Saturday, December 19, 2009

Formula to Happiness


Over the years I have learned the formula to achieving happiness. However just as in math knowing the formula is only half the battle. It's an entirely different story when you actually have to apply the formula to actually solving the real world problem (equation). I should know, seeing as how I always struggled in math class. The majority of the time I was able to completely understand how the formula worked, however I would always miss a step along the way. I wouldn't carry the negative sign, or I would go to fast and make careless mistakes which led to me coming up with the incorrect answer.

In my pursuit for happiness I often face the same problems with receiving the correct answer, which in this case is happiness. In other words, by me "claiming" to have the formula to happiness does not in any way mean that I am ALWAYS happy.


I firmly believe that ALL people regardless of race, color, religion, or nationality have a personal set of morals and ethics in which they set for themselves as a standard "code of conduct". For many people religion, culture, family, and other outside forces influence this moral code of standards. In many cases it is almost sub consciously imbedded into their system. Meaning that for the majority of people it takes a lot of soul searching before we are able to realize what ours is. This is the first obstacle in being able to find the answer in the equation of our own happiness. Up until the point where we are able to learn this moral and ethical code of conduct it remains the "x" in our formula.


A lot of our lives are spent trying to figure this out. I call this soul searching process "escapes." What I mean by this is that we all find aspects of our lives that if we escape them it will equal happiness. Let me use a personal example as to what I mean by this. In the beginning of my mission for the LDS church in Brazil I went through some very difficult and frustrating times. I was in a foreign country without any family or friends. I didn't speak or comprehend the native language and I was 19 years old. So in the beginning I remember thinking, well once I know the language this will be easy and I will be happy. Once I learned the language I only became aware of more issues, and obstacles. So then I began to search for a new escape. I continued down this path until finally it dawned on me that none of those things bring happiness. In fact the absence of obstacles, stress, and tribulation does not equal happiness. Alot of times that is our first mistake. We see all of these stresses in our life, and we begin to think, if only I was able to rid myself of these stresses I would find myself FREE of stress thus resulting in happiness. This is a very destructive path, mainly because the only way anyone can experience growth and edification is through overcoming trials and obstacles in their lives, but that in itself can and should be reserved for it's own post.


Once we are able to comprehend that escaping what is bringing stress into our lives like, the lack of money, lack of friends, lack of family, lack of a job, etc... will bring about happiness. We are finally able to make some progress through this formula. We are then able to understand that only ONE person is in charge of our happiness. In fact only ONE "thing" is in charge of our happiness. We are the only ones who decide weather or not we are going to be happy. Regardless of circumstance happiness can be achieved. This does not mean to say that the pursuit to happiness is as easy for everyone, however "easy" or "hard" in itself is a relative term and is highly based on personal perception.

The only true way to find happiness is by living up to your own personal moral and ethical code of conduct inwhich we have all set for ourselves. Everyone's morals and ethics differ, so there is no RIGHT answer. However when you you don't meet your own expectations then you don't love yourself. If you don't love yourself you also are unable to comprehend or allow others to love you. Love is important because love is what brings about happiness. However when I use the word love I mean love in it's purest form. The love I speak of is synonymous with the word charity. So the best definition I can find is in the bible which says:
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in ainiquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth
1 Corinthians 13

*I find it important to note, that in the Brazilian Bible they interpreted the word charity as the word love. Which is more proof as to how perhaps love and charity are really the same word, but their definitions have become lost in time by man.


Please note that at the time of writing this post I am only 29 years old, and in my meager 29 years of pursuing happiness this is what I have learned and began applying to my daily life. I always find when I am unhappy it is almost ALWAYS in direct relation to how well I am doing in meeting my own personal moral and ethical code of conduct. So by going through the necessary steps to repair my own relationship with myself through forgiveness I am able to once again be on the pathway to happiness once again. So please feel free to add your own beliefs that you have learned along your travails of life.


5 Simple Rules for Happiness

Thursday, December 17, 2009

80 Percenter

I've always thought of myself as an 80 percenter. I like to throw myself passionately into a sport or activity until I reach about an 80 percent proficiency level. To go beyond that requires an obsession and degree of specialization that doesn't appeal to me.
Yvon Chouinard, Let My People Go Surfing, Founder and owner, Patagonia, Inc.

Related Article: A while back I wrote an article that talks about this philosophy. I wish I would of read this quote back then, it fits in perfectly to what I was attempting to say.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Still Fighting

Sunday I was driving home from church and I was listening to Ben Folds Five and this song came on and it seemed to perfectly tell the story of my life and where I am right now, and my sentiments.
Good morning, son.
I am a bird
Wearing a brown polyester shirt
You want a coke?
Maybe some fries?
The roast beef combo's only $9.95
It's okay, you don't have to pay
I've got all the change
Everybody knows
It hurts to grow up
And everybody does
It's so weird to be back here
Let me tell you what
The years go on and
We're still fighting it, we're still fighting it
And you're so much like me
I'm sorry
Good morning, son
In twenty years from now
Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers COKES
And I can tell you 'bout today
And how I picked you up and everything changed
It was pain
Sunny days and rain
I knew you'd feel the same things
Everybody knows
It sucks to grow up
And everybody does

You'll try and try and one day you'll fly
Away from me
Good morning, son
I am a bird

And you're so much like me
I'm sorry

I edited it a bit, but included the song below for your listening pleasures.

As the years go along in my life I learn more and more about my faults, and how life is such a beautiful struggle and a constant battle between myself. Then I look into my children's eyes and their innocence, purity, and love radiates from within their young souls. I begin to think about the conversations we will have in the future when the innocence slowly wears thin, and the world begins to bring it's awful woes. When the storm clouds of reality begin to flood their life, and the bitterness that accountability will bring. The greatest advice ANYONE can give is that, "Everybody knows it hurts to grow up, but everybody does. The years go on and we're still fighting it."

Then I think about the conversations I wish I could have with my father at this episode of life. What advice and wisdom would he be able to give me over a coke and some fries? How much did his life change when he picked me up? Perhaps he would give the same advice as Ben Folds...

Keep the fight alive, and never give up... Endure to the end.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

Every night for almost a month I would read "Where the Wild Things Are" to Hannah before she went to bed. The entire time I was reading she would be busy playing with toys on her bed. I never thought she was paying attention, until one day I was in the middle of the book and she stopped playing and stood up on her bed and began reciting word for word the book from that point on. She knew what to say by what picture was on the page. It amazed me.

I haven't read the book to her in over a month, and the other night she went and grabbed it off of the book shelf and told me she wanted to read the book all by herself. I thought to myself there is no way she still has this book memorized.

Sure enough she has the entire book still memorized. So the next night I decided I wanted to make sure I got a record of this so when it came time for story time I grabbed Heather and asked her to come in a record the moment.