to use ensures that it’s never stressful to operate them. 

The silent way it moves around adds to the restful environment, and if only life’s bumps were tackled the same way the car’s suspension soaks up road imperfections.

Of course, being at ease in the physical sense doesn’t create happiness by itself, but it provides the ideal setting for a sense of well-being to blossom. A body that feels comfortable provides a restful home for the mind.

Happiness is internal

We often spend our lives in pursuit of things that are external: the approval of others, the buzz of constant stimulation, the accumulation of objects, and the worship of symbols of luxury. But that is a chase with no end and it’s a good way to build a life in which mind, body and soul are utterly exhausted.

The Harrier shows us another way. The Toyota badge on the car symbolises worthwhile attributes to aspire to — dependability and a dedication to quality — instead of standing for an empty notion of prestige. To drive one is to understand that contentment is more healthy than comparison, and that personal satisfaction is more valid than peer approval.

It may just be a car in the end, but the Toyota Harrier does reveal in many ways how lasting happiness doesn’t have to be pursued. Instead, it only needs the right conditions to let it take root and grow.

This article is brought to you by Borneo Motors Singapore.