Everything we do in our lives is ultimately for our happiness.
I recently watched a YouTube video called “The Happiness Manifesto,” where former scandalous pickup artist, and now spiritual teacher, Julien Blanc, outlines how the secret of happiness is to get out of our own way and stop making ourselves unhappy.
It was one of the most powerful talks I’ve seen, and it really got my juices flowing.
Julien, who just a couple years ago was considered one of the most hated men in America for pushing the politically correct boundary with some of his tactics for picking up women, makes the case that we’re all naturally happy—but we’ve somehow convinced ourselves along the way that our default is unhappiness and lack.
We believe unconsciously that we are not good enough, and until we get down to the nitty gritty and change that false assumption, we’re bound to fulfill that prophecy.
After the media scandal, Julien hit the bottom hard—though it wasn’t long before he launched his new transformational workshop and completely changed his online persona.
No matter what people think of his offense, we can’t deny that being publicly shamed in front of the whole world, and being considered a bigoted asshole by all of America is one of the most difficult things anyone could ever go through. The fact that he has been able to come back from that in a big way makes him a decent authority on the subject of happiness—particularly in the face of extreme adversity.
No matter what we think we’re chasing in life—the girl, the money, the car, the respect, the power—when we boil it down, it always comes back to being happy.
Happiness trumps everything.
The problem we run into is when we assume that we’ll find happiness “out there,” as though it’s some hidden treasure that’s yet to be discovered. We’re assuming that happiness is something that is found, not something that we’re born with.
Isn’t it crazy how many people are unhappy in the world? I remember when I got to a certain age and realized that. It was a massive shock to my system. I was like, “Wait, so the thing that we’ve been taught is the most important and all of these fairy tales and movies are based on, is not something that most people experience? What?”
It makes no sense, until we start to connect the dots and see how we’re programmed to be unhappy.
You see, all this happiness talk and airy fairy wish fulfillment that defines the childhood of many of us in the West makes us believe that being happy is something dependent on external events. Once we fall in love with the prince, or we finally find the girl, then we’ll be happy. That’s the narrative that we’re taught as children, and a lot of the time it just turns us into prissy brats.
“Once this thing happens, then I’ll be happy once and for all.” No. You won’t. You’ll just project our childhood trauma in a different direction.
Here’s the deal—happiness is a mindset. When we are focused on the present moment, not too concerned with the past or the future, and not overly thinking about how we’re looked upon by others, we’re f*cking happy.
We all experience this in small doses, as a little glimpse of pure joy and elation, but very few of us feel this way in our daily lives. Why?
To put it simply, we don’t actually believe in happiness, because our misery feels so much more real. We might believe in happiness as an idea, but not as a living, breathing reality.
What if someone came up to you and asked, “Why aren’t you happy all the time?” Think about that. What would you say? You probably wouldn’t have a very good answer. Something like, “I have bills to pay.”
Yeah? Your bills are preventing you from being happy? You sure about that?
The truth is, we’re not happy because we’re more comfortable that way. We’ve made a home in our misery. We identify with the pain that we have experienced, and when anyone challenges us we can just track back to that pain-borne identity and shout them out to oblivion.
We like the painful moments from our past, and if we didn’t, then we wouldn’t hold onto them so damn tightly. We get something out of it—maybe an ego boost and a justification to never fully meet our potential.
So, what’s the antidote?
For one, we have to hate our misery. Not hate the fact that we are miserable and our personal tragic story, but hate the misery itself. Hate that feeling of being unhappy. Hate it like you know that you’re meant to feel happy. Like anyone with an illness, we have to want to get better before we can take the steps to actually do so. And, I’m inviting you to do that right now with your unhappiness.
Once we know in our hearts that we’re meant to feel happy and that our misery is no longer serving us, we have to go deep as f*ck.
Most of our lives we see through the eyes of our waking mind, but there is a vast ocean of subconscious material that’s dwelling beneath the surface. It is the stuff that we are not aware of inside of ourselves that usually does the damage, so we have to get comfortable swimming in that sea of unconscious activity if we’re going to bring about fundamental change in our psyche.
We can’t just choose to be happy, because there’s a whole other side of us that’s unconsciously making us unhappy. What we can do is decide that we’re going to cultivate the capacity to feel happiness, and we do this by tapping into our subconscious and challenging some of those early childhood assumptions and limiting beliefs that we have. Then we can move as one, having all of our energies (both conscious and subconscious) working for us.
Let’s end with a little practice:
Close your eyes and flood your body with awareness. Feel everything that’s there—every tingle, every sensation, every tension, every knot—and simply be aware of it.
Breathe your way into every feeling in the body. Relax into it. Feel the muscle tissue, the fascia, the skin cells, the organs, as though a warm luminous energy is flowing through all of it. Feel the aliveness of the body, as though everything depended on it. Keep breathing. Keep relaxing. Keep feeling.
After a while, you’ll feel much more connected with your body, and the door to your subconscious will be opened. We can witness our deepest thoughts and feelings as a passive observer or a curious witness, and this allows us to get in touch with the deeper dimensions of who we are.
This is the essence of true happiness, being in alignment with the whole of ourselves—instead of just a fragmented piece of our ego.
There’s enough misery in the world. Let’s be the change we want to see and lead by example by being happy as f*ck. It’s a worth a shot.