Have you ever met someone who was smart, beautiful, rich…and happy? I’ll bet you have. I will also bet that you wish that they weren’t so happy. Why should some of us have everything? Life is so unfair! Of course, in your heart of hearts, you know that THE ONLY REASON they are happy is because they are smart, beautiful and rich.
Or could it be that they take happiness seriously, and make it a priority?
In recent decades, a group of psychologists moved over from perpetually analyzing sick people to learning from healthy people. They moved from classic therapy to learning theory. With major advances in neuroscience and emerging computer technologies, such as A.I., we now have a much better handle on how to induce rapid change.
This new discipline, positive psychology, laid the foundation for the practice of sustainable happiness. Dr. Aymee Coget of San Francisco is the leading spokesperson. Dr. Coget has pioneered a learning process of sustainable happiness which can work for anyone under any circumstances. She is totally committed to all of us being happy all the time.
Studies have shown that winning the Lottery, even with a $100 million stake, ensures happiness for only a finite amount of time, say six to eight months. Let’s say you simply bought a new, high-end Tesla. You might be happy for three to six weeks. If you bought a designer sweater, it might work for three to four days. A super-chocolate, crunchy ice cream cone might work for three to four hours.
Sustainable happiness begins with the realization that this is a fundamental life skill that is everyone’s birthright. Even the Declaration of Independence justified the American Revolution as a means for each individual to pursue their own happiness. It entails a learning process that shows you how to be happy in any situation, much like the Buddha taught his disciples to disengage from all their attachments.
While sustainable happiness is generated from within, it is also behavioral in nature. You can do something every day to make yourself happy. It can take three to six months; however, even the clinically depressed can break the self-destructive pattern. This is all the more significant, since 48 million Americans are diagnosed with depression and teenage suicide is at an all-time high.
When you make inner happiness a priority, you lay the foundation for being far more effective, whatever your role. You live in the present moment, accept whatever happens and smile at the future. Your commitment to your inner growth, and your ability to make a contribution is unshakeable.
Genuine happiness is contagious. People catch it from one another. It is possible to identify truly happy people, and model them. You can read about Sir Richard Branson and see his videos on YouTube. It becomes clear that Sir Richard’s own fulfillment is more important to him than his billions. You get the sneaky suspicion that his very billions came directly out of his commitment to be truly happy.
I met Dr. Coget recently in San Francisco for lunch, not seeking treatment. We talked about a variety of things. She asked me a few process questions, and we parted. For the rest of the day, and the next several days, I felt high… for no reason! I found myself laughing with my colleagues, who usually don’t laugh all that much.
I have had the privilege of working with my partner in this web magazine for a number of years. She is almost always cheerful, even when distressful things come up in her life. She almost never loses her cool. I feel instantly happy when I see her or hear her voice. Years ago, I made her a high priority in my life. It was well worth the commitment.
Sustainable happiness is never a one-time event. It is only achieved when you fully realize that you are responsible for your own happiness and negative emotions need not run you. It is something you do every day. It can start with a simple, complete smile reaching up to your twinkling eyes. It can move to laughing at yourself in the mirror. It can even go to jumping up and down shouting, “I’m so happy! I’m so happy! I’m so happy!”
While this may seem undignified and just plain silly, over time it works. To borrow from Tony Robbins’ discipline, NLP, you are creating new associations in your brain. Over time, this becomes the new norm, and you begin to do this spontaneously. All professional actors and sales people know how this works.
Until the lines are your own, they will never work. Practice them enough, and they become your own.
You begin to seek out happy people, and learn from them. You begin to share your happiness with others, which is the whole point. You learn to see the best in everyone and welcome difficult people as a challenge to practice your skills. This doesn’t mean you manipulate them. You just learn to love them as they are through attention, appreciation and affection. Imagine how much better the world might be if President Trump woke up every morning to people like this!
Sustainable happiness starts by going within and recalling all the things you have to be thankful for. It might take the form of a diary, or it might even be a silent meditation. Along with it, you remember happy moments in your life, today, yesterday, even years ago. As you become genuinely grateful, the space around you changes. Miracles appear.
Positive psychology enables you to combine powerful inner processes with effective behavioral techniques. You begin to habituate yourself to see the world in a whole new light. The world is not really “out there.” It is your own personal world, every bit as much as your body. It may not at all seem that way. However, if you are willing to make the leap, you will be delightfully surprised.
As you become happier inside, you will become a little more attractive outside. Beauty in men and women goes beyond their skin to the energy that animates them.
The beauty of Marilyn Monroe is classic. In one short video, you could see Marilyn give a couple hundred different expressions. A stunning spirit leapt out of her that made her a superstar, that made her seem like the most beautiful woman who ever lived.
If you are human, you can bank on being distracted, upset and occasionally meeting with catastrophe. We all seem tested by our guardian angel and seek a state of grace to simply get through it all. This will happen almost predictably, seemingly throwing out every effort to sustain happiness.
However, as you realize sustainable happiness, you will find that you are able to snap back quickly into your home state of inner fulfillment. You realize part of the fun in life is its perpetual surprises. No surprises. No life. You will learn how to grab pleasure in every possible moment.
One of the founders of positive psychology started out in a Nazi concentration camp. He had the extraordinary gumption to write out, “Today I will be happy!” Not only did he survive the death camp, but he went on to be a powerful inspiration to millions.
Dr. Aymee Coget invites you to stand up for happiness and join her in the movement. Find other people committed to happiness and support their efforts. You can find out more about her programs on her website. Happiness can go viral if enough people commit their lives to it.
Already, sustainable happiness is shaping into a global movement. What better foundation can you have to make a difference on our fragile planet than your own happiness, and your ability to spread that happiness to everyone you touch!