When you think about happiness, the immediate reaction would be to imagine things that make you feel pleased, relieved, and/or content. However, Rolf Dobelli says that this may not be the best way to really be happy. According to him, everything you know about happiness is wrong. He claims that his techniques help him cope with challenges, whether big or small. Here are eight of them that you can try now, unless reading them makes you feel depressed from the start:
Be grateful – You've already won the lottery in terms of the era in which you were born in. Think about it this way: you might have been born during a time removed from modern convenience. Be grateful for where you are right now. Live and breathe as much as you please.
Feelings are no big deal – Excitement, fear, anger, sadness, bliss, and all the other what-nots, are all moments that are temporary. Some of these feelings may last longer than others, but will go away anyway. Basing your life on emotions is counterproductive since these are events that regularly change. What you should take note of however, are the moments in the past. By re-examining your personal history, you'll have an idea of events that regularly occur. Doing so will guide your future, unlike feelings which have no stable footing in your life.
Stop trying to stand out – There's no such thing as being authentic, since there are more than a hundred billion people all over the world who more than likely have the same thoughts as you do. Not everyone can legitimately be unique. Trying hard to be authentic makes you look ridiculous, since real authentic people just deliver on their promises.
Happiness is about being boring – Most of us think that we must make the most of our lives by spending our resources on “real-life experiences”. However, Dobelli believes that a more peaceful life is better, since peace induces productivity. By not allowing our emotions to control or dictate our lives, we live in content with what we currently have.
Nobody really cares who you are – To put it simply, if you care too much about how others evaluate you, you won't live a good life. By placing your own self-evaluation on top of all the other people's judgments, you put yourself on the right track towards a good life. Liberate yourself from the opinions of others.
Anxieties are perfectly normal – There's not a single person in the world who does not worry. Some of us may have too much money to spend in a single lifetime, but have no family to enjoy it with. Others are in their ideal relationships but have little to no money to pay the bills. It's okay to have worries and problems. It's basically a matter of how you handle them. Keep track of your worries by writing them down on a journal. Remember to read this every so often so you can find patterns and discover new ways on how to handle new (or old) worries. Anxieties are just a part of life.
Your opinions don't matter – We live in a time where everyone must have an opinion about everything. All this does is create a garbage dump of narcissism. It's much more fulfilling to keep to oneself, and change things in your life first than by complaining about something you have no control of.
Enjoy your insignificance – Most of us have been named after a famous person. If you can think of a way to reach that level of significance and popularity, then go ahead and do it. But don't count on it to happen, since not everyone is meant to reach the top. Most of the streets are named after people who we don't really know. If you don't reach star status, great, but if you do, note that in a hundred years, nobody will remember you anyway.
If you feel the hair on the back of your neck rising, don't worry. These tips do sound strange at first but Dobelli believes that they will help create a stronger mental mindset in the long run and after continued diligent practice.