*To Allow Yourself to Be Happy is the Greatest Wisdom There Is*
*By Stuart Goldsmith,
Excerpt from Seven Secrets of the Millionaires<**
You might like to know that the secret of happiness can be explained in just
eight words and is, in fact, quite mundane. It does not involve meditation,
drugs or self-flagellation. Each of the eight words is worth one million
dollars, but here they are, free:
*Tomorrow - Today - Live - For - Better - Working - A - While*
What? You can't make sense of that? I gave you the words for free, but the
correct *order* is going to cost you plenty...
Pause, while the anagram-freaks try to work it out themselves...
Got it? No? Okay, you'll have to read on...
Now, the price for my arranging the words for you is about ten minutes of
your time to read this article carefully, because it has important implications for your happiness.
The first thing I want to say is that the human psyche - your psyche - is a
very delicate thing indeed - and can be badly damaged, particularly during
your early years, by what would outwardly seem to be "not very much."
Put another way, your mind is an incredibly delicate and subtle mechanism
a finely tuned and highly sensitive instrument. So delicate is this wonderful apparatus, that it is flat-out impossible to grow up without some damage to its mechanism.
Moderate damage is normal and severe damage is common.
Please read that last sentence again.
I would say that 100% of people - that's *everyone* - has moderate damage to
their psyche, and about one in three have severe damage. I am talking about
damage caused by a normal upbringing, not an abused upbringing. Thankfully
abuse is not the norm, but more importantly, the psyche is damaged by
numerous small incidents throughout your childhood where you didn't get
exactly what you needed, exactly when you needed it.
Parents are, after all, people. They are neither omniscient nor telepathic.
They do their absolute best, working from the basis of their own damaged psyches.
And so the cycle continues...
Now the point here is that because everyone is damaged, this means that
everyone exhibits symptoms of "mental disturbance" during, and often
throughout, their lives. I'm talking 100% of people here. Such symptoms include:
- Irrational Fear / Panic Attacks
- Feelings of Worthlessness, Insecurity, Pointlessness
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Substance Abuse (particularly alcohol which is a wonderful anesthetic for the harshness of life)
- Irrational Anger/Impatience/Irritation
Because everyone experiences some or all of these on a scale of mild to severe, everyone pretends that they don't experience these things and we all
play this ridiculous game in which we pretend it's just other people who
have problems, not us.
I have talked to hundreds of people from paupers to billionaires. Scratch
the surface and what do you get? The same old human-being we all are. The
damaged psyche resulting in some or all of the negative symptoms I have listed.
I find this immensely comforting. The real problem about feeling down on life is when you think it's only *you* who feels like this, and that everyone else is having a great time counting their loot. If you can really take on board what I am telling you here, that everyone is a seething mass of insecurity, angst, unfinished business and emotional turmoil, then I
think that helps a great deal.
It's called "the human condition" and comes about as a result of us all
having such an immensely delicate psychology. We are about as equipped
psychologically to handle the "slings and arrows" of life as a butterfly is to handle a force ten storm.
Every human on the planet is brave beyond measure. Forget "bravery in the
face of enemy fire." That's just one sort of bravery and anyway, most soldiers didn't have a choice about going over the top. I'm talking real bravery of the sort you show every morning. You get up and face the world again. You against the world. And it's as much a battle today as it ever
was. Labor-saving devices make very little difference. Do you have lots and
lots of leisure time because you own a fridge, a washing machine, and a
dishwasher? No? I thought not. It's the same old struggle by the same old
There is a danger in writing (and reading) a motivational, go-get-em,
kick-ass "secrets of the millionaires" book because it encourages the sort of polarization I was talking about earlier. You can easily think something like: "Yeah, it's as I suspected, everyone else is happy and making great money, it's only me who cannot achieve anything of note. I'm all alone.
Everyone else is so happy and well adjusted..."
I'm telling you now, in as plain a way as I can say, that everyone on the planet is more or less screwed up because of the way we are, and the way the world is. You just cannot avoid the damage.
You have to accept it, patch up what you can and live with the rest. So what
can you do to increase your chance of happiness?
The first part of the key to happiness is to live today.
That means you must try to live in the present moment, experiencing what is
happening right now to you, good or bad.
This is it. This is your life. This is not a dress-rehearsal. But the twist here is to set this in the context of everything I have just said. Recognize that angst and upset are part of the human condition, experienced by everyone. This is just what it is to be a human being. We are all like this.
Why? Because from baby to teenager we had thousands of needs, most of which
were met, many of which were not. Each time a need was met (particularly from early childhood)it caused psychological damage, sometimes mild, sometimes serious.
The brain is a highly adaptive and most damage can be routed around in order
to allow the organism to continue functioning, albeit at a slightly reduced
capacity. We develop coping strategies - the most effective of which is just
good old-fashioned avoidance - we simply avoid the people and situations
which cause the emotional pain and this stops us living life in all of its full colour.
When I say "live today" I'm not talking about some blissed-out, tree-hugging
hippie who tries to permanently empty his mind in order to contact the "now." I'm talking about experiencing *today* with all of its upsets, angers, joys and sorrows. Just riding the wild bronco of life and not letting that sucker kick you off.
And when, as I often do, you experience a moment of intense pleasure, I want
you to think to yourself: "This is as good as it gets." And it's true. These moments are as good as it gets.
Life is hard. Just as hard today, in its own way, as it ever was. Perhaps not as hard on us physically, but a lot harder on us mentally. That's why we're not a lot happier now than in in 1400 - to pick a year at random.
So I want you to snatch happiness when it comes to you, like a drowning man
or woman seizing a life preserver. This is what it means to "live today."
The alternative is to ignore the minor day-to-day happiness and always be thinking some version of: *"I'll be happy tomorrow, when..."* (I have money,
I get a girlfriend, I move from this bad area, I get myself a new car...)
Or to think: *"How can I possibly be happy now when..."* and then insert your own unique bit of current misery, angst, depression, anxiety, panic or fear. The error here is to think that one day you'll be totally free of these things, and *then* you can be happy.
You won't. It's how we all are - riddled with this stuff. It's what makes us
all human. It's what it *means* to be human. I'd go so far as to say that a
person without a smattering of these things would be a flat, lifeless and
intensely boring automaton. It is the degree of your angst which is
Zero makes you dull as dishwater.
A sprinkling makes you human and still allows for a lot of happiness. A
moderate lever makes you interesting, quirky and able to cope mostly with
life, but like a semi-active volcano, side-shoots of lava keep erupting and
causing turmoil in your life - you need to spend some time fixing the damage, otherwise you may erupt one day.
A lot, and you are mostly immobilized in life and unable to function.
Happiness is denied to you and all of your efforts should be expended in therapy to repair the worst of the damage, before you can go on. You are constantly depressed, frightened and anxious.
As an analogy, imagine a football team in immaculate, Percil-white strip, nancying around the field avoiding getting grass stains on their clean white socks. They would be a bit of a disappointment, really. They don't want to get too involved in the game in case they get mud on their shorts or bruise from that big, nasty old ball. Who wants to watch them? Who cares? They are not fully engaged with the game.
A football team whose players are muddied, bruised and riled are an
altogether more interesting spectacle. They'll be fighting with passion and
determination, taking daring risks, sometimes winning some ground, sometimes losing some ground, but always entirely absorbed in the game and playing right now in the present moment.
But a team which is injured, demoralized, cold and wet needs to do one thing
- retire from the field, get some serious rest, bandage their cuts and recuperate. There is no point in their playing any longer. In fact they *can't* play. Their minds are not on the game, but fully absorbed with their pain and humiliation.
So, you see, the trick is to grab the happiness, now, in spite of any
current misery from your worry list.
*A Brighter Future*
The final part of the key to happiness is: "While Working For a Better
Tomorrow." So the whole secret is:
*"Live Today While Working For a Better Tomorrow."*
Why not write this out on a 3" x 5" card and put it somewhere you will see
it each day? It's not a bad idea.
First, you grab every single morsel of happiness which comes your way,
despite your perfectly normal negative feelings which you now know are part
of the human condition and which *everyone* experiences.
Next, you must realize that everything you are today and everything you own
today is a direct result of your past decisions. Decisions which you took,
either consciously, or by default. Nobody else is to blame here. But once
again I find this immensely comforting, because the power is in your hands
to change the future, you don't have to wait for someone else to change it
If your present life is a result of your past decisions, then the future is
created by your present decisions, and boy is that true!
So you should be constantly working and scheming so that your future (which
will come around soon enough) will be even better than your present. And you
do this in spite of any angst and turmoil you might be feeling, just as you
do it in spite of the fact that you have to breathe air and sleep seven hours each night.
Now if you recognize yourself in the "moderate" or "severe" category of
emotional turmoil, then part of the process of planning for a better
tomorrow involves working on yourself, perhaps, through therapy, counseling
or talking to trusted friends. By the way, you cannot do this alone or through introspection.
Think of this as urgent repairs to the ship's hull, without which the boat
is in danger of going down. Only a fool would try to sail in such a boat without spending some time in dock to patch things up. Perhaps you've been in denial about the condition of this leaky old tub? Have you been bailing like a demon for the last few years while battling on through stormy seas, just about keeping afloat? This is a judgment only you can make.
But apart fro the psychological work, there remains the real down and dirty
work required right now, today, to make your future better for you and your
family. I guess this is what separates the winners from the losers. Winners
know they have to work *now* in order to get "lucky" several years down the
line and reap the rewards. Losers want the rewards right now and cannot make
the link between now and the future. They have what I have often described
as a "Bunteresque" view of life (from Billy Bunter), hoping that something will turn up.
You can't live like that and be successful. You have to live your life on purpose, not by random chance. I cannot stress enough the importance of working for a better tomorrow despite ay strong reason why you feel you can't, such as:
- The terrible state of the world
- Your deep emotional scars
- Your age (you feel it's too late)
Work gives direction, meaning and engages the brain. Idleness rots you from
I feel this is one of the most important issues and one of the hardest for
me to write about. I guess the reason you bought this book
*[Editor's note: this article is an excerpt from the book Seven Secrets of the Millionaires <]* is because I'm just a few steps ahead of you on the path to wealth, happiness and freedom, and through my writings, I pass along my views of the scenery, what you can expect and how to negotiate the obstacles you are about to meet.
The final thing in Pandora's box was... hope. And when you are working for a
better tomorrow, you are reaching into that box for that last, most precious
*The is no point in being wealthy if you are not happy*
Immense wealth is within your grasp - but it won't be a simple ride.
Millions of people are wealthy and although it isn't an easy thing to get
rich it is far from impossible.
Many chatter that they want to be rich, but few people have researched the
factors required to achieve this. There are, indeed, several "secrets" known
to those who have fought their own way to the top of the mountain. If you have some aptitude and are willing to listen, you can learn these secrets for yourself and follow those "lucky" ones to dizzying heights.
The first thing you must have is a *firm belief that being rich is okay*. If
you harbor any opposing beliefs, then these will eventually sabotage your
wealth-creating efforts, ensuring that you remain poor.
*You must have a dream* to act as a guiding beacon to lure you on when the
going gets tough and the way ahead is dark. You cannot get rich by randomly
selecting a field of endeavor for which you have no aptitude and even less
interest. This is a ten or twenty year project; it cannot and must not be a
ten or twenty year prison sentence. So you must do whatever it takes to
unlock your secret dreams and passions. Hopefully others will share your
passion and you can engage in commerce with them and make your fortune while
having the time of your life.
One little trick used by all highly successful people is to have a
battle-plan, sometimes called an action list or goal list. Life dreams are
usually large and unwieldy and so the wise person knows how to break up
these dreams into bite-sized chunks of a suitable size for our limited
minds. *Winners set goals, losers never set goals.* It's that simple.
Despite reading this advice fifty or a hundred times, still some people will
not write down their goals.
Having written your goals and broken the large tasks down into simpler
steps, now you require the discipline to keep you on track, working through
the list. Winners have this discipline. Losers wander aimlessly, become
bored or distracted, have low frustration tolerance, give up easily and
drift away. If I had to pick one single secret as the most important, it
would be to cultivate a sense of discipline because from this, many other
When setting your goals, make sure you keep firmly in mind that everything
you obtain in this world has a price tag attached. You must be willing to
pay the price, otherwise you are only window-shopping and this means you are
not serious about life, just browsing.
Until this point, mostly this is theory. Now it is time for action. *Above
all, successful people are men and women of action.* They get their sleeves
rolled up and get on with the task at hand. Unsuccessful people
procrastinate and always want to do it "tomorrow." Of course, tomorrow never
comes. The two main reasons for non-action are laziness and fear. The fear
is usually fear of success or fear of change. We are all lazy, we all fear
change. Winners are able to push through these negatives. Losers succumb to
Before you start out on this journey, you need to have a clear idea about
how much is enough, otherwise you have no destination and your search
becomes an endless quest. If you are not clear about your destination, how
can you ever know when you have arrived? Also, making money, no matter how
enjoyable, has a price tag associated with it. Ideally you want to minimize
the time you spend doing this and so you must have a clear idea of how much
you want. There is no point whatsoever in amassing riches, never enjoying
the fruits of your labors, and dying a wealthy man or woman. *Money is an
enabling force, not an end in itself.*
Finally, the journey is everything as there is only one, macabre destination
which we all share. The last stop on the line is Grim Reaper Halt. Life is a
process, not a product. So no matter what your current level of wealth, it
is time for you to start mastering one of life's most difficult lessons and
that is to be happy right here, right now, while working towards a better
*I wish you the very best in your journey,*
Edited by: Lawyer Asad