Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life: the whole aim and end of human existenceAristotle
If happiness is all that anybody of us ever want, then why don’t we all have achey faces from Cheshire Cat smiles? Why aren’t we giddily skipping around the planet like Kadli’s goats when they first discovered the coffee bean?
Well, for starters, it doesn’t come in the form of powder or pills or liquid elixirs – or juicy red berries for that matter.
It’s not something that can be made in a factory, packaged up into plastic and oversized cardboard boxes with a bar code on, whacked on a supermarket shelf and scanned into your trolley. And it’s not something that can be bought or bribed or bargained for either.
Happiness is a feeling that starts in the head – and a little bit like a nicotine rush or sugar high, we only ever seem to keep hold of it for a fleeting moment.
Step 6 Hard Work & Happy Choices.
While throughout Laurie’s Deadboss Guide To Being Happy I’ve maintained that happiness is a choice, I also like to stress it’s not an easy one.
Happiness takes hard work and dedication every single day.
From the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep you’re given trillions of microscopic opportunities to make choices about what you think, what you say and what you do.
It could be deciding whether or not you snooze for just ten more minutes instead of meditating or choosing between caffeinated and decaf coffee. You might push aside those poisonous thoughts of self-doubt during a meeting at work and opt to fake it til you make it instead.
Maybe you’ll smile at a stranger or hand coins over to that homeless person you usually avoid making eye contact with. You could embrace spontaneity, move your body in new ways or eat the things that give you energy rather than make you feel sluggish.
Whatever they are, it’s those tiny choices, the algorithms of life, that have the power to program happiness into our existence every moment of every day.
When it comes to making those happy choices, our in-built logic knows exactly the right thing to do.
We know that a fruit salad is better than full fat strawberry cheesecake, we know exercise is better than slobbing around in front of the television and we know that kombucha is better than booze.
We know that kindness and generosity are so much better than being mean or frugal. We know that trust is better than jealousy and we know that putting a smile on somebody’s face with lovely words is so much nicer than being bitter and nasty.
Yet there’s something fascinatingly backwards about our human nature that makes it hard for us to do the right thing.
We like to self-sabotage. We create bad habits that seem impossible to break out of. We make mistakes and we repeat them over and over and over again. And we’ll always take the easy way out.
Take alcohol for example. It’s more than widely known that alcohol is a depressant and a suppressant. We know it numbs our feelings and emotions, we know it gives us temporary highs and maybe even temporary happiness.
But we also know that within hours – or sometimes even minutes of consumption, the depressant effects of alcohol kick in.
Negative thoughts are planted into the fertile soils of wine-sodden ground and they sprout quicker than ever into a forest of fear and loathing. And the more we consume, the more likely we are to make more bad choices.
Yet despite knowing all of this, more often than not we push all of that knowledge aside and we go ahead and take our first sip.
Fighting against our self-destructive habits and behaviours takes hard work and relentless determination.
That’s why to be successful in your pursuit, happiness has to be your all-consuming desire; it has to be everything you think and care about more than anything else on the planet.
You have wake up with happiness on the mind. You have to create reminders, you make choices and take action.
You have to do good stuff to be a better you.