The 10 Secrets to Real Happiness

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The 10 Secrets to Real Happiness

Written by Jafree Ozwald and Bronnie O’Dea

We all have the desire to be happy and enjoy this amazing opportunity to be alive.  Yet, it just happens that sometimes we get distracted, side tracked, mesmerized or even addicted to something which makes us forget what brings real true joy into our lives. Below are 10 practical global secrets to happiness that are guaranteed to get you back on track, and bursting with love, lightness and laughter everyday!  This can feel like quite a mechanical approach to happiness, yet once we understand the mechanics of happiness, how it works and exactly what we need to do to create it, we can welcome it into our lives more and more each day.  Be sure to read the article to the end, as you’ll discover the basic essential “Recipe for Happiness” that works for all human beings every time. Enjoy! 

1. Find Meaning in Life.  The word “meaning” in this context is all about our will to live in this world.  Meaning is the cornerstone of happiness. Without meaning, life is utterly empty and deprived of purpose.  When we have a good reason to get up in the morning, we feel excited about life and good about ourselves and the world. When we are aligned with our greater mission for being here, our life mission and soul purpose, we feel we have a real mission to attend to.  We may then want to leap out of bed and jump on our day to tackle new opportunities with zest and excitement! Meaning gives us motivation to move forward and enjoy the tremendous variety of experiences life is guaranteed to bring.

The first step to find meaning in your life, is find out what is truly important to you. What do you prioritize above everything else?  When you find out what this is, pour your time and energy into it! Most people find that what’s important are their relationships.  Sure, we can find great meaning in our work, a hobby, traveling, serving the community, games, activities, recreation, and even sporting events. Yet, when we spend real quality time with our partner, our family, friends, a child, our parents, a lover, co-worker, or a lover who is a co-worker, it doesn’t matter if we are not doing things we really enjoy doing.  When we can bond deeply with another, we feel connected and deeply loved and this brings us the greatest meaning in life.  We can find that through just being alone, holding hands with a friend in silence, the incredible spiritual depth of life pour naturally through, and the most ordinary moments become extremely meaningful and deeply enjoyable.

The second aspect to finding greater meaning in life involves developing a spiritual belief system (or an expansive way of understanding) that perceives the “bigger picture” of reality. This could simply be taking time to have a conversation with God, spending time alone, doing a healing ritual, creating a sacred space for praying, meditating or just laying out at the beach worshipping the Sun. When the mind feels connected to something that is bigger than itself, it tends to find meaning in the simplest of things.  When we have a real spiritual approach to life in place, we can endure the most painful challenges that life can bring. When we create a super strong spiritual connection to the Divine, then everything we say, hear and do comes from a place of tremendous meaning with a highly enlightening perspective behind it.

We don’t have to know the grand spiritual “Meaning of Life” to find real happiness. We just have find meaning in our day with what we’re doing and why we are doing it. Try it out.  See what happens to you by creating more meaning in the next 24 hours of your life?  Notice how you feel tomorrow by adding to your list just 5 more reasons to be excited about being alive. The more meaning you can find, the more you’ll naturally desire to creatively engage in life and be a part of it. When we are eager to be involved in a more intimate experience of life, we end up manifesting a life that we love to live.

The great author Viktor Frankl wrote a book in 1946 called, “Mans Search for Meaning”.  He talks about the people who survived the concentration camps, and who didn’t survive and why.  He found that the survivors were not the ones who were the most physically fit, yet where the people who had the most meaning in their lives. They were devoted to surviving because they looked forward to seeing their husband, wife, children or loved ones again.  Some prisoners said they survived because they were passionate about preventing this travesty from ever happening again. Their will to live through such an insane torture didn’t come from some fierce will power to be a survivor who could be tough and overcame any pain.  They made it because they believed if they could perhaps just make it through one more day, they may possibly reunite with that one thing they gave them a true heart felt loving connection.

2. Positive Emotion. This may seem obvious, yet sometimes we aren’t always conscious if we are feeling, thinking and behaving in a positive way. Positive thoughts leads to positive feelings, and this blossoms into an overall feeling of contentment and happiness by the days end.  This approach is almost mathematical in that there must be a larger sum of positive emotions than negative ones for the overall sensation of inner happiness to manifest itself. We must realize that spending one minute fretting and worrying about something, is 60 seconds of lost happiness we could’ve been having.  When we find a way to tip our emotional scale towards the sea of positive emotions throughout the day, we can feel as if we’re floating in an ocean of joy by the end of each day. By creating the habit of inventing more positive feelings than negative on an hour-by-hour basis, there will be a good feeling of happiness inside our soul by the time we go to bed. 

It’s important to know that tipping the scale towards the positive doesn’t mean we are trying to escape from the negative emotions. The happiest people in the world are the ones who willingly welcome and can even enjoy the full range of human emotion. The most fulfilled people on the planet still experience guilt, shame, grief, anger, and never try to escape those emotions. They embrace everything that arises as a gift from the divine.  If we truly want to become “fulfillionaires” in this life, we need total freedom, which means access to the full range of emotions to choose from.

The first strategy to embracing any negative emotion is finding what is good about it. The more you can embrace the negative, the more you bounce back into the positive. The more you try to avoid the negative, the more it clings to you like superglue. So what is the hardest negative emotion for you to handle?  Which one do you resist the most?  Fear, shame, guilt, anger or maybe sadness?  Diving into the emotion see where the pendulum will swing when its over and starts creating a positive emotion for you. 

Another strategy to create positive emotions are creating more time doing things that make you smile. Things like watching a funny movie, visiting a good friend who makes you laugh, getting a massage, making love, going for a sunset walk, or reading an enlightening article are all great ideas.  Perhaps you like to do the unordinary, and are into preparing a raw food dinner, walking through the forest barefoot, or playing silly imaginary games with the kids next door.  Whatever it is that lifts you up needs to be a priority in your schedule. Just put those things that give you positive emotion higher on the priority list, and when you’re doing it, be mindful about it.

Being mindful is huge in the world of happiness because it means that when you’re walking barefoot at the beach, you are truly there at the beach. You are not thinking about the sale at the shopping mall or the list of all the other things you should be doing while you’re relaxing at the beach.  When you’re mindful you are fully present to the wind, sun, sand, water and warmth. You’re smelling the fresh ocean breeze so deeply that it touches the back of your brain!  The secret here is using all 5 senses to take in your full beach experience, as if it was for the first or last time you’ll ever be there.  When we are using all our bodily senses that we can truly tap into the most positive healing emotions which bring us real happiness and make our heart’s sing!

3. Utilizing your Potential. This secret is all about realizing and utilizing your innate strengths. Your strengths are those natural abilities that you were born with, or learned at some point in your life and that you still enjoy doing. If you don’t know what your innate strengths are, simply look at what you love to do. What did you do last year that you remember loving more than anything else?  Notice what your heart is drawn to doing out of love instead of retracting out of need, greed or fear. Ask yourself, “Really {name}, what is my bliss?” and this will be a place of energy and deep fulfillment for you. Discover what ignites you, fascinates you and pulls your chain.  This is where your greatest potential will casually be hiding.  When you discover the place of perpetual curiosity about life, the most normal of days soon become the most delicious and amazing days of all.

As we practicing using our ability to see the potential within ourselves, within others, within an opportunity or situation, we can feel unstoppable in anything that we do. We then become happy to be of service to the world, helping humanity be a better place because we are simply singing a better song.  Of course humanity will greatly appreciate it and you’ll feel wonderful about yourself!  Being appreciated by those you look up to for doing things that you love doing, is a secret formula for an instant surge of happiness. It may not last long yet we stop being motivated by feelings of fear, and boldly move forward living a helpful life that we can really love.

Fear is powerful and can stop us from finding happiness very quickly. Yet if you focus on the potential in a situation the fear simply is hidden from view.  For example, let’s say you may move into a new house, and the neighbor invites you for dinner and initially you feel shy and afraid to meet these new people.  Yet, if you see the potential in the connection, in the new relationship and what you’ll learn from opening up to it, then you’ll become super eager to join them for dinner and end up gifting them wine and dessert!  If you can see every person and situation as having unlimited potential, then you won’t be afraid of anything.  You’ll naturally be excited about whatever it is you’re doing and see everything as a living breathing adventure.

 4. Having healthy relationships. Studies have proven that the happiest people in the world have deep intimate meaningful relationships that they love. When we hang out with people who respect us, treat us with love, compassion, empathy, kindness and support we walk away feeling lighter, freer and more alive!  Find out WHO these people are in your life, and pour your time and energy into them! Stop giving your energy to those who don’t appreciate you.  This is HUGE and will shift everything!  You may need to put a time boundary around those people who don’t make you feel good about yourself, or stop seeing them at all.  Eventually, they will intuitively figure out that they need to shift and become a more positive open minded person if they want to continue hanging out with you.

It’s good to remember that even the healthiest and best of loving relationships need work. A healthy loving relationship needs a constant flow of quality time together, deep listening, a feeling of congruence, and radical honesty. You’re just spinning your wheels if you’re always trying to keep the peace with your mate and holding deep resentments inside.  This buildup eventual smothers any love that was there initially. Real happiness in intimate relationships means radical honesty and embodying an attitude of gratitude about your partner. This brings a complete deep feeling of respect for the other person. When you give your partner this energy, it then becomes easy to give it to yourself.

One of the greatest hidden secrets to creating healthy relationships with others is having quality alone time with yourself. When you have enough time alone, you look forward to seeing your partner, feeling that you miss them and yearn to be closer. This desire for our partner cannot be created if we’re always connected at the hip.  We need space to explore ourselves and find a deeper state of gratitude for the person who loves us.  It’s my experience that when we spend 1/3 of our time alone, we naturally deepen on our spiritual path and effortlessly manifest the most amazing relationships of our lives.  This may seem like a lot, yet try it out and you’ll see that your time spent with your partner feels like you’re connecting with them again for the very first time.

5. Having success, achievement, accomplishments everyday.  We human beings love to feel that we are moving forward with our lives and doing something productive with our time here. Many of us have this burning need for “achievement euphoria” which is this little shot of dopamine to the brain that instantly creates positive emotion the moment we finally complete an enduring project. Studies have shown that when people talk about the happiest times in their lives, they usually share memories about their big life dreams or visions they manifested.  They feel they achieved something great in their lives and this is what made them extra happy. The secret to this formula is tricky in that we can get stuck in chasing success and feel that we will never arrive.  Chasing success cannot bring happiness, and can become an addiction if we don’t understand what it is we are really seeking.  When instead we choose to fulfill our potential in life, focus on the positive emotions we love, then success becomes a natural by product of our highest potentiality being filled. They say, “Do what you love and the money will follow” and in this case it’s more like, “Fulfill your highest potential and the money will find you!”

6. Engagement with Life.  Being engaged in life means we are doing an activity, and our actions and awareness are merged as one.  The means we are no longer separate from what we’re doing, yet rather pushed up to the edge of our ability to merge with life and feel that each moment could just be the greatest moment we could be achieving. Whenever we push ourselves too far beyond our abilities, we experience a rush of anxiety and fear.  When we fall beneath our abilities we experience boredom, lethargy, depression and lack of motivation. The key is to find that balanced level of activity which challenges us, yet also is enough to give us a sense of purpose, achievement and meaning.

When we are merged with life, conscious actions take over mindless activities, and we feel we are some kind of “flow” with life. They call it living in “the zone” and it is a place where we can easily access the timeless soul we truly are. We are flowing in the zone when hours have passed and it seems like minutes. When we are soooo ridiculously inspired about something we have forgotten entirely about the world. It’s possible to find our own flow zone in anything and everything we do in life.  We can find it in a normal conversation, going to work, doing art, sports, music, etc. The zone just shows up when we surrender to the natural flowing river of life.  It just seems to take us, especially when stop paddling so hard up or downstream.

Another form of being engaged in life is participating more in the community around us.  When we are actively a part of other peoples lives, we feel connected to the greater whole and this brings us peace.  Studies show that the most unhappy people in the world live very isolated separate lives, and are not actively engaged in their community or relationships with others. Engagement is an integral part of true mental health and it is a powerful way to instantly bring out happiness from the depths. We naturally discover this communal flow while engaging in conscious healing activities in our community.  Doing this on a weekly or daily basis we’ve tapped into a goldmine that can feed our soul a lifetime of communal pleasure.

7. Balance and moderation. When you discover something in life that you truly love, it can be a bit tempting to throw yourself into it and only it.  When something brings us real joy, positive emotion, deep meaning and even ecstatic orgasm, and we start doing that thing far too often, then we lose the joy it once brought us. That first piece of chocolate birthday cake will taste amazing, yet the 30th piece would probably make you heave.  We must approach everything in life with a sense of moderation, and this includes moderation.  This is the path to real balance which is where a deep contentment in life will naturally bubble up from. 

Having balance is also about being moderate with our level of attachment to this world. Everything in life will one day be taken away from us, so be careful of not getting too attached to anything of this world. It is a fast and highly transecient world we live in.  People, places and things will often not look or feel the same as they did a few years ago. If you get attached to and dependant upon any one thing, job, person or achievement for your main source of joy, this approach will one day lead to devastation. The person who only can find their bliss through work, becomes lost the day they get sick or have an injury and cannot work anymore. They instantly feel as they have no place to turn for purpose and meaning.  The secret here is finding some level of meaning and joy through every one, and everything that we do.

8. A Bright Future to Look Forward To.  There is no reason to live life if we believe the future is destined for failure, pain and suffering. The key word here is “believe” in that our beliefs are simply ideas that we’ve surrounded with a great story and lots of emotion.  For example, if you strongly believe at the end of tour work week you will go out to see the greatest movie that you love to watch, you can look forward to this amazing film all week and there will be a sense of joy constantly following you.  If you plan a trip next month to an exotic destination that you’ve always wanted to visit, you’ll find great anticipation and excitement are with you every week of the way. We need a sense of hope in life, and a future to believe in, a destiny to look forward to if we are to jump out of bed with sparkles in our eyes. True long term happiness in life is real, and it takes work and real creative effort. Whatever we put into it, equals exactly what we’ll get out of it. When we consciously project a deep sense of meaning, purpose and pleasure into our future, we will discover our present is richer, more alive and is giving us something worth getting jazzed up about!

9. Being Aware of the Happiness Trap.  All of this talk about happiness can make us think that the more we pursue it and attain it, the happier we will be. Be careful because this is the big trap!  Think about those people who have that plastic “perma-grin” on their face and are always “smiling” ear to ear.  Their happiness is false, fake and not authentic at the core.  Sure we can flip our frown upside down one moment to see a friend, and find that it instantly changes a doom and gloom mood we had all day. Yet, when we are always putting on a happy show for the world, thinking that this will get us what we want in life, we end up believing that we always need to have a constant stream of positive things to keep our happy boat afloat.

The constant desire for positive emotion and pleasurable things is a trap.  If we fall into it we will always be searching, seeking and yearning for happiness and never actually arriving. It is not realistic or healthy for us to think we need to be experiencing fun, joy or positivity in every single moment of our lives. Life is much much bigger than this!  Life contains a multi-dimensional exploration of our spiritual essence that is hidden within a framework of the physical duality. Say that one ten times fast! This life is meant to offer us something more than just a hamburger helper three dimensional perspective. When we attain access to the whole range of human feelings, we end up finding our true spiritual nature inside, and can feel we are arriving in fields of happiness while doing the smallest and simplest of things.

10. The Basic Recipe for Happiness. If for some horrible reason you pushed and pounded your way through this article and tomorrow morning you wake up miserable, anxious, or rushing through your life and cannot remember a single thing about how to become happy, write down this simple recipe for happiness and stick it on your refrigerator door!  Its super easy and highly effective at getting things going in the right direction. 

Happiness is having someone to love,

something fun to do every day,

and something to look forward to. 

It really is that simple.  Once we integrate these three basic things into our every day lives, we can stop trying to find happiness and will realize that it has found us. We must realize that having someone to love is all about deepening our connection with our partner, and not just jumping into bed with every new person we meet.  When we create long lasting loving friendships, we find that they serve as our emotional support system as we grow and age. If you cannot find a mate, they say that even having an animal to love and care for will do.  Just having someone to love is powerful, and will create enough desire and inspiration in a person dying with terminal cancer to remain alive.

Happiness is connected to everything, and it is what connects us to everyone.  It is an infinite resource that will always be there for us. Meaning every part of our lives has an infinite amount of potential happiness connected to it. We can find unending happiness in our health, relationships, work, money, leisure, etc.  When we simply put a little love and energy into it, we find it returns back to us in the most unique ways.  As you’ve seen, there are many paths to finding a sense of well being and joy in our lives.  When we can imagine and envision ourselves being happy everyday, we will soon manifest it and learn how to creatively sustain it along the way. This is our point of access, our entrance to a state of inner heaven that is with us everywhere we are.   I hope you enjoyed this article and were able to take something valuable from it with you. 

Much love to you,

Jafree Ozwald


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