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What Is the Secret to Happiness?

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Happiness expert Sophie Keller, author of four bestselling books on happiness, including How Happy Is Your Health?, recently shared some of her insights with us on that most enigmatic of emotions.

The biggest misconception about happiness:

“The biggest misconception of happiness is that doing something or having something is going to make you happy. That if you have more money, a bigger house, a partner, you’re going to be happy, so that it’s something out there — it’s out there rather than inside of you. But we’re human beings, so [happiness] has to come from a state of being rather than doing or having.”

Why temporary fixes are fleeting:

“Let’s say you go for a swim, and you put your toe in the water and it feels cold. Then you put your body in and it feels cold, and then suddenly it starts to feel warm. We get used to it. We get used to things really quickly. You always go back to your happiness baseline.”

Recognizing happiness from within:

“You’re never going to love every single moment of what you do… There are bits that you love and bits that you don’t love. The important thing is that we find joy in whatever we’re doing, whether you’re sweeping the floor or washing the dishes… The key is to find joy in everything that you’re doing.

The secret to happiness is knowing that you’re already happy. And when you come from that place, then joy is everywhere. It’s inside of you, it’s outside of you, it’s all around you. If you come from that place of joy and happiness, everything is great.”

helen keller quotes

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows.” – Helen Keller

On being present in the moment:

“I was sitting with my mother in the south of France, and she asked, “Are you looking forward to getting back to London?” I said, “You know, Mum, I really do live in the moment, and I’m loving this moment right now, and when I’m in London, I’m going to love that as well.” So that’s another big key — as much as you can, put away the past and the future in your thinking.

I’m not saying not to structure the future and hold your vision of what you want, but when you’re driving in your car, when you’re walking down the street, be present and enjoy your surroundings. Live in the moment as much as you can.”

The foundation of happiness is love and health:

“The more authentic you are, the more likely you are to have whatever you want. The more honest you are, the more clear… for example, in a great marriage or relationship, the better communication you have, the more open you are without holding things in, the more likely your marriage will be great.

In your love life, the more authentic you are, without masks and armor, the more likely you are to magnetize the right person to you. The more you eat and put in your body what the planet has given you… [like] fruit, vegetables, grains, proteins that have been untouched by genetic engineering, antibiotics, and pesticides, the more likely you’re going to keep your body healthy…

Peel back the layers, the masks, the armor, and let magic happen. I’ve been guided by this Lao Tzu quote since I was a kid: “Be really whole and all things will come to you.”

Another Lao Tzu quote we love:

lao tzu quote

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