What Brings Happiness?
Many people on Quora ask questions about what it takes to be happy so I am going to answer that for you. First, we will discover what will never lead to a happy life.
Happiness doesn’t come from working yourself into ill health in a job that pays extremely well yet takes your life out of you.
Happiness doesn’t come from finding the ‘right’ person. You have to be the ‘right person’ to attract the ‘right person’ for you.
Happiness doesn’t come from being retired and sitting on a beach or being on a golf course every day. As one of my favorite professors from undergrad told me “I will never retire as I have noted that those that retire from teaching are dead inside of 3 months.” That is exactly what then 80-year-old Dr. Keighton said to me.
Happiness isn’t found in eating foods that you love all day while watching Netflix — it’s a great way to numb the mind while putting on a great amount of life-ending weight as your bones weaken and muscles atrophy.
Happiness isn’t found in working out to the point of stressing out your body. Yes, there is a point where your body gets ill from all the physical stress placed upon it.
So where do we find happiness?
Happiness is found when we align ourselves with doing something of purpose for the greater world — something that fulfills our soul each and every day using our interests, talents, and education to become so great at that which we do, that we are fulfilled from the time we wake up to the time we go off to sleep.
So how do we find this purpose to fulfill ourselves?
We get the hell out of our own way and explore the world to find that which we are curious enough about to learn it so deeply and completely that we can form a fulfilling career around it. That is what you do. And, you stay on that level till you found that thing that energizes you bringing a smile to your face as you do the work to get to where you want to be. That is how you do it.
So many people made jokes about my leaving so many jobs during my 20s because I hated what I was doing. I hated the corporate structure, the need to wear a mask pretending to be someone I am not, dress the way they expected, the double standards, and basically the killing of my soul.
I realized at some point that my brain and my body do not fit into the 9–5 with an hour commute at each end. I also realized that I didn’t believe in the manner in which the culture states one needs to live to be ‘happy’. I saw that most of the people that I knew who lived that way were indeed miserable proven by all the ways they self-medicated be it overeating, getting involved in substance abuse including alcohol, worrying about not having enough money even though they had plenty in their investments, and later on, becoming physically ill and many dying earlier than they needed to.
So, I took a radical turn toward what I wanted for myself. To be able to do work from anywhere, and to be able to travel the world. To be able to work the hours that I chose be they the later morning or late into the early morning hours. To be able to do those activities that I enjoy — researching new methods of healing, new medical and psychological breakthroughs, writing, podcasting, mentoring, training, and of course doing the base from which all the rest come — helping people to heal their emotional issues more quickly and permanently than anything else I have ever witnessed.
To educate folks that what a 9-year-old or a 13-year-old, or a 19-year-old know, is also true for the adults who care to understand that your mind is the most important tool you have not only to heal completely from most any medical or mental health problem but more importantly to be able to create the life of your dreams. But only if you learn how to use it to do so.
Whining and moaning about the lousy life one has will never bring you fulfillment.
Going for what you dream for yourself will indeed bring the motivation to clean out whatever is in your way and grant you the life of your dreams.
That is what makes a happy life — a life of fulfilling your dreams — nothing more and nothing less.