Before I cover the seven keys to happiness kung fu, allow me to cover my inspiration.
Over a month later after watching a happiness documentary on PBS, I’m just now getting around to addressing it. The documentary was “Happy” by Roko Belic. Heather McIntosh did an excellent summary of this PBS special wherein she deems it a “self help book made into a movie.”
The one stand out point for me and the reason that concerns human society in general was the segment on Bhutan; this country boasts a Gross National Happiness Index instead of a Gross National Product index.
Instead of focusing on markets and capital, Bhutan places its priorities on its people’s happiness first. For the most part, the Bhutans seemed for focused upon cultural and religious activities, but these were the only activities the cameras were capturing – nothing behind closed doors at work or personal lives.
Focussing on a Gross National Happiness Index may seem silly to westerners and most investers, but the Socionomics Institute has made interesting studies and very real correlations between social moods/trends and national economy – from financial success to repression.
Although Bhutan is a small Himalayan constitutional monarchy that made the transition from absolute monarchy to parliamentary democracy in March 2008 with one of the world’s smallest and least-developed economies, it seems that Bhutan’s focus is correct because the side effect is a 9.7% growth in their GDP as of 2014.
For this reason, I went on a quest for the ultimate guide to happiness that anyone can use for themselves and to share with others as far and wide as possible, so that happiness can spread like a refreshing summer wind.
Dr. Joseph Mercola makes me happy because he treats his audience as intelligent people; he wants to keep us healthy through his informative articles including why we should be happy in “Happiness and Laughter Are Natural Immune Boosters.”
I recently discovered the Action for Happiness site. I like this particular list article wherein the acronym for the list spells out ‘GREAT DREAM’ while providing happy cues with further instructions to follow when we’re out and about (extrinsic) or on our own (intrinsic).
Guess what? These two lists looked like categories and subsets of each other, so I stuck them together like a conceptual tetris puzzle to form a new list of seven keys to happiness.
Now, when it comes to these happiness lists, it’s not like the Holy Bible where we better learn and follow the whole thing. Otherwise, if you choose to try to discipline yourself to the whole list, it becomes more of a kung fu wherein we devote our time and energy to happiness. Then again, why not?
When we examine giving, part of the happiness we gain is by spreading happiness to others. Perhaps, you can help a co-worker by telling them to talk less and listen more would make them happier. Maybe you can tell your parents they would be happier if they would get more exercise. Quite possibly, one or more of your friends would be happier doing creative things and sharing their talent with the world.
Then you can share this list with them, so they can tell others how they can be happier. What do you think of that?
In case an action subset seems to lack clarity, I added my annotations to help you understand their relation:
GIVING: Do things for others
- Create – you don’t have to be an artist to be creative. Creativity can take any form, from gardening to cooking, to dancing and singing, to taking up a new hobby…
When we’re being creative, we usually share the fruits of our talent in the form of our creation with others as giving. In this way, we inspire happiness and creativity in others. When we create, we plant seeds in the great river of life.
RELATING: Connect with people
- Talk less, listen more – Talking less and listening more can help increase heartcentered communication…
EXERCISING: Take care of your body
- Get moving – Exercise boosts levels of healthpromoting brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress and also relieve some symptoms of depression…
APPRECIATING: Notice the world around
- Express gratitude – People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, and have more positive emotions…
TRYING OUT: Keep learning new things
- Eat light and right – What you eat directly impacts your mood and energy levels in both the short and long term…
- Get some sun every day – Have you ever noticed how great it can feel to spend time outdoors on a sunny day? Well, it turns out that getting safe sun exposure, which allows your body to produce vitamin D, is great for your mood…
- Turn off the TV – Evidence shows cutting back on TV time can add years to your life…
These three subsets are from the Mercola List. Obviously, there’s a lot more to learn than how to eat, get sunshine, and turn off TV. What Dr. Mercola has to offer is new to most people; it’s the kind of information that keeps us happy and healthy, so we can be out and about.
The 10 Happy Keys list is referring to extrinsic activities wherein we go out and learn new things. Before we do that, we must know the simple truth about ourselves…
Know the simple truth about yourself
- DIRECTION: Have goals to look forward to…
- RESILIENCE: Find ways to bounce back…
- ACCEPTANCE: Be comfortable with who you are…
- MEANING: Be part of something bigger…
These four subsets are from the 10 Happy Keys list. Upon introspection, we can know the truth about ourselves far beyond these subsets, but remember to share. You can help others accept themselves for who they are.
For example, in a 1980 movie starring Diane Lane as a crippled girl (“For the Love of Elvis?”), she felt ugly because she was twisted with cerebral palsy. In the course of the movie, a nurse’s aid made friends with her. The nurse’s aid helped her make penpals with Elvis. Then the girl felt pretty and accepted… The crippled girl almost died from over excitement happiness at one moment. She died happy at the end of the movie because she, allegedly, had a weak heart.
Let’s help the people in our lives to have strong hearts.
EMOTION: Take a positive approach
- Review the Happy List – a list of 22 things that happy people do differently…
- Write a list of simple things that give you pleasure… and do them at least a few times a week – Writing down the things that bring you a sense of pleasure and happiness,..
- Laugh it up! Laughing causes your body to release beneficial chemicals called endorphins, natural “pain killers” that contribute to your sense of wellbeing…
There you have it, a list that you can follow as much as you want to be happy and as much as you want to share for happiness and properity in others.
You probably noticed already, but there’s a special feedback loop between “learning new things” and “knowing the simple truth about yourself.” We learn new things according to the direction and meaning in our lives. We know the simple truth about ourselves according to what we’ve learned.
For example, when I decided to take the Probable Future Course, it was because of the direction and meaning I had in my life. I recognized most of the guided meditation methods already from my earlier studies in QiGong and Qabalah Meditation. Probable Future makes a different use of these altered states of consciousness in the form of remote viewing and remote influencing.
The simple truth I learned about myself is that I’m happy when I can heal as many of you as possible, as far and wide as possible, by helping you to be happy. Please share the happiness.