The formula for happiness

Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything (Neil Pasricha)
Want Nothing – One of the most common reasons we find ourselves unhappy is because our expectations are not met. So try to avoid creating high expectations for yourself. Do things for the sake of the process, not the end result.
Do Anything – Do things because you want to do them. That could be something you are interested in, something new, or something you always wanted to try. Do not expect a certain outcome. Also do not tie yourself down with “what if’s”. What if you will not be good at it? What if you will not get it? What if it does not work out? All of that only limits your capability, prevents you from growing and unlocking your potential. Why would you do that?

Examples:

  • Don’t start working out to lose 30 lb.  Start working out because you want to see what your body is capable of and challenge yourself to the maximum  everyday.
  • Don’t start a blog to become famous. Start a blog because you want to share your message/ideas with others
  • Don’t talk to girls to get laid. Talk to girls because you want to meet interesting people. A lot of girls can be very interesting to talk to.
  • Don’t become a lawyer because you want to make a lot of money. Become a lawyer because you are intrigued by what a lawyer can do with their knowledge, skill and qualification.
  • Don’t write a book to become a best seller. Write a book because you are interested in a certain topic that you want to explore or you have an amazing story to tell.
  • Don’t chase money. That’s an empty goal. Chase the joy that derives from doing what you do and if whatever that is makes money, that’s just beautiful.

How it works

The reality is that yes, we have to have goals and dreams that we should work toward achieving. The formula for happiness helps us approach our goals in a way that we are not left disappointed or upset if we don’t achieve what we wanted. Set expectations around  the process or the journey or the work itself NOT the end results.  
Consider 2 scenarios:

  1. We don’t try things because we are afraid that we will fail. Then we spend days (sometimes years) depressed wondering how it would have been if we tried. We feel sad thinking that we are not living to our full potential and that we are stuck in this repetitive cycle called life. We get jealous of people who do try and make excuses that they are more privileged making ourselves even more unhappy.
  2. We set a certain goal to achieve and become unhappy when we don’t achieve it. We tell ourselves that we have failed, that we are worthless, and that all of this was a waste of time. This makes us unhappy and unmotivated to try anything else. We hate the feeling of failure so to avoid it we don’t risk trying and then we feel like our lives are going nowhere, which leads to depression.

Do you see how in those two scenarios our happiness is effected? Now what if there was no failing because there was no end result to achieve? Instead there was a journey, during which you would learn, gain experience, overcome your uncertainties, build confidence to take on the next challenge, and move forward. What if just trying, in itself, was the accomplishment, the achievement, the trophy?

The myth

Many people may say, “Well then you just live for the experience and do not get anywhere in life”. Those people are missing the point. The formula for happiness helps you to be a top performer because you are not wasting your time and energy feeling upset, down, depressed, or disappointed in yourself. Feeling happy promotes success.