Core conversation

Posted on July 5, 2013


1280-Happiness-and-ecological-efficiency-as-alternatives-to-GDPI know I write often about happiness, which may seem a diversion from the running, fitness, health and wellness theme of this blog but in actual fact, happiness is bound so tightly to all of these … and to pretty much everything in our existence.  Only if we are happy as individuals, can we pursue our passions (running), set goals (fitness & health) and be emotionally sound (wellness) so there … happiness lies at our very core …

And as an avid reader on the science of happiness, it’s a subject I always love to talk about. A recent conclusion that resulted from one such conversation was this:

Forget the shallow, surface goals of losing weight, getting promoted, getting richer, working less and having more … the real goal that lies within everyone is happiness. Happiness is the universal goal regardless of who we are, where we’re from, the lives we’ve had and what we have.

But the meaning of happiness is different for us all.

What spells happiness for some (e.g. a long distance trail race) might equal hell for someone else (couch potatoes) … and similarly, happiness at one point in our lives might stop bringing us happiness when we’re older and wiser …

Happiness therefore is less about the experience or situation itself and more about how we interpret it. We don’t create happiness, rather it is the sum of our dialogue, mindset, attitude, beliefs, fears and values … it is the stories we tell ourselves about our lives.

But somewhere along the line, so many people have got side-tracked and led down the trail that leads to the ‘some is good, more is better and most is best’ mindset. And this in turn has changed their attitude, beliefs and values.

I would never argue that ‘stuff’ does not bring happiness.  There is a threshold under which ‘stuff’ totally brings happiness … food, shelter, transport, medical care, some possessions … and sure, beyond that threshold, having more has a definite correlation to having greater choice in our lives, greater freedom … but beyond that?

  • Those with two houses are no happier than those with one.
  • Those with a mansion are no happier than those with a small apartment.
  • Those with a fast car are no happier than those who ride on the metro.
  • Those with a wardrobe full of designer threads are no happier than those who shop at thrift stores.

You get the picture!

Most, if not all of those reading this post live in the first world.  Our happiness is directly correlated to what we believe between our ears.

When I look back at my most highly read posts over the years, the ones on happiness come out top and this I love. I love that people no longer see the quest for happiness and living their best life as some wishy-washy, spiritual blah but as a real and measurable pursuit to bring them a life of meaning, purpose and fulfillment … and to success! Happiness, after all, is the best definition of success, just as the quote that sits on my home page says:

Success is not the key to happiness.

Happiness is the key to success.

Albert Schweitzer

Have a wonderful weekend, whereever you are and hello from Le Telfair, a slice of heaven in magnificent Mauritius! x

PS. I write this from the Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort in Mauritius, who I can’t thank enough for an incredible opportunity to experience this very special spot in the world. I am here to run the Dodo Trail, Mauritius’s iconic trail race through the dramatic and very hairy trails to be found on this magical island. It is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. And I recommend a stay on everyone’s Bucket List …

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