Happy By Nature (The Happiness Principle)
We are happy by nature! Children know this. And they laugh up to 400 times a day. But, in our western culture we adults are conditioned to forget: both our nature and our happiness.
I call this natural happiness, the happiness principle. And it’s important because it affects our wellbeing, our performance, our health and realtionships. Let me spell out the Happiness Principle:
We are happy by nature. (Children know this – adults can forget).
- Happy people do well in life
- Unhappy people do less well
- Remove the cause of unhappiness, and people do better
I experienced this as an Olympic Athlete. Whenever I made a personal breakthrough my performance improved. I noticed this pattern working with other athletes as a sport psychologist. And also later in business and as a business coach. Whenever a person makes a personal breakthrough, their happiness goes up and the results follow immediately. The happier the person, the athlete, or the business owner, the more successful they are.
It’s common sense – and we often forget it. Sometimes we can be reminded by a child or a person we meet in the street.
The Natural Wisdom of a Beggar.
A friend told me about a begger he met on the street in India. The beggar was wearing just a loincloth and an amazing toothless grin. My friend asked why are you so happy? The beggar replied with an even wider smile and great joy and passion “WHY NOT BE HAPPY?”
This man, had nothing and didn’t know where his next meal would come from. But he was abundantly happy. So, if he can be happy, then why not me?
Happy By Nature / Sad By Nurture
We are naturally happy, as many young children know and experience. It’s our experiences and conditioning that make many of us unhappy by the time we are adults. The good news is that we can recondition ourselves to be happy again. And the Happiness Principle, the understanding that we are made to be happy, is helpful in this.
Decide to be happy
We can decide to be happy. And notice the conditionings that cause unhappiness. Then we can recondition them one by one. Using different language. Responding differently to people and situations. Relating differently. And gradually – sometimes dramatically – we become more happy.
Awareness can only increase… And there’s always another level
In our meditation circles people seek higher and higher states of awareness. At each level there’s a greater experience of bliss, joy and happiness. Then that becomes normal and we naturally gravitate to the next level. The good news is that awareness can only increase. And there’s always another level.
So my wish for you is that you may be abundantly happy! And then happier again!