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How to be Happy - The Carrot and the Stick

Jun 19, 2008

Imagine an eastern philosopher filling up water jugs by a river. He was serving a whole village of water so that they could take it back to their homes. One day he said he would not be there tomorrow. The residents panicked... How would they get their water? The wise man said, "When I am not here you'll see the river."

(Buddhist Parable)

Sometimes a barrier needs to be removed for the flood gates of our mind to open. All of which I may add is done without the effort.

QUOTE: ""Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself." (Og Mandino, 1923-1996, Author and Speaker)


What we basically do in our life in order to achieve happiness is decide what will make us happy and then travel towards that goal. What appears to happen in reality however is not too dissimilar to the carrot on the end of a stick analogy. For every step we move forward so does the carrot. In other words our happiness always seems to be at some destination we cannot reach; so we are never truly happy. Does this sound familiar?

What our senses tell us; or more appropriately what our habitual habits cause us to do... is that the immediate rational solution is a need to speed our attempt up in catching the carrot. If we move faster we may well reach our destination quicker. Hence every day we see countless people running around like headless chickens; "If I just get all this done I'll be happy," said a scurrying individual.


We all get frustrated with our emotional well-being and try many methods that require strict discipline and hard graft to see an end result. We all have busy schedules and find devoting time and effort too restricting. So it comes as no surprise that rarely do we make any progress towards being happier... True?

QUOTE: "Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I shall have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning." (Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948, Indian Nationalist Leader)

QUOTE: "Happy thoughts are half your health." (Czech proverb)


I posed a question to my two daughters, aged nine and seven, "There is one question that you may ask yourself throughout your life and never decide exactly what the answer is, but I can tell you the answer without having the substitute other subjects. The question is, 'What is life all about?" I invited my two daughters to suggest their own answers.

My eldest said, "Doing well at school, getting a good career and having nice things"

My youngest paused for a moment and considered that my question needed a more calculated answer, she said, "Looking after your family and friends, showing love and not hating anyone."

These of course were understandable answers that many aspire to already, but there is one concept that embraces all of these and multiplies their affect. That is 'BEING HAPPY'.

"What is life all about... Being Happy", I told my two daughters.

"Oh yes," they both replied.


QUOTE: "Meaning is a choice, not a search." (Robert Holden)

This is a perfect example of the power of words! Thus the saying is altered to 'What is the choice of life?' Everyone can handle making choices.


Happiness embraces every subject and multiplies its possibilities. Take love for example, imagine the intensity of giving love when you're sad; then imagine how beautifully that emotion of love can be multiplied when you're happy.

So being happy complements most every subject.

To do a task and to hate that task is likely to produce a poor product. To do the same task, but be feeling happy will produce a much improved outcome. Inspirational ideas, offering gratitude and forgiveness are all the result of what happiness can bring.

Wisdom it is said 'comes with age' so therefore I would suggest that happiness should do also. Each and every day we should improve our understanding on 'how to be happy' and in doing so multiply our possibilities.

Happiness has a power, if we could harness that power and thrust it into our life we'd see an abundance we could never have expected.

Happiness will allow a change of perspective more readily and present us with tools to solve the greatest of encumbrances.


In the short term your life will not change. Certain situations and problems will continue to arise; but your improved level of happiness will simply resolve these with what appears to be little effort.

When an obstacle is thrown upon your path, happiness will provide you with the energy to leap over it. Had you been sad you would have collided with the obstacle.

When a tricky problem arises your energy levels are greater and consequently all problems are dealt with immediately. Had you been angry for example, you'd have tussled all week with the problem.

In the long term problems avoid you. You are so full of positive energy you see a problem coming and prevent it from troubling you.


Too many individuals are busy planning to be happy in the future and forget the importance of being happy NOW!

Assume for one moment that you plan a holiday, it is four months away and you know when you're on this vacation you're going to be happy. What you are doing is imprisoning your happiness for four months. You are stipulating a strict limit to when your happiness should arrive and disappear.

Okay there is nothing wrong in planning a holiday, but it is the added specification that happiness should arrive on the first day of your holiday.

Happiness is not four months away; it is within you NOW!

QUOTE: "The equation for happiness is NOT 'ME + Something' = Happiness." (Robert Holden)
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Mr. P. Booker Happiness Blog
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