Thousands of books have been written (and read) about happiness—what it is and how to achieve it. So, why are so many people still miserable? As a self-proclaimed Happiness Specialist, I feel compelled to answer that question.
This is a critical time in our global history. Just take a look at “reality” TV or the news, as examples, and something becomes obvious: Happiness is at an all-time low. More than ever before, the growing number of unhappy people is affecting our world in significant ways. Yes, unhappiness is the root cause of all human pain and suffering—a bold statement, I know, but nonetheless true. Is there a solution to this individual and global epidemic? I say absolutely yes – and I would like to offer evidence and solutions to the world’s happiness deficit.
When asked “Do you want to be happy?” most people reply with a resounding “Yes, of course! Who doesn’t want to be happy?” However, merely wanting to be happy is not enough. Why? Because creating more happiness in one’s life is similar to learning to play a musical instrument. It requires learning new skills, modernizing and changing old perspectives and beliefs, and, most importantly, ongoing daily practice. Warning: Creating lasting happiness is not an easy jog through the tulips.
Happiness is an emotion not fully understood by the majority of people in the world. I define happiness as an inner state of peace and contentment, regardless of what happens and regardless of what doesn’t happen.Is it possible to be happy, regardless of any circumstances? Again, I say yes. In my latest book, RealitySpirituality: The Truth About Happiness, I offer real-life examples of how to maintain happiness—yes, regardless of what happens or doesn’t. Can you imagine being happy if:
- You’ve been disinherited?
- You’re broke?
- A loved one dies?
I say that an individual can still be happy experiencing each of the above scenarios, with, of course, the right perspective. And guess what? Our perspectives are our choice! Know this. It is possible to be happy regardless of what life “throws” at you.
I would like to share a few examples of everyday situations that are not often discussed in prior happiness books. There is only one reason why people get angry; argue; are negative, resentful, jealous, impatient, complain, and hold grudges; why children bully other children; why parents hurt their children; why “road rage” happens; why people murder; why people try to control, blame, and judge others—the reason is, they’re unhappy. Unhappiness breeds wars and terrorism. Happy countries do not wage wars, and happy individuals do not commit acts of terrorism. Yes, those behaviors are obvious signs of unhappiness. Now that you know that, what are you going to do to make a change in your life that will be effective and long-lasting? Your path to genuine happiness is vital to our global community, now more than ever.
I have another succinct message, and that is to communicate how important it is to prioritize happiness over all other goals; above all other achievements. In fact, happiness is the achievement—the greatest achievement of all. I say it’s time mankind chooses happiness before choosing careers, before making goals (unless happiness is the goal.), before financial status, before family, and even before health. This is a radical message; however, when a person makes happiness their number-one priority, then all aspects of life will automatically improve. I guarantee it.
We’ve all experienced occasions of happiness, and some people experience happiness more than others. Is it possible to make happiness our primary emotional experience? Again, I say yes.
I enjoy dissecting happiness down to its least-common denominator to determine which common everyday behaviors actually subtract from our happiness. Did you know the following?
- All expectations subtract from happiness
- All attachments subtract from happiness
- All judgements subtract from happiness
- All labels subtract from happiness
- All comparisons subtract from happiness
- Living in the past or the future subtracts from happiness
Yes, the above mentioned behaviors literally subtract from happiness on a daily and moment-to-moment basis. Do you recognize practicing any of the above in your own life?
The Laws of the Universe and Happiness
Laws of the Universe work in conjunction with increasing and sustaining happiness. The Laws of the Universe are imperative and must be included in any conversation about the pursuit of happiness. Why? Because the Laws of the Universe are always in effect, regardless of whether we believe they are or not. Like gravity, these Laws do not require our agreement for us to experience their effects. And, the Laws of the Universe are, in fact, foundational building-blocks for obtaining lasting happiness.
One of the many reasons why I love the subject of happiness is because our circumstances do not need to change to create more happiness in our lives. You don’t have to do anything to be happier in the present moment. Why? Because, all happiness comes from within. There are 360 ways to be happy in any moment. If you are not happy in a moment, any moment, all you need to do is change your perspective. Remember, we do not have control over what happens to us, but we definitely have control over how we perceive and respond to what happens to us. And allow me empower you even further, happiness is your responsibility and no one else’s. Remember, when you raise your consciousness and self-awareness, you will also be able to raise your happiness level.
Why Is Happiness So Important?
Happiness is really all there is. Happiness is our ultimate reason for living. And as human beings, we all share the desire to be happy. The emotion of happiness, which includes a plethora of feelings such as contentment, peace, harmony, purpose, enjoyment, relaxation, love, acceptance, and the like, is really the ultimate human experience. When you think about it, the only reason we do anything while on this journey we call “life” is to maintain and enhance our happiness and the happiness of others. Can you think of a better gift to give or receive than true, lasting happiness? The significance of happiness has always been recognized for its contribution to quality of life. Scientific research now shows the happier we are the better people we become. The better people we become the better we leave our world for future generations.