How to be happy — from the happiest person on Earth!
The largest private Korean TV Station (KBN) and the largest private Polish Television station (TVN) scoured the world and have determined that I am the happiest person on Earth. They wanted to do a show on the happiest person on Earth and they decided I was it! I remember getting those calls and thinking: “Really, that’s it? Out of the entire world you have chosen me to be THE representative of happiness?” Hmmmm…..ok I’ll go along……despite all the shitty things that happened to me, like going through a genocide, losing my leg, my friends, being ripped form my parents and taken to a strange world……but you know, the more I thought about it the more I realized….I AM the happiest person in the world. Please don’t get me wrong, I do have my moments when I want to strangle someone or just feel like going to my bedroom and banging my head against the wall. But when it comes down to it, I am happy. I am truly happy with everything. What does that even mean or look like? Everyone wants to be happy…..so how do we achieve that?
We are all looking for happiness, and I wish I could share some of mine, but what I realized is, happiness can’t be shared. It’s something that comes from within you. What the heck does that mean, you ask? How do I go “within me” to be happy….well, let me explain. And, by the way, when I talk about happiness here, I mean true happiness — where you feel your life is full and you feel complete, content. Not you stopping looking around what you have and thinking to yourself — “well, I guess everything is pretty good and it could always be worse so I am happy.”
Feeling happy is really a chemical reaction in your body that makes you feel good. It’s a natural form of drugs that make you high without any side effects. Unless you make yourself happy by shopping, then a high credit card bill may be your side effect! That’s a joke — don’t make yourself happy by shopping, although a well deserved new car can sometimes make you really happy.
Happy people have figured out how to tap into their body to produce this chemical more and more and on regular basis. And what happens later is that you get addicted to it, so you keep looking for more ways to get the same effect and you stop caring about the outside world. (This is how you end up with hippies who live in the field with a stick but are REALLY happy — no, that’s not what I want you to do!)
Sadly, our lives today are such that while everyone is searching for happiness, we are so bombarded by information and outside noise we can’t really hear ourselves think or feel, let alone figure out what makes us happy. Being happy is not a part of our daily life goal or something we tend to work on. Everything else seems to take priority.
So, how do you find happiness within yourself?
First, separate yourself from the outside noise — husbands, wives, kids, partners, girlfriends, boyfriends, pets, TV, news, netflix, job, boss, co-workers, cousins….oh and the list goes on and on……everything except YOU. After you separate yourself for 5 minutes just think about YOU. What do YOU want? Your first task is to get to know yourself. Think about the days you were a kid, a teen, and you wanted your life to be like when you grew up. Find that little person and listen carefully. Don’t be afraid to think it or say it. Regardless what the answer is, it’s a correct answer, because you are unique and only you know the answers to these questions.
Second, you have to look at things positively. No matter how bad your life seems, trust me, there are millions of people having it much worse, and you can too. Train yourself not to stress over anything. There are very few exceptions to this rule — and yes, sometimes you have to stress. But 95% things in your life aren’t really that big of a deal. One of those things that falls in the 5% of the important stuff actually brings me to the third thing you need to be happy.
Health! Yes, to be happy you have to be healthy! Keep your body and mind in good shape — good healthy diet and lifestyle make a huge difference. In fact, healthy diet and lifestyle are the ways I cured my PTSD. After a decade of dealing with immobilizing fear and never taking any prescription medicine, I was able to reach a level of peace I thought I lost forever.
Forth, do what you love. And I don’t mean just your job — but everything. You want to go ice skating, or a jet ski ride? Go, do it! Do you want to change your career — go for it. Do you have a huge dream in the back of you mind that has never left you — go after it. When you do what you love your life will reach a whole new level of meaning!
Fifth, and to me the most important thing, is that you need to understand balance. The old Chinese yin/yang symbol is more important than you realize — in order for us to appreciate happiness we need to be sad. In order for us to appreciate peace we need to have stress. When you understand that these two can’t exist without each other you will truly find peace within yourself. This too will help you with the second step of not stressing because you will know that after every storm out comes the sun!
Try doing these 5 things to improve your life and you will see, one day you’ll look in the mirror and realize that happiness just snuck up on you.