One of the first things people ask me about happiness is: “How do you manage to stay so positive happy and upbeat all the time?”
This is usually closely followed by something along the lines of: “Don’t you ever get upset about things, or curse, or just want to hit someone or something?”
It’s easier to reply to the second question first, because it is simple, straightforward and leads in to my answer to the first. Here’s the short, literal answer – I very seldom get upset about things – and that is a big reason reason why I manage to stay upbeat.
The things that cause us to get upset (and unhappy), are
habits we’ve learned, like resisting the way things are and wanting them to be different.
Almost all our life-training teaches us that we have to fight for whatever we want. Whether we want to excel at sport, get good grades, land that dream job, or move up the promotion ladder. We seem to believe that we have to wage war to achieve anything worthwhile; we have to fight off unhappiness to reach that state of nirvana, happiness – as if unhappiness and wanting are our natural state.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m sorry to say that we have all been brainwashed. Happiness is our natural state. Just look at young children playing. Before they learn about fear, regret, guilt and materialism, kids reflect the essential innocence and joy that is at our core.
Finding happiness isn’t about achievement and fighting against the odds. It is about the exact opposite. Happiness is about surrendering! Yes, it’s about surrender, giving in!
Surrender to Happiness
Lasting happiness consists of many realizations and learning to let go of our limiting ways:
- It’s about accepting that what works for us may not work for everyone – surrendering the need to be right.
- It’s about realizing that most of the things we fear never happen, and those that do are seldom as bad as we imagined – surrendering to freedom from fear.
- It’s about recognizing that everyone is on their own life path, even if we don’t agree with their choices – surrendering the need to judge others.
- It’s about accepting that things are the way they are, and some things, we just can’t change – surrendering the desire for things to be different.
- It’s about knowing that there will always be others happier and more sad than us, richer and poorer – surrendering to exactly the way our life is right now.
- It’s about taking responsibility for everything that happens in our lives – surrendering the need to blame others when we screw up.
When I wrote my first book (Your Life Manual), and when I started the first series of Happiness Minutes I did so to describe and explain how I managed to reach the happiness that I enjoy today and every day of my life. It is my hope to see this real happiness spread around this magnificent planet we inhabit.
Whether you find your true happiness through my efforts or not is not important; all that is important is that you also get happy!