What is happiness? How would you describe it? Is it feeling good or is it the absence of feeling bad? Is it both? Can you control happiness? Can you trigger and sustain it? Happiness may be triggered by different things and may be described differently by different individuals; but I think its fair to say what we all want to feel happy. In general, most of us would say good health, a modicum of wealth, and loving relationships would be major components of happiness. In short, health, wealth and relationships.
The search for happiness can be said to drive all human existence. The constant if not consistent release of endorphins triggered by external stimuli that makes one feel good appears to be the universal goal of our species. Be it triggered by love, companionship, affection for family and friends and sports teams, physical activity, humor, food, power, philanthropic pursuits, travel, cars, boats, pets, sex or visual stimuli; I think it is safe to say that the end goal of all human activity is to feel good. A good meal, sharing a warm hug, helping a fellow, receiving a sincere smile, achieving a certain vocational and or economic status that allows one enjoy the things and experiences that make us feel good drives us, our ancestors and our prodigy forward. It always has and probably always will. That being said, our material achievements almost always ring hollow if we aren’t happy.
With these thoughts in mind, a couple of years ago I decided to give a go at creating a keynote speech around happiness. I began to talk to people about happiness. I would ask if they were happy. The happy people I spoke with had sufficient levels of what I call The Four Factors of Happiness in their lives. The unhappy people simply didn’t. Based on this informal research, I created what has become my most popular speech. In fact, each time I have delivered this presentation the majority of the audience would ask to buy a copy of the Happiness Book. But I didn’t have a Happiness Book, it was just a speech. So, I decided to turn the Happiness Speech into a book and The Four Factors of Happiness was born. I hope you enjoy. I hope this book shows how You Can Be Happy. And when that happens, I hope you share this good news with family and friends.
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