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How to be Happy



The basic recipe for how to be happy is the same for everyone, but each person has to identify their individual ingredients and portion them out for themselves. Here you'll gain an appreciation of the core ingredients, and discover where to look to come up with your favorite recipe for happiness.

What 'floats your boat' or 'makes you happy'?

Do you love the idea of being out on the sea sailing, or are you among those that think the best place for boating is at home in the bathtub?

Spas and bathtubs float some people's boats, while exploring the seven seas do it for others.

Everyone is different and you can read numerous theories on the keys to happiness. But many people in modern society say that money 'floats their boat', and they act as though accumulating more of it is surely the answer behind how to be happy.

You've probably also heard it said that 'money can't buy happiness'.

Well let's look at what money can buy, and why some people go after it in the hope of achieving happiness along with it.

When you look at common answers to the question "what do you want money for?", it's pretty easy to understand why many people mistake it for an important ingredient in the recipe for happiness.

In the left hand column below you can see a brief list of a few things that money can buy for you. In the right hand column is what many people think they will gain from achieving the things in the left hand column. Add a few of your own items in the columns too if you want to explore this more.

For example, money can buy travel and with travel you might think you will have wonderful adventure and life experience, and you think that is how to be happy. At first glance it might seem to make sense, but....

What Money Buys


  1. Travel
  2. No Boss
  3. Food and Shelter
  4. Helping Others


What You Really Want

  1. Adventure/experience
  2. Freedom/individuality
  3. Security/peace of mind
  4. Generosity/sharing


... there is no guarantee that money will give you wonderful adventure and life experience. This might seem funny to hear because you know that with a few thousand dollars in your pocket you can go down to the travel agent and buy a ticket to any number of exotic locations in the world.

True, but let's dig a bit deeper.

What makes you so sure that being in an exotic location is going to make you happy if you are not happy in this moment (and you obviously live in a location that would be considered exotic by at least someone else on the planet ! :) Okay, okay, I can hear you groaning a bit with what might seem like a feeble attempt to throw cold water on your party.

But consider people who have had millions of dollars; enough to travel, live exotic lives with all the food and wine they cared to imbibe in, owned beautiful homes throughout the world, had money to contribute to worthy causes of their choice, and whatever else you care to think might be cause for happiness (ie. owning businesses, fast cars, designer clothing)... and yet, some of those people did not profess to be happy.

Howard Hughes is a classic example of someone who had loads of cash, yet certainly did not know how to be happy. I'm sure you can come up with a few examples of your own when you consider emotional upheaval you hear about in the lives of financially well off monarchy, actors, politicians, and maybe friends, family, and acquaintances too.

Now I'm not saying 'don't become financially wealthy'. You can probably also think of many many people that have no money and neither do they have the key to happiness. All I am saying is just don't expect money to supply the answer on how to be happy.

Of course there are people that are both financially wealthy and financially poor who experience oodles of authentic happiness. They have discovered what they truly need and want. When you discover this, then you'll know how to be happy too. And it won't matter how much or how little you have in your bank account. It will be your true wealth that is delivering your inner peace and authentic happiness.

Recipe for Happiness

"You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy."
Eric Hoffer, the longshoreman philosopher

In other words... if your body needs vitamins and nutrients, but all you eat is candy... you'll never be able to get enough candy to satisfy your body. Similarly, if you need peace and happiness in your life and all you get is money... you'll never be able to get enough money.

If you are after the experience of being stress free and having inner peace, is there any amount of money (or house, or car, or perfect relationship) that will produce the experiences you seek?

  • Identify Personal Core Values

    The important question you need to ask yourself becomes "how do I identify and produce that which I really want?" You'll find the answers to identifying what you really want are tied in with your personal core values.

    Is it the symbols of life in the left hand column above that you truly want or is it more likely to be the experiences found in the right hand column?

    There is nothing wrong with wanting both, but start at the beginning with your highest core values and priorities!

  • Cultivate True Wealth

    Do you have a favorite coffee mug that you like to use? I've got one of those.

    Say there are 4 different cups sitting on the counter and they are all filled with your favorite hot drink, made to perfection, but only one is your favorite mug. Given the choice, you reach for that mug whenever you can. Is the drink inside it any different to the drink inside the other mugs?

    Nope.

    Really, it's what's inside the mug that is the point of having the mug in the first place! If we didn't have anything to drink, we wouldn't need the mug.

    Inside is the first place to look to cultivate value in your life and you can do this by recognizing, appreciating, and building true wealth while cultivating your core values.


  • How to be Happy - Begin at the Beginning

    It makes sense that you will find rich rewards along the journey when you focus on personal values development.

    Your highest values will obviously be those things that are most important to you, and when you spend your energy on those things, that's what you will get more of in your life. ie. the crop you cultivate is what you grow. Since those are the things that you truly want and need in your life, you'll find that you not only know how to be happy... you will be happy.





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