Seeking Happiness in self-help books
⏬ This week’s card is about Happiness (or the lack of it) and why we seem unable to improve it despite hundreds of books, seminars, and information on “how to become happier” available out there.
We are intelligent beings capable of the most outstanding deeds. We build high-speed trains, tackle diseases, reduce child mortality, lunch space rockets to find life on other planets, create art masterpieces, and the list is endless.
Though, our levels of Happiness remain relatively low or unsatisfying. Or putting it differently, the anxiety, worry, stress, unrest, and depression levels are at a record high. How come an intelligent species capable of the former can’t get hold of this simple emotion?
Maybe because success or achievements are just temporary pills for our Happiness and probably have a significant impact and improvement on society, but not at an individual level. So we turn to books (or seminars, training, retreats, life coaches, and so on) seeking the magic formula to become happier. But in the vast majority of the cases, it doesn’t work or is of short-lived effect. Why?
✅ Happiness is a feeling/emotion, and as for most of them, although we can attempt to describe and even know why we are happy or sad, generally speaking, they are triggered by our thoughts/mind. Our mind is to blame as the main disturber of peace and Happiness with its incessant noise, the constant coming and goings of the past, worries about the future, comparison, inflicting self-doubt, and often inertia using fear.
✅ You may read and consume as much self-help as you want, but until you get hold of your thinking, you’ll always be a hostage of it may serve you. And thoughts are, in most cases, at the origin of your emotional state (the reverse is also possible but much less frequent).
✅ Modern society has promoted the use and habit of seeking “external solutions” or “outsourcing” quick fixes. We have come to disempower ourselves to delegate that power to psychologists, coaches for whatever domain, pills for anxiety or stress; you name it. Though no one knows us better than ourselves, and regardless of the professional level of experts or doctors, none of them will know us from the inside and our thinking habits. So we read books or consume other sources of knowledge, but in most cases, we stay there, we don’t apply the learnings (because it’s painful, discomforting, or not the right time), and that’s just a half step or lost occasion to level up.
⏩ Whatever you seek in books, seminars, training, or whatever platform, there’s a key element to have in mind: You need full involvement. You can access information, learn methods and processes, and read lots of literature. Still, without your personal involvement in consistent practice and embedding in your heart and mind the learnings you’re seeking, the result will be short-lived. You’re the powerhouse, and the literature, book, or training is the feed of that powerhouse. Not the other way around.