Happy for No Reason…Really?
Happy for No Reason isn’t elation, euphoria, mood spikes, or peak experiences that don’t last. It doesn’t mean grinning like a fool 24/7 or experiencing a superficial high. Happy for No Reason isn’t an emotion. In fact, when you are Happy for No Reason, you can have any emotion—including sadness, fear, anger, or hurt—but you still experience that underlying state of peace and well-being.
When you’re Happy for No Reason, you bring happiness to your outer experiences rather than trying to extract happiness from them. You don’t need to manipulate the world around you to try to make yourself happy. You live from happiness, rather than for happiness.
Matthieu Ricard, a French scientist who became a Buddhist monk over thirty years ago, is often called “the happiest man in the world” by researchers who’ve measured his brain’s functioning both in and out of meditation.
He writes, “By happiness I mean a deep sense of flourishing that arises from an exceptionally healthy mind. This is not a mere pleasurable feeling, a fleeting emotion, or a mood, but an optimal state of being.”
People with high happiness set-points are human just like the rest of us. They don’t have special powers, an extra heart, or X-ray vision. They just have different habits. It’s that simple. Psychologists say that at least 90 percent of all behavior is habitual. So, to become happier, you need to look to your habits.
Some books and programs will tell you that you can simply decide to be happy. Just make up your mind to be happy, and you will be.
You can’t just decide to be happy, any more than you can decide to be fit or to be a great piano virtuoso and expect instant mastery. You can, however, decide to take the necessary steps, like exercising or taking piano lessons, and by practicing those skills, you can get in shape or give recitals. In the same way, you can become Happy for No Reason through practicing the habits of happy people.
As you practice the Happiness Habits, there may be moments you find yourself stuck in old behaviors and ways of thinking and feeling. It’s at times like these that you can call on the Guiding Three to help you through.
Guiding Principle #1: What Expands You Makes You Happier
Science has shown that everything in the universe, including you, is composed of energy. Everything you say, think, or do, everything you’re around, either expands your energy or contracts it.
When your energy expands, you experience greater happiness; when your energy contracts, you experience less happiness.
Guiding Principle #2: The Universe Is Out to Support You
Einstein once said that the most important question a person can ask himself is “Is this a friendly universe?” The Happy 100 answer this question with a resounding “Yes!” Rather than thinking the universe is out to get them, they believe the universe is out to support them.
What’s striking is that they don’t believe the universe is benevolent only when good things happen to them—they take this approach all the time. When something bad occurs, they don’t moan and groan, “Why me? It’s not fair.” They see all the events in their lives through the lens of “Ultimately, this is happening for my good. There are no mistakes. Let me look for the blessing in this.” This belief in a friendly universe is the root of their relaxed and trusting attitude in life.
Guiding Principle #3: What You Appreciate, Appreciates
This principle is based on the Law of Attraction, which, simply stated, is Like attracts like: whatever you think, feel, say, and act on, you draw to yourself like a magnet. Whenever you appreciate the happiness that already exists in your life, like money in the bank, it appreciates!
Many people focus on using the Law of Attraction to draw in the things they think will make them happy. But that’s backwards. Being happy is what draws in the things we want—it’s the basis of the Law of Attraction. In Rhonda’s book, The Secret, she writes:
I want to let you in on a secret to The Secret. The shortcut to anything you want in your life is to BE and FEEL happy now! It is the fastest way to bring money and anything else you want into your life. Focus on radiating out into the Universe those feelings of joy and happiness…Everything you want is an inside job! The outside world is the world of effects; it’s just the result of thoughts. Set your thoughts and frequency on happiness.
Happiness Habit for the Mind #1 Question Your Thoughts
Enter a belief or a judgment on the line below and then question it in writing using the following questions and turnaround:
Is it true?
Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Can you really know what is best in the long run for your path or another person’s path?)
How do you react when you believe that thought? What happens? (How do you treat yourself and others when you believe that thought?)
Who would you be without that thought? (How would you live life differently if you didn’t believe that thought?)
Then turn the thought around.
(Is that as true or truer?)
For each turnaround, find three genuine examples of how the turnaround is true in your life. This is not about blaming yourself or feeling guilty. It’s about discovering alternatives that can bring you peace.
When we do The Work, we free ourselves from the effects of believing stressful thoughts such as “I’m not good enough,” “He doesn’t love me,” “She doesn’t understand me,” “I’m too fat,” “I need more money,” and “Something terrible is going to happen.” We can turn our stress, frustration, and anger into a freedom that we never dreamed possible.
Happiness Habit for the Mind #2 Go Beyond the Mind and Let Go
Make yourself comfortable and focus inwardly. Your eyes may be open or closed.
Step 1: Focus on an issue that you would like to feel better about, and then allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling in this moment. This doesn’t have to be a strong feeling. In fact, if you are feeling numb, flat, cut off, or empty inside, those are feelings that can be let go of just as easily as the more recognizable ones. Just welcome the feeling and allow it to be as fully as you can.
This instruction may seem simplistic, but it needs to be. Most of us live in our thoughts, pictures, and stories about the past and the future, rather than being aware of how we actually feel in this moment. The only time that we can actually do anything about the way we feel (and, for that matter, about our businesses or our lives) is NOW.
Step 2: Ask yourself: Could I let this feeling go?
This question is merely asking you if it is possible to take this action. “Yes” and “No” are both acceptable answers. You will often let go even if you say “No.” All the questions used in this process are deliberately simple. They are not important in and of themselves but are designed to point you to the experience of letting go.
Step 3: Ask yourself this simple question: Would I let this go? In other words: Am I willing to let go?
If the answer is “No,” or if you are not sure, ask yourself: “Would I rather have this feeling, or would I rather be free?” Even if the answer is still “No,” go on to Step 4.
Step 4: Ask yourself this simpler question: When?
This is an invitation to just let it go NOW. You may find yourself easily letting go. Remember that letting go is a decision you can make any time you choose.
Step 5: Repeat the preceding four steps as often as needed until you feel free of that particular feeling.
NOTE: You will probably find yourself letting go a little more at each step of the process. The results at first may be quite subtle, but if you are persistent, very quickly the results will get more and more noticeable. You may find that you have layers of feelings about a particular topic, so be patient. However, what you let go of is gone for good and you will feel lighter and more peaceful.
Happiness Habit for the Mind #3 Incline Your Mind Toward Joy
Throughout the day, look around you with an eye to giving out awards.
Be creative. For example, as you look at flowers, notice the one that could get the “Most Unusual Color” award or find one that’s had the hardest struggle to survive, but made it, and give it the “Best Blossom of the Day” award. Look for extraordinary smiles, efficient service, or ingenious solutions to everyday challenges. There’s no limit to the type or number of awards you can give in a day.
Invite other family members or friends to play this award game, and at the end of the day, tell each other the awards you’ve given out.
Summary and Happiness Action Steps
Thank God we don’t have to believe everything we think! You strengthen the pillar of the mind by thinking in ways that support happiness: questioning your thoughts, going beyond the mind and letting go, and inclining your mind toward joy. Use the following action steps to practice the Happiness Habits for the Mind:
- When you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, check to see whether it’s telling you the truth by doing The Work.
- To release sticky negative thoughts, practice the Letting Go Exercise.
- To register the positive about yourself, try the Mirror Exercise once a day for at least a week, preferably twenty-one days.
- Give Happiness Awards as you move through your day to keep your mind inclined toward joy.
- Practice leaning into the thought that makes you feel happier.