Happiness Starts Now

Happiness Starts Now

Check out my latest column published today in Body + Soul…

ONE of our goals at The Happiness Institute is to promote happiness, through the principles of positive psychology,to as many people as possible.

As part of this, I personally spend much of my time speaking to organisations and presenting at conferences.

And, like most speakers, I have a few popular seminars I deliver often.

In addition to these, I”ve recently developed and started offering a new presentation designed to help people direct their happiness pursuits appropriately.

You see, I”m continually confronted by the fact that too many people make too many mistakes in their efforts to find happiness. A lot of people who want happiness simply look in the wrong places.

At least partly as a consequence of living under a very strong economy for quite a few years now, many people revert to consumerism and spending as a way to find happiness.

I refer to this as the “tyranny of whenê¢__‘Ô_”, because so many people seem to believe that they”ll be happy when they have more money, more things, a faster car, a bigger house, the latest plasma TV screen, and so on.

I”m more than happy to state for the record that I have nothing against material possessions (I”m particularly keen on gizmos and gadgets), but I know from personal experience, and from working with many wealthy and successful people over the years – and I”m 100 per cent certain that the research is consistent with my experiences – that you won”t find happiness in a shopping mall.

Despite what many people would have you believe, neither will you find happiness through wearing certain clothes, driving certain cars, having a specific type of mobile phone or portable music player.

Nor, dare I say it, will you find happiness by consuming certain brands of drinks.

Just to be clear, I”m not suggesting that any of these things will cause you to be unhappy, unless, that is, you dedicate so much time to the accumulation of these “things” that you”re distracted from what really matters, because then you won”t experience as much happiness as you could.

What really matters?

As summarised in my “CHOOSE” model in my February 24 column, the things that will lead to more happiness can all be found within yourself (such as thinking more optimistically and practising appreciation), and within your interactions with others (by nurturing and fostering good-quality relationships).

In my coaching and other work, I”m constantly encouraging people to believe what I believe the science of positive psychology has proven: that achieving happiness requires nothing more than practising a few simple disciplines every day.

Sometimes, however, we need to be reminded of these disciplines and sometimes we need to be reminded of where to look for real and meaningful satisfaction.