In his beautiful 1970s hit song Open Up Your Heart, G. Wayne Thomas sings: “There’s no formula for happiness that’s guaranteed to work.” In this article I am going to prove him wrong. There is a formula for happiness that’s guaranteed to work, and I’ll give it to you free of charge, along with a real life example of someone who has been blissfully using it for nearly two decades.
When I talk about achieving permanent happiness, I don’t mean you are going to be happy every minute of every day. You will still feel painful emotions and still have challenges to face, maybe even the odd drama, but you will be in a permanent condition in which you always return to your default state of happiness as soon as you have dealt with the negative stuff. Does that sound appealing?
Happiness is good for the community
Do you realise that by being happy you are serving the world? Your happiness rubs off on everyone and everything in your community and that’s a great reason to stop feeling guilty about investing time and energy in your own happiness.
There is nothing admirable about being depressed, stressed out and anxious. Yes we need to accept, feel and release our negative emotions, but there is just no value in constantly re-living them or repeatedly whingeing about things. Whatever you focus your attention on increases. So deal with the painful things and then quickly shift your energy back onto the positives.
Scientists have found that we all have a “happiness set-point”, partially inherited and partially conditioned, that we tend to remain at. One study showed that 50% of our happiness is determined by genetics and 10% by our circumstances. The other 40% is determined by our habitual thoughts and feelings. This is wonderful news because it means we can increase our default level of happiness by thinking happy thoughts and feeling happy emotions. We can actually choose to be happier! What’s more, we can choose to be unconditionally happy.
What the experts say
I asked a number of self-help experts what they think people most need to do to be happy and here’s what some of them had to say:
- Getting what you want is only .01% of what will enrich your life and make you happy. The other 99.99%? Doing for both yourself and others what pleases you and them and adds value to their lives. If you do that, you will be happy and rich. [Fred Alan Wolf – What the Bleep Do We Know?!]
- Focus on following your passion. When you pursue your passion and I pursue my passion, the world works like a puzzle that finally comes together in stunning beauty. [Joe Vitale – The Secret]
- Take a moment out of every day to stop all activity. Take a deep breath and allow yourself to fully experience the Moment – the here-and-now-ness of reality. Take a conscious break from the constant rush of modern day life. And then gradually extend this precious moment so that it eventually pervades the whole of your life. [Deva Premal – Best selling new age singer]
You will gain far more benefit from reading a book on happiness than you will from reading a daily newspaper. While you read about how to choose happiness you automatically think positive thoughts and feel happy emotions and open yourself up to the strong probability that you will become even happier. And if you are one of those rare people who actually put into practice the skills that you read about, it will be guaranteed that you will become happier. Here are some great books on the subject:
- Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman
- The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama
- Happy for No Reason by Marci Shimoff
Studies have also shown that listening to happy songs positively influences our moods, not that we need scientists to tell us that. Here are a few popular titles:
- Happy by Pharrell Williams
- Happy People by R. Kelly
- Don’t Worry Be Happy by Guy Sebastian
A formula for happiness
- Decide what you need to do to be happy
- Write it down
- Do it
This formula for happiness is so simple that you may instantly shrug it off as being unrealistic, simplistic or naive. If you choose that cynical reaction, you do so at your own peril. Please keep your heart and mind open.
One of the biggest keys is to make sure you list what is most important to your own Higher Self, not what anyone else says you should do. This is not the only formula for happiness but I can tell you that it is guaranteed to work – if you use it on a permanent, full-time basis. If you want to be fit and healthy you do certain things every day. Likewise for being happy. It’s very simple.
Which age group is the happiest in the human race? We don’t need studies to tell us that it is babies and young children. And which age group is the most simple and naive? Of course it’s the youngsters again. Children are happy because they are in the natural default state for human beings. They have not yet learnt how to be depressed, stressed out and anxious. Their naivety is actually a big reason for their happiness because they don’t analyse everything and weigh up the pros and cons at every fork in the road. They simply act and experience life in a joyful, carefree and courageous manner. Children are the epitome of the expression ‘Just do it’, and that is a massive clue for anyone who wants to experience all of the joy that life has to offer on a permanent basis.
My new age journey began as an 18 year old in 1976 and much of it mirrored the experience of many of you reading this. Workshops, therapy, books, lectures, ashrams, etc., resulting in great insight and temporary enlightenment, followed by plenty of backsliding and emotional roller-coaster riding. In 1996, after 20 years, I had had enough of this and decided that I would make a major personal growth breakthrough.
I made several massive decisions during that calendar year, which included ending a sub-standard long-term relationship, telling my dishonest boss that he could shove his job and losing my precious harbourside apartment in the process. I also decided that I would live life totally on my own terms from that point onwards. Then I cultivated the practice of smiling and choosing to be happy at any given moment for no particular reason. As the year progressed, I found myself becoming happier and happier, accompanied by a growing certainly that I would maintain this state for the rest of my life. I was thrilled that I had made the major breakthrough I wanted so much.
Eighteen years later, my default state of permanent happiness is my most valuable asset. I am a very emotional person because I choose to stay open and vulnerable. So I naturally feel strong negative emotions like sadness and anger at times, but it never bothers me because as soon as the painful emotion passes I automatically return to my default state of happiness. I am like a child in many ways. I smile a lot, I watch the clouds go floating by, I pick up frangipanis and smell them, and I love myself and my life. I wake up happy and go to sleep happy every day.
I use the formula and it works. Here it is again for you: Decide what you need to do to be happy. Write it down. Do it. And always remember that you can choose to be happy at any time and that you have the ability to achieve permanent happiness. If I can you can.
Marc White! aka ‘The Inspirer’ is an inspirational singer, songwriter and author. Marc is the pioneer of the “100% Positive” song-writing style. He is also the author of The New Age Book, on personal development, which includes contributions from many self-help authors and other experts.
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