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Myths of Happiness: Part 2

In Part 1, we discussed the idea that some people consider happiness to be nothing more than a myth.

They say that humans aren’t made to be happy, and that trying to reach a state of consistent happiness can actually do more harm than good. 

We don’t buy it.

In our experience, happiness is not a myth. Instead, it’s something that can be learned, practiced, and fine-tuned, until you reach a place where you feel content with your choices, your actions, and your life in general. We believe when you commit to coming from a happy life, you get a happy life.

So what would we say to people who argue that happiness is a myth? We have a few thoughts.

Happiness is beneficial. (It’s science!)

As we discussed in Part 1, many people who view happiness as a myth point out that the evolution of humans has pointed us in the direction of survival, reproduction, and analytical thinking, rather than optimizing for happiness. 

Whether that’s true or not, we can’t ignore the fact that happiness is scientifically linked to numerous health and lifestyle benefits, including:

  • Increased confidence
  • Less worry
  • Stronger relationships
  • Better professional performance
  • Fewer illnesses
  • Better psychological well being

In other words, happiness can have measurable impact. It’s a real part of real life. And the more you come from happiness, the more happiness you will experience.

(For more information about the science of happiness, check this out.)

Happiness is an empowering place to come from.

Because of all these benefits of happiness, we believe that “being in happiness” is worth whatever effort it takes. 

Working “in happiness” doesn’t have to be discouraging. Instead, it can be empowering.

This is because we don’t see happiness as something that comes after all the hardship goes away. We see it as something that you can have in the midst of hardship, in your every day experience. Instead of being the result of achieving some future “success”, happiness is actually a precursor to success, helping you along a path that will take you where you want to go. 

Yes, it’s a little backwards from what most people think about happiness. But in our experience, it’s absolutely true.

And we’re not alone. Check out this TED Talk about the research behind the idea that happiness comes before success, and not the other way around. 

In other words, happiness doesn’t have to come after you get what you want. It can come whenever you allow it to be present. And as soon as you allow it to, it can help you as you be in a purposeful life.

We don’t see this as discouraging. If anything, we find it hopeful and empowering.

You can magnify your happiness.

So if it’s true that you can be happy no matter what (and we believe it is), then how can you move your happiness needle? If your happiness isn’t dependent on your external circumstances, then how can you be happier?

The answer lies in your thoughts. 

That “voice inside your head” plays a key role in your happiness. So what would happen if you were able to tame that voice so that it works in your favor?

What we’ve found is that learning to change your thoughts leads to:

  • More positive energy
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Control over self-doubt
  • Increased ability to reach personal goals
  • Fewer negative emotions

In other words: more happiness.

Changing your thoughts doesn’t happen overnight (though it can, if you are open to that possibility). In fact, we believe that it normally happens in five distinct stages, centered around what your strengths or weaknesses are at any given moment.

These five stages are (in this order): hope, belief, action, purpose, and meaning. To learn more about these stages and about the framework they’re a part of, read this

The choice is yours.

Clearly, we don’t believe that happiness is a myth. But ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what you want to believe. 

Do you want to believe that you were made to be miserable, and that any search for happiness is only going to lead to discouragement and despair?

Or do you want to believe that real, empowering happiness is within your reach, if you only decide to…well, reach for it?

If the latter is true, take our free assessment to help you determine which stage you’re currently in, and let us help you on your journey toward real happiness. 

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