Monday, November 16, 2009

Can we really be "Happy For No Reason?'

(excerpted from an interview I conducted with Happiness Expert and author, Marci Shimoff)

Happiness is our birthright.

However, we have an epidemic of unhappiness in our society. As a culture we are stressed out and we are being taught two very big happiness myths: the myth of more and the myth of I’ll be happy when.

The myth of more is the one that says, the more I have the happier I will be.

The myth of I will be happy when is I’ll be happy when I get a better job or I’ll be happy when I get a better husband or I’ll be happy when I lose 20 pounds. The truth of that is you will be happier for a short period of time but after a short period of time you will acclimate back to your original happiness level and it really won’t make a difference.

So happy for a good reason is only temporary. The ultimate thing that we are all looking for, that our souls are hungry for, is the state that I call happy for no reason. That is the state where you are truly feeling that you have an inner state of peace and well-being that doesn’t depend on your outer circumstances. You may have momentary ups and downs and things like that but you have a backdrop of peace and wellbeing. What I like to say is that people who are happy for no reason don’t look to their life experiences to extract their happiness but rather they bring their happiness to their life experiences.

It is our birthright!

So I decided to dedicate my life to finding out how to be happy. The research shows that we all have what is called, a happiness setpoint. That no matter what happens to us, whether it is good or bad, we will hover around our happiness set point unless we do something consciously to change it. It is not what happens to us that creates our happiness it is really our set point. And the set point is 50% genetic. You are born with that part. The other 50% is based on your habits of thoughts and behavior. That is the part that you can really do something about to change or raise your happiness set point. You can raise your happiness set point, your happiness thermostat. And I am going to take it a step farther from the traditional scientific researchers who say that 50% is your genetics, you cannot change that. The other 50% you can change. I am in the school of thought that says that even your genetics can be changed.

In interviewing 100 unconditionally happy people, I found that the only difference between them and everybody else is that they have different habits. I call them happiness habits. I distilled them down to 21 main happiness habits that anyone can practice to raise their happiness set point.

Here are some keys to creating happiness in your life particularly as it relates to successfully managing change.

  • First of all begin to see the great blessings inherent in the challenges. We often discover these blessings several years later. The first step is to see the great blessing in it now.
  • Step number two is to surround yourself with great support. You know, get really great friends that you just enjoy being with, that fill you. Find people who support you in your happiness. I suggest to people that you find a happiness buddy, someone who is going to keep you on track for happiness.

  • The third thing is to find multiple sources of emotional income. What I am really starting to do is find lots of different places for my emotional income. I am dancing. I am having a great time dancing. I am doing really fun things with people that I love. I am being really more careful to spend time meditating, to take walks in nature, to nurture myself, to give myself sources of emotional income. That is the third thing.

  • The fourth thing is to take really, really good care of your body. If you can, go off of sugar. Sugar makes you very emotionally unstable. I know it is not an easy thing to do but there are some things that I talk about in Happy for no reason to help support you in breaking the sugar habit.

Honoring ourselves, loving ourselves, taking care of ourselves, those are habits. Most of us are not in the habit of doing those things. So, part of what I talk about in the happiness habits are things that will in fact, raise your self esteem and generate more self-love.

We have another myth I think and that is the myth that I need to be unhappy in order to grow. I need to be miserable in order to motivate myself. We actually, are more motivated by love than by fear. We are more motivated to move towards what we want than away from what we don’t want. The ultimate goal in life is to be happy.

People are often asking me is it selfish to want to be happy? How self-centered is that? The truth of it is, that I believe it is the least selfish thing that we can possibly do. When each one of us becomes happier we are raising the happiness level and the consciousness and the vibration of our planet.

Here is a Chinese proverb I believe sums up this whole concept of how we change the world. It goes like this: when there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. When there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. When there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in this world.

My prayer and my wish for everyone single one of us is that we feel the light in our own souls. That we feel the love in our own hearts, that we feel the happy for no reason in our own lives and through that we create peace here on this planet of ours. So, let’s all join in on that happiness revolution and create an amazing world.

To purchase the download of this call go to:

To learn more about Marci and "Happy for No Reason" go to: