What makes you happy?

Think about it.

Close your eyes for a few seconds and think about it again.

If you have got an answer, are you sure about that answer?

If you have not got an answer, are you still searching for one?

Actually, this is a trick question forcing you to come up with a reason to be happy. if you fall for that trap and choose to answer the question, immediately you surrendered yourself to conditional happiness. Whatever were the reasons you choose, those become the conditions for you to be happy.

What if you chose the default to be “happy?”

What if you really need a “good” reason to make you unhappy?

That would change the game completely. People around you might think you are a bit crazy as the default is not “happy” for most of them. The media and all the advertising is focused on telling them that they need to have that “something” to make them happy. Listen to the media and the chatter long enough and even you will think that you need that “something” to make you happy. That sets the discontentment and the gap to be happy.

Open Happiness

Let’s take a simple example – an advertisement from Coke.

The advertisement states that a coke bottle denotes opening happiness. With 39 grams of sugar within a bottle, if anything drinking that bottle of Coke will be closing happiness. However, what Coke (like any other advertiser) wants you to think is that you need their product to be happy. If you fall for that trap, you are a victim and you added one condition to be happy. Believe more such messages and you continue to add more conditions to be happy. Very soon, happiness comes to you ONLY with conditions attached.

The Antidote

The antidote is do exactly the opposite. Put a LOT of conditions to be unhappy and make your default state be that of happiness. Since that may not be easy, whenever you go down to the dark side (unhappiness) you can quickly acknowledge that and move back to the default state. It’s more fun that way.

Photo Courtesy: roosanaa on Flickr