Where Happiness Comes From

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Smile, because happiness is contagious.

How many times have you heard someone (maybe yourself) say, “When I have _____, then I’ll be happy.”? And if having a particular thing or outcome was the determinant of someone’s state of being, how long did that happiness last? We have been taught (role models, society and/or advertising are the usual culprits) that we cannot truly be happy unless we acquire or achieve specific things. Our ego all too willingly plays along with this, filling our heads with negative self-talk, perpetuating the belief that we are not good enough, not smart enough, not popular enough, etc., etc., if we don’t acquire or achieve what we believe we should have. And unfortunately, there will always be something else that comes along that we become convinced that we need to recharge our happiness.

But, what if we flip the “Do, Have, Be” paradigm on its head and approach it from “Be, Do, Have?” What if we just choose to be the person we think we would be if we had already achieved or acquired that thing? Choosing to be happy “just because” frees us from the cycle of being dependent upon something outside of ourselves to create that state of being. It also frees us from the ego chatter that can be so unkind and unhelpful.

I watched a beautiful documentary last year called “Happy.” The filmmaker interviewed people all over the world to find out what it takes to be happy. There were some very surprising answers. If you haven’t seen the film, I would encourage you to do so. You can watch the trailer below. The film is available through various sources online, as well as through Netflix. You can just Google “Happy documentary” to find it.

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