What if there was a little pill you could take that would instantly make you happy? A pill with consistent results, but zero side-effects. Would you buy it?
Of course you would.
Now what if you could do such a thing without a pill?
Would you go through the effort?
If we knew exactly what to do that would make us insta-happy. I think most of us would do it. In fact, you could argue that we’re already doing it. If you look at all our actions that are not directly related to surviving, almost everything we do is an effort to become happy. The people we hang out with. The hobbies we have. The things we do. The stuff we buy… Underneath the superficial “reasons” we have for doing these things, the core idea is “because I think it will make me happy”.
But the truth is that it’s not what we have or what we do that makes us happy. It’s the way we view those things. Once your basic needs are taken care of, your level of satisfaction mostly depends on what you think and how you feel about your own life.. One person’s misery is an other person’s fun.
I’ve written before about how we all have a different “map of reality” . In short: For the most part, reality is completely subjective. And the way you look at the world around you is what determines which type of reality you experience.
Now as far as happy pills go, I’d love to share a very simple way of looking at the world that consistently makes me happy. I usually look at the world this way while going through my “normal” life. If I ever get a little stressed out, taking a step back and reminding myself of this perspective, always brings me right back to happiness.
The Happy Narrative
“How unbelievably cool is it that I get to be alive? If I’m lucky, I might even get to exist in this physical world for 80 years or more. And if not. At least I get to be alive right now. Seriously, how cool is that?
But wait… It gets better! I get the chance to walk around on this planet and look at stuff. Like the stars. A nice sunset. A beautiful building. A cute animal. A gorgeous woman passing by…
Hey, wait a minute! She is ALSO alive! And she’s not the only woman. There’s all kinds of people here. And I get to interact with them. Which is super fascinating. Because they all live entire lives just like me. And they have vast worlds full of experiences, thoughts and feelings in their head, that I can maybe catch a glimpse of if I spend some time with them. Maybe then they can see a little into my soul as well. And sometimes we feel things called emotions, and they add to the particular flavor to our day.
It sounds so simple but now that I think about it, it’s fucking magic… And have the chance to that every day.
What’s that? I have a body. And if I touch it, it feels good. Even better if one of those other amazing “alive” people touch it. I can feel the fabric of my clothes hug my body. I can take them off, take a hot or cold shower and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever felt.
I can taste and smell things. I can hear noises, and sometimes they just happen to follow each other in a way that pleases me. Than I can dance to that rhythm or say “Woah dude!!!” to someone else who hears the song.
I can do these things every single day.
Seriously, how awesome is this place? I hope I’m still here tomorrow 🙂 “
Is This Delusional Thinking?
It may sound like an oversimplified or childish perspective. Negative Nancies could always counter argue with “Yeah there’s other humans here, alright… But they’re horrible people.” Or “I never get touched by someone else.”
Is there truth to any of those arguments? Yeah, it’s possible. But that’s not what’s important. A much more important question to ask yourself is:
How is that perspective serving you?
Does it make you happy to look at the world like that?
I’m not telling you to be blind to the truth, which indeed does have some harsh aspects. I’m merely suggesting to be mindful which aspects of that truth you highlight. Which thoughts you decorate your inner world with.
Would you place your living room full of objects that make you angry or sad?
Of course not.
So then why would you do that with the space inside your head?
If you’re currently not as happy as you’d like to be. Try taking on this perspective for at least a month and watch your life transform.
Take on the happy narrative and start speaking such sentences to yourself each day.
The cool thing is. You won’t even be making it up.
Because every thing I mentioned in the happy narrative is 100% real and true, every day, regardless of what happens.
It’s just up to you whether you choose to stay aware of them or not.