Life is hard. Even an easy life is hard.
I don’t know why this is. I don’t know who is responsible, though I guess it must be God. In any case, no one on this earth—or very few people—feel happy continuously. Some gurus claim that they do (if that’s what they mean by “enlightenment,” anyway), but I have my doubts.
I have my serious doubts.
Still, though: That doesn’t mean I’m not happy.
So far, in my life, I have felt happiness quite often. For the past few years at least, I’ve probably felt it every day. But I’ve felt a lot of sadness, too, sometimes at the same time.
And that is why, to me, happiness is not a feeling. It’s not a state of mind.
It is a state of being.
It is living a good life.
It is living the good life.
It is being satisfied with what you have and where you’re going.
And it means feeling pretty good a lot of the time, too.
And since this is a book about how to get happy, not just about what happiness is, I should make something clear that you might have guessed already:
The way to get happy is: You get the good life.
But what is the good life? Well, you probably know that already, too: It’s the life we’d want to have if we could have everything we needed, plus a little more. This means, probably, that we have purpose (sometimes called religion). We have jobs and money. We have things we enjoy doing. We have love and friendship.
We have the basic things—or at least most of the basic things—people seem to like having.
Most importantly, we know we have these things and we appreciate them.
But that’s not all.
In order to be really happy, we have to let go of some things, too. Negative thoughts, for example. Bad relationships.
We get the things that help us feel good, and we get rid of the things that seem to be more trouble than they’re worth.
That, to me, is happiness.
And in case you think that getting it is way out of your reach, let me assure you: that’s probably not the case. Because there is a secret to getting happiness that I’ve learned over a long period of time but that I’ve never told anyone else before—only you, dear reader, right now, and it is this:
Happiness—true happiness—is everywhere, always, all around you.
You just have to look.
The secret to getting happy is, simply, to try.
I found it all on my own. No one helped me, except when I asked for help, which was rare and took some time, because first I had to figure out what, exactly, I needed help with, and then I had to figure out how to ask.
It took a long time, definitely, but then, I started at a very young age. You are probably much closer than I was right now.
Probably much closer.