Happiness for a reason is just another form of misery because the reason can be taken away from us at any time. – Deepak Chopra
Happy for No Reason
We get happy when conducive events occur in our lives, and we become unhappy when not-so-conducive things happen in our life. In other words, there are several reasons for which be become happy. What if this need not be the case? What if we choose to eschew the notion that external happenings hold the remote control over our happiness? What if we perform actions from a state of happiness as against performing actions for gaining happiness? What if, instead of being happy for a variety of reasons, we be happy for no reason?
The Happy 100
Schimoff too experienced the highs and lows that come with being happy for some reason. Not happy with accepting status quo, she pursued the idea of being happy for no reason, which resulted in this book. If this idea sounds eerily similar to The Secret, it is no coincidence; Schimoff is one of the secret teachers. In her research for this book, Schimoff interviewed 100 of the happiest people she has come across. And she finds certain factors common across these people, which she outlines in this book.
Happiness Set Point
Like a thermostat that is set at a particular temperature, Schimoff avers that people have a happiness set point that they default to. People with low happiness set points get unhappy at the slightest provocation. On the other side of the spectrum, the happy 100 remain happy even when they are going through life’s rough patches. The happiness set point of a person is influenced by both genetic and learned factors. Just like the temperature of a thermostat can be increased to increase the coziness, there are steps that can be taken to increase the happiness set point. Almost the entire book is devoted to techniques and practices that help increase our happiness set point.
The Metaphor of a Home
Schimoff exhorts her readers to build a home for happiness. She outlines the pillars and other components that comprise her home. Each of these are taken and examined in detail:
- The Pillar of the Mind
- The Pillar of the Heart
- The Pillar of the Body
- The Pillar of the Soul
- The Roof (a life of purpose)
- The Garden (relationships)
Gems of Wisdom from the Book
Beautiful gems and nuggets of wisdom can be found throughout the book. Here is but a small selection:
- It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis.
- When you believe that the universe is out to support you, you’re able to stop resisting what is happening.
- It is never too late; no matter when you start, it’s always possible to change your habits.
- We try so hard to control everything in our lives that we forget the profound power of putting our faith in the universe and letting go.
- My dad taught me that feeling a sense of purpose allows you to bring joy to whatever it is you are doing.
- What sets the Happy 100 apart is that they don’t depend on others to make them happy.
- Our emotions are contagious. While it can be good to “catch” an uplifting feeling, it can be damaging to take on others’ feelings of anger, jealousy, anxiety or hate.
- The Happy 100 handle toxic people when they have to, but they also limit their interactions with them when they can.
I believe that a majority of os.me readers will like the thoughts presented in this book. If you get a chance, give this book a try!
Post-Script: This was one of the books that I started reading fortuitously at the Anna Centenary Library, you can read about that story here.