Living with Happiness

The Secret calls it Living in Bliss.

Tony Robins calls it Living in a Beautiful State.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls it the Flow.

Lao Tzu wrote about Tao, the Way of the Universe, in the 4th century BCE.

Whatever name you give it, when you are happy your life is much better. Time disappears. Everything seems easier.

I have the Chinese character of Tao hanging on my wall among the photos that make me happy.
I have the Chinese character of Tao hanging on my wall among the photos that make me happy.

Imagine a pleasant summer morning. The world seems a bit lazier today. You hear the birds singing as you make your way to work. The sunlight warms your head. You hear your favorite song just before you arrive. Your smile is mirrored back to you by a coworker.

You know it’s going to be a great day. Confirmation bias will help to ensure it.

When you’re happy, you’re naturally more charismatic, relaxed, confident, and creative. You’re pleasant to be around, and others look to you as a leader.

This is my insight to persuasion: embrace the Tao, and you will manifest happiness and influence upon those around you.

I’m still unlearning.

Too many of us wait for happiness to find us. We wait for something external to give us our emotional fix. When that emotional hit comes, it’s not always for the better.

Life is too short to let your happiness come from other people, or to let others steal your happiness.

You and I, we have to decide to be happy, and then build a life that provides that opportunity. We have to unlearn the habits that keep us in the negative.

But it’s not easy. We all have negative thoughts. We have expectations that we invent and others fail to meet. We think others are fools for not understanding our position, for not having enough information. We’re outraged at another’s behavior, convinced by confirmation bias that we have higher morals.

It’s all in your head, this personal illusion you call reality. Humans like a reality with tidy causes and effects.

The truth is, your brain can only process the information we can access. Daniel Kahneman identified this and named it WYSIATI (what you see is all there is). In short, there are far too many causes and effects for us to really know much of anything.

We have to let it all go.

Dale Carnegie‘s first rule to becoming a friendlier person: Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain. It’s Carnegie’s only rule that’s expressed as a negative — and the ideas are important enough to be his first rule.

That’s a tough one. I’m still unlearning.


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