What’s the formula for a happy life?
Neil Pasricha, author of The Happiness Equation, unlocked the secrets to happiness. Each secret takes a common ideal, flips it on its head, and casts it in a completely new light. Pasricha then goes a step further by providing step-by-step guidelines and hand-drawn scribbles that illustrate exactly how to apply each secret to live a happier life today.
The single biggest reason it’s so hard to be happy
Shakespeare says, “For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” But if it’s just thinking, plain thinking, why can’t we think ourselves into a good mood whenever we want? Seems like we should be able to just flip a mental switch.
But we all know it’s not that easy. Sometimes our brains get focused on negative things. We can’t stop! I do this all the time.
And you want to know a secret? Everybody does. We all have negative self-talk.
The problem is we think we shouldn’t have negative thoughts.
- But why do our brains focus on negative things?
- Why is so hard to be happy?
Because life was mostly short, brutal, and highly competitive over two hundred thousand years our species has existed on this planet. And our brains are trained for this short, brutal, and highly competitive world.
What is the one thing your doctor, teacher, and Tom Hanks all have in common?
Yes, that fear is still programmed into our heads.
It’s everywhere, it’s between our ears, it’s in our brains.
Tom Hanks, one of the world’s most successful actors, who earns millions with every movie and has scored two Academy Awards said,
“Some people go to bed at night thinking, ‘That was a good day.’ I am one of those who worries and asks, ‘How did I screw up today?’
So what do we do about it? How much can we control?
Aristotle says, ‘Happiness depends upon ourselves.’
Viktor Frankl says, ‘Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.’
Walt Whitman writes, ‘Keep your face always toward the sunshine–and shadows will fall behind you.’
I love what Aristotle, Viktor Frankl, and Walt Whitman say. But how do you get there?
7 Ways to be happy right now
I have sifted through hundreds of studies to find the Big 7 ways to train your brain to be happy. “Psychology is not just a branch of medicine concerned with illness or health; it is much larger. It is about work, education, insight, love, growth, and play. And in this quest for what is best, positive psychology does not rely on wishful thinking, faith, self-deception, fads, or hand-waving; it tries to adapt what is best in the scientific method to the unique problems that human behavior presents to those who wish to understand it in all its complexity.”
If you do any of these seven things for two straight weeks, you will feel happier?
So what are the Big 7?
- Three walks.
- The 20-minute replay.
- Random acts of kindness.
- A complete unplug.
- Hit flow.
- 2-minute meditations.
- Five gratitudes.
Remember: Just like driving a car, throwing a football, or doing a headstand–you can learn to be happier.