Remember the last time you felt utterly happy? What were the circumstances?
Maybe it was because you had finally attained a long sought-after goal, like saving a down payment for a house, or fitting into a pair of jeans that have been sitting in your closet since forever.
Or maybe it was because you got something you wanted, like that new job or promotion, a new piece of recreational equipment, or that great new car.
Or maybe you were happy because you fell in love and your beloved said, “I love you, too.”
Or because your child accomplished a goal and you saw the look of bliss and pride on his or her face.
In that moment, you were happy. You called your best friend to share the news, you went out for a celebratory dinner with your partner, you took your child out for ice cream. You treated yourself to a spa or a mini vacation. Life seemed to be going your way.
But let me ask you this:
How long did that sense of joy, elation, and optimism last?
How long was it before you were once again drawn into worry, doubt, and despair, because your new position at work was twice the stress, your beloved withdrew their affection, your child struggled again at school, or your new “toy” came with a new set of expenses you didn’t prepare for?
And when was the last time you looked at any of the goals you’ve achieved, and the desires you gratified and thought, “I’m done. I’ve arrived. I’m happy.”?
Was it like…never?
Unless you’re an intrinsically happy person, you know you’re your normal state is not one of contentment, inner peace, or joy.
Maybe your normal state is something between low-level unhappiness and mild dissatisfaction.
If this is the case, you may have a low happiness set-point.
Something nice will happen, but a day, week, or month after your happy moment, you’ll be sitting there and pondering, “Why do I feel as BLAH as before?”
The reason? It’s because you’ve settled back into your low happiness set-point.
But of course, you aren’t aware that you’ve settled into your low(er) happiness set-point—you just think that you’re still missing something.
You begin asking yourself, “Why aren’t I happy? What do I need to BE happier? What do I need to get/achieve/acquire in order to feel more fulfilled and alive?”
And that’s when you’ll find yourself imagining what would make you happy. You begin to make plans to get to that goal or buy that thing, because you’re convinced that it’s the key to feeling content at last.
But it’s a fallacy, because most of us have the wrong idea of what will make us happy, so we waste a lot of energy in the pursuit of a state of mind that never lasts.
This can be a source of lifelong frustration and disenchantment.
That’s because the following 3 things you THINK will make you happy, can’t permanently raise your happiness set-point, which means that they’re the wrong way to pursue happiness:
You may think, “If only I could pay off my debt, I’d stop worrying and be at peace.” Or “If only I could find a way to make $___, I could do the things I want to do in life, and I’d be happy.”
But if money was the secret to happiness, actors in Hollywood would be blissful all the time, and people who win millions playing the lottery would be content forever.
Or so you’d think.
But the reality is that actors aren’t any happier than other people, and lottery winners go back to the same level of happiness (or not) within a year after their windfall. It’s a fact!
Even I used to think that money would make me happy. After writing several New York Times best-selling books, I could finally afford to buy the kind of home (and other things) I always wanted. But instead, I felt an emptiness inside that I couldn’t explain, and money couldn’t cure.
And yet, so many of us think that money is the answer to all our problems and what’s more, our quest for happiness.
It isn’t, because having money to buy things or having enough savings so that you don’t have to work won’t necessarily make you happy for long. (If that were so, retirees would be the happiest people around!)
Why? Because money can’t raise your happiness set-point.How To Raise Your Set-Point
Some people think that achieving some goal or getting recognition will make them happier for longer.
Maybe you think this, too. You imagine what it will be like…when you publish that novel, when you run that marathon, get that killer promotion. You picture yourself feeling accomplished and respected, and you think it’ll make you happy on a day-to-day basis.
The thing is, achievement doesn’t do anything to raise your happiness set-point, either.
After my books reached New York Times best-seller level, I traveled around the country signing books and giving talks. Thousands of people would come to hear me speak. I should have been crazy happy from all this attention.
But I wasn’t. And again, if fame was the secret to happiness, politicians, popular actors, and social media stars would be some of the happiest people in the world. But they’re not.
This is probably the most common misconception about what will make you happy. You may not conscious think, “I’ll be happy when I get more stuff…,” but you if you spend a lot of time and energy on acquiring, shopping, fantasizing, and planning for STUFF, you’re probably (at least in part) doing it for some kind of emotional gratification.
Think about it…You look forward to getting that next shipment delivered from Amazon. You research the next car you want to buy. You try on new clothes at the mall on weekends. You peruse homes for sale on the internet or collect photos of bath and kitchen remodels on Pinterest, imagining the kind of living space you think will feel “just right” and will finally make you happy.
Stuff can’t make you happy for long because of the same reason fame and fortune can’t make you happy for long. Stuff can’t raise your happiness set-point.
And besides, as we all know, fashions come and go, homes go into disrepair, trends change almost daily, so even if you could buy as much stuff as your heart desires, you’ll never be able to sit back and relax and feel lasting satisfaction.
That hot new item you bought a few months ago? It’s already last year’s model and someone else has the newest and latest.
But it’s not our fault, really. We pursue the wrong ways to happiness because we’ve been told by our friends, by society, and by the media that fame, fortune, and stuff are the recipes to a state of bliss and contentment.
We don’t know any other way, so we keep chasing this pipe dream of happiness that never really arrives.
But what you may not know is that there is a way to feel happy, no matter what—whether it’s now, today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life.
The secret to raising your happiness set-point and becoming a deeply happy person for life is something most people have never even considered.
It took me most of my adult life and a lot of hard work to finally acknowledge that what I had been doing for years to attain a lasting happiness wasn’t working.
Working hard to make money didn’t work to make me happier. Getting famous didn’t work. I was giving speeches to thousands and signing books until my hands cramped, and I still didn’t feel as if I’d arrived.
Acquiring more stuff? That held no lasting joy for me, either.
This is why I spent the next several years focusing on the topic of happiness. I dove into the research in the field of positive psychology. I interviewed scores of experts on happiness. I conducted my own surveys about happiness. I also interviewed 100 people who were actually living from the state I call “happy for no reason.”
What I learned was astounding.
The only difference between people who had a high happiness set-point and everyone else?
Deeply happy people had specific habits that raised their happiness set-point.
That means that by practicing these habits, they were able to feel happier every day—no matter how much money they had, no matter if they were single or married, no matter what kind of job they held and no matter if they were surrounded by a lot of cool “stuff.”
It didn’t matter, because once they were able to raise their happiness set-point, they could keep it high by practicing these specific habits.
When I learned and began to practice these habits, I raised my own happiness set-point, and then went on to teach them to my mom. At the age of 80, she went from being a naturally unhappy person to loving her life and being upbeat and optimistic daily!
I’ve since taught these habits to hundreds of thousands of people with tremendous success, and I know that I can teach them to you, too.
You can raise your happiness set-point in 30 days or less, when you go through my 30 Days to a Happier Life video program.
You’ll learn the exact same 21 habits and practices that I incorporated into my own life and taught to people around the world.
These habits are easy to learn and simple to do. They’re even fun! Some you can do with your kids. Some are ones you do in your mind while driving a car or standing in line. Nothing complicated.
It’s a step-by-step, but holistic process, which means it will transform your whole self.
You’ll learn to reprogram your thoughts, increase your happiness hormones, discover your life’s purpose, connect to your soul, and more:Be Happier In 30 Days
When you’re happy no matter what is going on in your life, does it even matter if you get that job, that girl, that guy, that house, that raise?
You’ll see that it matters a whole lot less. You’ll be less affected by the setbacks and challenges in your life, because you’ll have tapped into a source of happiness that no amount of money, fame, or stuff can touch.
With love and happiness,
P.S. Does worrying cause you daily unhappiness? You worry when you think something is going to change in your life, because it might affect your happiness. But what if you knew how to be happy no matter what?
In my 30 Days to a Happier Life video program, you’ll spend 10-15 minutes a day on building your happiness muscle, so that worry can shrink down or disappear from your life for good. You’ll get the exercises, tools, and tips that will bring you a great deal of relief from worry, stress, and rumination and enable you to experience inner peace at last:Learn More