It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. —Mark Twain
Back in 1994, the real beginnings of Supernoetics™, I came up with the concept of hoaxes; those “Everybody knows that’s true…” tidbits, which it turns out are not true at all. In fact the real truth is often 180-degrees in the other direction (So I invented my 180-degree rule at the same time!)
I’m going to walk you through one of the biggest killer hoaxes of all time. I call it the Happy-When Hoax. “I’ll be happy when… ,” I have achieved some cherished goal or other: getting rich, getting laid, becoming famous, discovering the comet that gets named after me, recover my health, whatever.
There is more than one problem with this position:
For one thing, you are postponing happiness. You are telling yourself you are not really happy now, because happiness is coming in the future, when some arbitrary goal is reached and triggers this sublime feeling.
You are telling yourself that happiness is dependent on achieving your goals, which is completely untrue. Happiness is a choice and you can have it right now. You just choose to be happy in the present. Choose to be content with where you are and what you’ve got.
That isn’t to say don’t plan for better. I’m not saying don’t have wonderful and exciting goals, I’m not saying don’t dream big. That’s another hoax: we’re told to just “live in the now”. Eckhart Tolle made millions of dollars peddling that teaching. As if! You want a big, bright thrilling future out there in front of you. It’s what gives purpose, impetus and meaning to your life (or should be).
Your future is built out of the present. What you put into the present determines your future. If you put misery, dissatisfaction, need and want into your NOW, what do you think that will do for your future?
But it works the other way round too (180-degrees round): your future influences and colors your present. Your vision influences the NOW. It’s only logical. You know it’s true.
But there’s another important principle at work. It comes down to this phrase—write it down, post it on your wall, memorize it and live by it: happiness is more a tool than a destination.
Everyone buys into this hoax that happiness is a place you are going. Let me tell you the truth: you don’t go anywhere unless you are happy first! Happiness is the power-house, the engine, the fuel that gets you to where you want to go.
This is the complete reverse of everything we are taught. Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work. This isn’t just an empty mantra. This discovery has been repeatedly borne out by rigorous research in psychology and neuroscience, management studies, and the bottom lines of organizations around the globe.
Shawn Achor, in his successful book The Happiness Advantage, tells of a study of children who were given some “learning tasks”. One group was treated normally but the test group were asked to think of something that made them happy. The happy group, in their enhanced mental state, completed their tasks quicker and made fewer mistakes. Why, oh why, can’t data like this be absorbed by the teaching profession and put to use?
This is the big secret! When you are in an emotionally empowered state, you are closer to the true nature of your being. When you find your bliss, live wild and free in joy and dominion, you are outputting the maximum wattage of spiritual energies.
When you find yourself right at the top of the scale of emotional health, close to or at what I call serene radiance, nothing can stop you!
It’s as if the whole Cosmos decides to back you. It will shower you with gifts and unexpected surges of power and delight. You make that commitment to yourself and decide you are happy to be here NOW making that commitment. Suddenly wheels start to turn and all manner of surprises will start to happen; lucky moments; serendipity; help you were not expecting.
Scottish climber and author William H. Murray (1913-1996) said it beautifully in a famous quote:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
It has been pointed out that the last two sentences are, in fact, reworked from Goethe, but I like to keep the whole quote intact, the exact way Murray published it in his book The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (1951). Who says he can’t adapt Goethe?
Murray is worth quoting again on the important power contribution of emotional high status. He calls it elation:
“In climbing there is an elation when all is going well. You make the moves surely and swiftly with rhythm. When you are climbing well, you know it. The same goes for writing. The two crafts are often akin… when you are off form you write clumsily, just as you move clumsily; you pick wrong words, as you pick wrong holds. You lose the purpose and thread of writing as you lose route—but on mountains and in writing when good form is struck, when it all comes together, when inspiration is caught and held—the world is yours.”
It’s also been called “The Flow” and made famous by Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Sometimes we say “in the Zone”.
The point is that these enhanced states don’t happen while you are miserable and down. They happen when you are FLYING!
You need to access serene radiance, bliss, enhanced awareness states and what I call the “white fire of Being” on a daily, if not hourly, basis.
Nothing can stop you when you are high on the scale of emotional health—the top rungs of my “Emotional Ladder.” See that page for more on this.
That’s why I can state, categorically, happiness comes first. You have to BE before you can DO and then HAVE!