Just one step to happiness! If only it was that easy right? But of course there is one step to happiness - the first one. If you don't take the first one then there is no point taking the next seven. I say seven because that is a common number people use, I remember reading it in a book called 'The Game' about picking up girls. Tell a girl you can read her mind and then ask her to pick a number between one and ten. In most cases she will think of seven, and when you tell her seven before she's said it you will be horizontal before you know it.

But what kind of people are you hanging out with if this childish tool gets you laid anyway? Silly ones? Lonely ones? Happy ones? Confident ones? But isn't it funny to think that I, and many others, spent considerable time learning tools to make us more attractive to the opposite sex on a superficial level but not the tools that actually do the job. We learn tools to sleep with people that do nothing for us on any true level but we don't learn the tools to be happy that then allow us to sleep with the people who make our souls sing on every single level imaginable. Is there anything sexier than a person who is happy, free, passionate, emotionally intelligent, zesty for life, fulfilled and inspired? I don't think so.  

I spent years sharpening the wrong tools thinking they would make me happy and successful. In reality they only made me confused and tired. There is that saying about the flower that doesn't chase the bees, it just blossoms and the bees come to it, maybe this is the right tool to sharpen, maybe we should focus on being happy.

My first step to happiness was turning around and stepping forward. We need to examine and explore everything outside and inside of us, with an emphasis on the “inside.” Without exploring, examining and investigating what life has to offer how do we know what we want, what we like, what we need, who we need and why?  

When have you asked yourself “why am I doing this?” When have you ever stopped and really analysed what you are doing? Too many people find themselves in a circle, an unhealthy circle, chasing after one thing until it is acquired before immediately setting their sights on their next target. Sometimes we lose sight as to why we started chasing these things in the first place, and we continue to run and the circle just continues. In many ways we are never taught anything different; we run in circles because that is all we know. We continually chase our happiness in the same external things – a partner, a job, money, alcohol, sex, desire and status.

Socrates said "an unexamined life is not worth living,”  but many of us spend more time examining minor afflictions than our own lives. Socrates compared living without thinking to practicing pottery without any technical know-how – you certainly wouldn’t expect a great pot to result, so why think that the far more complicated issue of one’s entire life could be undertaken without any deep thought and serious reflection? 

If we can’t spend time by ourselves and be content we are limiting our chances at being truly happy. If we need to resort to petty games to persuade lonely people to sleep with us at 3am, then we will never find anything but more lonely people. Being curious, exploring, reflecting, learning how to stop, meditation, mindfulness, reading, writing, are all important in fostering a greater awareness of who we are and what it is we actually want. It is these moments that we get the chance to really connect with ourselves and the times when we find the answers to all of our questions - as a society and as individuals we flourish when we can remain curious.

Start your own self exploration with our guided body scan. If you want to sharpen your happiness skills you can pre-order The Happiness Initiative Workbook.

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 By Evan Sutter