Do you want to be happy? I'd be surprised if you said, "No". Robert Holden, Ph.D., has made a whole career around happiness and has written ten books with titles like, Be Happy: Release the Power of Happiness in You and Happiness NOW!. His work has focused on positive psychology and well-being and he's considered Britain's foremost expert on happiness.
Clearly, he has struck a nerve since his books and his programs are very popular. I've watched some of his videos (you can find him on YouTube) and I love his take on the three Fears we have around happiness (can you imagine we actually fear being happy?!?). In a nutshell, this is what I learned from Robert. We fear...
That happiness is "somewhere out there" (maybe in the blue?? LOL), instead of understanding that it's right here, wherever we are. While we may think that the grass is greener over there, it's really the greenest wherever we water and tend to it.
That if we are happy we are "selfish". After conducting surveys and doing research, Robert concluded that happy people are the ones who are generous, loving and giving. It reminds me of the recommendation from Buddha to see others' joy as your own. Apparently happiness and kindness and being thoughtful of others go together.
That there is such a thing as too much happiness -- whaaat?!? It seems that we worry that we have to suffer to "deserve" delight and enjoyment. We believe that there is a limit to our potential well-being or, as he put it, that the karma police will show up if we exceed our "contentment limit".
Ultimately, the conclusion is that happiness is something we accept, tap into, and choose. Truly happy people don't wait for life to get better. They relish what they have now and as you can see in the video, Holden recommends trying this exercise ... fill in the blank on the following phrase:
"One way I could make today even more enjoyable is ________."
I invite you to use this as an opportunity to show up with your imagination and creativity. Let this be your chance to follow through with this week's quote from me:
"I encourage you to hunger for joy and fulfillment."
This is what I wish for you ...
I'm still researching the possibility of inviting all of you to spend the good part of a day with me in Boston in December. Based on my schedule, it might be January instead, but it will happen. We will be exploring many things including happiness!