You cannot be happy if you're stuck in the loop of criticism of oneself, of angst, of make wrong and/or guilt, of fear.  It is impossible.

Therefore, it is, first, imperative that we address those and resolve them, putting ourselves into alignment with reality and "what works" in life.

There is no other way...

                                                                         The BuddhaKahuna


Happiness Discussion
    Happiness exists when
    Happiness defined
    Follow the clues
The opposite - and the alternative to that opposite
So, what is "of value"? (and not of value, though we might think it is!)
Engaging the higher brain, "using our heads"
Satisfaction, gratitude, and the fear of loss
Breaking the chain (easy stuff, developing "sufficient" certainty, etc.)
You can't operate if you keep breaking your homeostasis
Power, self-efficacy
Follow the clues: model after happy people
If life is about accumulating value, how would you invest?
The skill of happiness
Happiness now, not later
And don't make the mistake of...
How do you rate? (The Happy Person Test)  
Do the following to achieve the result
What's next (what do I do now)?



  - I feel good about who I am.  (Feeling good about who I am.)
  - I have the confidence that I can, and will, handle any situation and be able to
       produce happiness no matter what the outcome. (Fearlessness)
  - I consider life (and its pieces) to be good.  [Read Life Is Good]
  - I appreciate the immensity of how great life is (regardless of some undesired
       results) - and I do not engage in the "unhappiness gap")


- The relative absence of negative feelings

       So we address the key items to minimize those.

- An Abundance Of Positive Feelings

       So we cover how to create positive feelings.

- A Feeling Of Satisfaction With Our Lives

        Happiness happens when satisfaction exists 

Happiness is all of the above. 

Note that the four items first listed above create those positive feelings and sustain them. 


You cannot be happy if you engage in the perpetual unhappiness loop:

   "I'm short of what I want - it's awful."

In contrast:  "I am grateful for all I have and I'm able to get all that is of true long lasting value - and I accept what I cannot control or have little control over.  I take care of myself and am able to be self-sufficient.  I do not lead a life contingent on validation and/or approval from others or contingent on 'getting more'."


Of course, to implement this, one must answer the question:  "What is of true value?"

In order to answer that, one needs to eliminate a few false beliefs about what one "needs" - as those can become false values, the seeking of which creates an unwinnable game in life.  Examples are:

1.  Trying to be right.

2.  Trying to be "good enough", seeking final proof based through seeking and trying hard to get validation from "out there".

     A sub-part of this is one of the killers of like: trying to "look good".

    This is all based on unquestioned cultural beliefs and "status-survival"
     instincts from caveman days - and our continuing false beliefs around that. 
     (Read Solving The Social Status Problem - Another "Enough" Problem?)

3.  Trying to get to arriving at "more".  (This is a huge cause of "false fears" and a major cause of unnecessary stress and suffering.)

If you learn about how to stop the above and then apply it to life, you'll see the difference between "doing good" for other people versus trying to "be worthy" (approved of!).   If one does lots of good works so that one will be approved of by others (or God) and/or tries to always please people, one will always "be short" of the goal and be "driven," with no point at which one "gets there".   If one, instead, does not need approval, then one will gain happiness from the human emotion that comes from doing kind acts - which is one of the most powerful means to being happy (but not "sufficient").   In the first case, one will be perpetually stressed and anxious.  In the latter case, one will feel satisfied and good about oneself.

The first case requires fixing the false beliefs that support the whole "I'm not good enough" belief system.  You cannot be happy without fixing that system.
(See and implement The Program For Replacing The "I Am Not Good Enough" Belief System.)

Next, we must eliminate the false fears we make up in life (many of which are related to being right, looking good, being good enough, and not yet having "more") as those create negative feelings - completely unnecessarily and at a great cost to one's body (cortisol does great damage to the body) and to one's happiness!  Indeed, we can eliminate the fear of the future and resistance to what happens by altering our viewpoint around that, as is discussed in Fearlessness.  (Yes, you no longer need to experience the negative effects you anticipate in the future but don't want to experience - you don't want to experience those future feelings, but you are, indeed, experiencing them right now in anticipation of them!  Ironic!)


To help create the ability to quickly handle negative feelings, it is necessary to develop a rational viewpoint.  To create the viewpoint that makes life and one's psychology work one needs to put together a solid foundational life philosophy, which, as we've heard, allows one to be "objective" and "calm in the middle of chaos". 

A solid life philosophy consist both of the overall viewpoints about life and also the beliefs that we hold about ourselves and life; altering those core beliefs alter the framing of how life occurs for you and to you.  The quality of your experience of life is determined by your life philosophy.


The feeling of satisfaction with our lives is generated both by feeling good about who I am and about my life as a whole.  These feelings are magnified by practicing intentional gratitude and appreciation.   Unhappiness is about what one doesn't have or could lose and it is triggered by fear; eliminating that fear is a major part of this process, where we end up developing Fearlessness.  A key part of the necessary strategy to not falsely see "loss" is to see The Mountain Of Haves Versus What I Am Missing.


Fear and the hypervigilant alarm are self-perpetuating in an ever downward spiral to more of the same.  We must break the spiral at various points in the causal chain rather than spend our lives repeatedly dealing with the awful-feeling symptoms. 

The earliest point is obviously, the instigator of the whole chain (which is not the immediatly preceding event!) by correcting and installing new beliefs to replace the untrue, false, nonsense beliefs that instigate 99+% of the needless fears. 

There is also a physical basis to work on, where we use simply physical practices that reverse the "alarm" sensitivity, where we send a signal back to the amygdala and buddies that "all is well" - and they heed the signal.  That also trains us to be able to engage our higher brains, which will come up with better, more correct material and solutions.  While some of these are very direct and quick, there are other master strategies such as The Care Of Your Frontal Lobes, which is a necessity to implement! 

As mentioned elsewhere, we must gain a philosophical perspective and beliefs that has us seeing "the hugeness of what we have, and the tininess of the missings", so that the latter no longer register since they are deminimus. (See also How Big Is The Problem?  How Big Is The Danger, Really?  Mostly, It's No Big Deal! and therefore not worthy of being sad about - if you can see this, then your life will have few real problems!)

Next is cultivating the anxiety killer that pulls the rug out from hypervigilance based on uncertainties and that general underlying feeling of anxiety or threats.  Everyone should develop a sense of "Sufficient" Certainty.


People fail to realize both the body and the mind have a range of conditions that if violated throw the body into trying to do everything it can to return to what is best for survival - a condition called homeostasis.  When we are not in homeostasis, other parts of the body and mind are considered less essential - and they shut down or decline in functioning.  The body stops the repair functions (so cancer, etc., are more likely), the digestion process, the immune functions, etc. and etc. - this is disastrous if it is chronic and ongoing!  It also distracts your mind, where you will, by necessity, feel the effect of some negative chemicals that will cause you, if you are unaware, to feel more anxious, but for no apparent reason.  Then it's downhill from there.  Chronic stress is a literal killer, causing 90% of our ills - and it's totally unnecessary!

The mind has to seek homeostasis also - and if we are too far out of "the range" of homeostasis, it will employ survival strategies, such as shutdowns like depression and/or other moods or extreme anxiety to get us moving (or at least it, crudely, thinks so).  Read at least Happy And Unhappy Chemicals And Our Psychology - Managing Them For Greater Happiness.  

You must be aware of this ongoingly and manage it or you cannot achieve peace and true happiness!


In the life management section, we teach how to make rational choices, which process is vital to living a happy life and which skill you absolutely need to develop, as a super priority!  The ingredients of what makes one powerful in life are laid out, as one key source of unhappiness is feeling the lack of power.  That section also helps one to achieve one's dreams and goals better - but a key point here is that the dreams and goals must be "informed choices" and not ones that will produce no or little value.  Note that it has been proven that over 80% of happiness does not come from outside circumstances, "stuff", or people, yet many of our goals are based on those - which puts us in the situation of conditional happiness, while what I will be advocating is that you achieve unconditional happiness!  (Creating Happiness No Matter What - Happiness Need Not Be "Contingent"!)

You've heard that latter statement many times, but  it is time you believed it and operated based on it.   

All of these together are, of course, what is most desirable, but the necessary (and sufficient) ones are the first two:  gratitude/appreciation and a solid life philosophy (which actually forms the foundation for being fearless in life!).  

Later in this discussion we will have you read The Only Path To Happiness, The Eight Happiness Factors (which some people skip forward to directly and then come back to).


One of the first and most effective strategies is to find and model after a person who has achieved what you want.  Accordingly, you might want to learn that by reading The Attributes Of Happy And Unhappy People.  So, you might want to learn the positive attribute and "unlearn" the  "unhappy people" attributes!!!!  (Well, duh...)

This site intends to assist you to achieve all of these.


In the 80/20 Living Site, we advocate doing only that which is is the top 20% of what is most effective.  While there is a component of insuring your basic physical needs are taken care of, much is about accumulating those things that create true value in your life - that would be from creating the best memories and from living life such that I am creating the best estimation of how good my life is and the best estimation of myself as an effective, happy human being. 

Spending time learning to do those things and to increase one's capacity to do those things is the highest payoff time you can have.


The objective of this section is to develop your awareness of what works for happiness and then to fully develop the skills for happiness, including knowing how to use the tools for happiness.  This is enduring happiness, with substance, that we are talking about here.  It is, in a sense, "Intelligent Happiness", with one of it key elements being Intelligent Optimism, which is a skill one should master, for it will change all of life.

For perspective and clarity on what is the most important area to concentrate on and the least important (we actually think the least important is the most important!), read   Perspective On Life - A Picture/Summary Overview on Creating Happiness 


Even the Dalai Lama acknowledges happiness as the purpose of life.  (And he suggests that we have "all the equipment needed" to be able to produce that.)

Therefore, it would seem to be the first thing you'd focus on, wouldn't it?

Happiness is not a "when-then" proposition.  When you achieve or get something in the future, then(you believe) you'll be happy - but that almost never actually happens.  As you read that statement, you probably disbelieve it - well, please take a look at the evidence!  It is vast and conclusive!


Human beings are notorious for misestimating the payoff of a future event or reward - they live for the future - and then it doesn't end up making them be happy.  They invest their time and energy in such a manner that it has little return in the most important investment in life - one's happiness!  It would seem that they would, instead, spend the effort to become wise enough to understand how happiness is created!!!! (Read the pieces on the happiness creators and the unhappiness creators - and then leverage those!)

HOW DO YOU RATE? Start here first!

Take The Happy Person Test (a quick test).  You should take another  optional short test to see if you've developed the skills of a happy person - see Happiness Tests section.


There are ways to be happy now.  And there are a few ways to be happier in the future but only if you invest in the right things - if you don't, you'll be about as happy as you are now, or maybe even less, especially if your happiness is now based on what you think you'll get in the future.  People depend on things "turning out" and getting what they want, but often that does not provide the happiness when we get there.

You can quadruple your happiness quotient, dramatically reducing your unhappiness while increasing your present happiness. 

Follow this program, put in the time, and you will be happy.

Step One:  Rate Your Happiness - Is it as high as you want it?

Take a happiness test and use it as your baseline against which to measure your progress.  See Happiness Tests section.  You may want to jump to the one page Oxford Happiness, scored on-line at

Step Two:  Ground Yourself In The Knowledge And Wisdom Related To How To Be Happy

Read the pieces on happiness, below, especially How To Become More Happy (the Happiness Main Module).

Read and understand why re-forming your Life Philosophy (click the following link) will dramatically affect your life happiness:  The Pieces And The Why Of (Re)Forming A Philosophy Of Life.

Step Three:  Construct Your Happiness Plan

We'll devise a sample one soon, but for now one can easily read the How To Become More Happy Main Module, below and combine that with The Steps To Successfully Achieving A Result (on the Success page) to devise the most worthwhile plan one has ever done in one's life! 


While you certainly can learn something from selected pieces from the Happiness Contents/Links page, it is better to engage in effective, systematic learning

Do the programs for learning and implementation of various areas of life, but specifically consider the Program For Increasing Happiness.  Review it and then do it!  (Note the Quickest Life Improvers link on the side of that page!)

This page was linked from:

This overview page continues from the Main Page:  The Road To Enduring Happiness For Life

The program:

Program For Increasing Happiness
- Follow this path to happiness! 


Read at least the reading sequence laid out in the overview of the contents of the Happiness Section is at:  Happiness Contents/Links.


Otherwise there are no miracles that will get you to true, enduring happiness!

4.   No longer living in fear and self-criticism.  (See No Fault.)