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The Secret to Happiness (Yes, really!)

© Rohappy | Dreamstime.com - Joyful Blond Teen Girl Photo

© Rohappy | Dreamstime.com – Joyful Blond Teen Girl Photo

There are those who believe achieving goals and acquiring material objects as a means to happiness yield only short-term results and therefore we best not place our focus on them.

There are those who believe happiness is internal, a baseline, somewhat-stable state of being rooted in solid core beliefs and a grateful and kind approach to life.

What’s your vote?

Which side of the happiness equation should we focus on? Count on? To give us the one thing every human being on the face of this earth desires? Happiness. I mean, the stakes are pretty high, so which is it?

What if it need not be a choice? What if the most immediate AND lasting approach to happiness involves both?

What’s necessarily wrong with working toward a promotion, degree or any other personal accomplishment you expect will make you happy? What’s wrong with wanting and shopping for pretty crocheted sweaters, sparkly earrings or to-die-for shoes? I say not a damn thing . . . if they make us feel good. Feeling good folks, is the name of the game.

Contrary to popular belief, life is not about endless sacrifice and struggle. Will life include these at times? No doubt. But it is not your primary purpose for being here. Science now confirms that our bodies are healthier and physically stronger when we are happy. Mother Nature may, on occasion, be a bit of a bitch, but regardless of her periodic bad mood, she’s brilliant beyond comprehension.

Just look within your body for the billions of cells and millions of complex systems at work every second of every day to keep your body living and breathing. Look around you and take in the air perfectly designed for you to breathe and the infinite number of plants and animals, each contributing to nature’s elemental orchestra at play. Nothing in nature is by accident. Everything in nature is by design. And so are you. You are designed for a primarily joyful and happy existence. In a very literal sense, it is your birthright. It is unconditional. Regardless of whatever happened in your past until this exact present moment. It is yours to claim. Right now.

Maybe the only thing that stands in our way is our own baggage and misguided beliefs about being happy. Namely, sacrifice, struggle and suffering now, makes you happy later. I’ll tell you this: Rarely is there a happy ending to an unhappy journey. And lest you get even a twinge of concern on your brief look-back, as long as you are breathing, your journey is not over and not determined by anything outside of you.

Somewhere along the way, we adopt a mentality that we serve others and those we love most by sacrificing, and we feel guilty about doing what makes us feel good. Do you see the trap here? Many of us, with the best of intentions, actually choose unhappiness.

Every moment and every movement you make places you at a fork in the road. One is the immediate path of happiness. The other is the path of unhappiness we hope (based in fear and doubt of outcomes, worthiness and life) will eventually lead us to happiness.

I believe we live in an “and” world. I believe we are here to experience and spread joy and happiness. I believe happiness isn’t either a destination or a way. It is both. It should include and involve anything that makes you feel good and fulfilled. And I think choosing both (the achievement of goals and acquisitions combined with practicing a way of life rooted in gratitude and kindness) is the simple, yet profound secret to happiness we all seek.

I recently came across a quote from Mark Twain I instantly fell in love with. “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”

I’ll tell you why . . . to be happy.

With love for you and life,


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