The 3 steps to Sustainable Happiness

I have always sensed that happiness had little to do with what everyone thinks. Watch the brief video above to find out what happiness is really all about.

For me, having an early experience of financial wealth, as a 25 year old, allowed me to cut the mythical cord between security and happiness.

And experiencing flow states on my surfboard was yet another portal to truth. A third as been the enduring happiness I have experienced through being part of a community of friends, with whom I experience the give and take of fulfilling relationships.

So many people strive and lust for happiness. But they end up pushing it further away through approaching it as something elusive, out there to try and grab.

Our culture perpetuates the myth that happiness is a destination, a goal to strive for. This keeps most people running away from what they think will hurt them and running toward what they think will satiate them.

Feeling happy or content is a very simple formula. We all know what makes us feel good. Contentment is the natural emergence of a life lived naturally.

And we all know on some level that to nourish relationships, give back to our community and to immerse ourselves in what we do is a life well lived.

I have spent years exploring the HOW of a life well lived. Below is my analysis of the evidence.

Lens Thriving Part 1  Thriving Part 2 Thriving Part 3
Natural world Evolve & adapt Collaborate/ tribe Contribute
Happiness  Flow & engagement Community/ culture Giving back
Drive/ motivation Autonomy/ flow Build mastery/ habits Express purpose

The first lens is nature- what does nature tell us about how to thrive? The second lens is what the psychology of happiness tells us about thriving. And finally the study of human motivation (The book Drive, by Dan Pink is awesome) reinforces that there are 3 parts to the equation:

  1. Internal expansion of consciousness
  2. External growth through community & culture
  3. Giving back through contribution to others

Credit to Rocko Belic and the team who made the documentary Happy. Please watch it!