I was 41 years old, stretched out on a lounge chair by my pool and reflecting on my life. I had achieved all that I thought I needed to be happy. I had a successful career that helped people, a loving husband, a comfortable home, a great body, and a wonderful circle of friends.
But surprisingly I wasn’t on top of the world. I felt an emptiness inside that the outer successes of life couldn’t fill. I was also afraid that if I lost any of those things, I might be miserable. Sadly, I knew I wasn’t alone in feeling this way.
While happiness is the one thing that we all truly want, so few people really experience the deep and lasting fulfillment that feeds our soul. Our Founding Fathers even guaranteed us the right to pursue happiness, so why aren’t we finding it?
Because we’re looking for happiness, in the words of the old country western song, in “all the wrong places.”
The culmination of my pursuit of happiness was when I discovered a state I call Happy for No Reason, a neurophysiologic state of inner peace and well-being that isn’t dependent on circumstances. I believe this is our essential state.
When you’re Happy for No Reason, you bring happiness to your everyday experiences rather than extract happiness from them. You don’t need to manipulate the world around you to try to make yourself happy. You live from happiness, rather than for it.
Most of us struggle to string together as many happy experiences as we can, like beads in a necklace, to create a happy life. We do our best to find just the right beads that will fulfill us. Being Happy for No Reason, in this analogy, is like having a happy string. No matter what beads we put on our necklace—good and not so good—our inner reality, the string that runs through them all, is happy, and we experience an unshakeable positive state inside.
So, how do we get there?
The only difference between happy and unhappy people is that they have different habits.One of the most prevalent habits that happy people share is believing that the universe is out to support them—that this is a friendly universe. When things don’t seem to be going their way, instead of feeling like victims, they look for the lesson and the gift in the situation. In other words, they believe there is a higher purpose that is supporting their ultimate good.
Practicing this one habit has made a huge difference in my own life. Try it yourself: The next time you face a challenge, take a moment to reflect silently, asking yourself, “If this were happening for a higher purpose, what would it be?” I’m certain that whatever answer you discover will be illuminating, but more importantly you’ll begin tapping into that state of inner peace and well-being on a regular basis.
Remember, when you’re Happy for No Reason, it’s not that your life always looks perfect—it’s that however it looks, you’ll still be happy!