The #1 Secret to Creating Happiness in Your Life! - David C Figueroa's Blog
David C Figueroa's Blog

The #1 Secret to Creating Happiness in Your Life!


Are You Happy?

Neither wealth nor rank will ensure happiness”- John Lubbock

Health, wealth, and happiness. This is the eternal quest of mankind.

To achieve health, we know that we have to maintain a good diet, exercise, and avoid toxic substances like tobacco.

To achieve wealth, we know that we must be wise with our money, and develop multiple streams of income. But, how do we achieve happiness?

The song says “Don’t worry be happy,” but how does that happen?

According to a recent book by professors Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz, they have isolated the number one key that leads to a happy life. The book is based on a longitudinal study of 724 people and their families. (The Good Life- by Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz)

Starting in 1938, the research team began studying these individuals and their families from Harvard University and the Boston area. Every two years they were asked questions related to their marriages, job satisfaction, social activities, and overall happiness. Every five years their physical health was monitored.

What they discovered was that those who reported the highest level of happiness had one thing in common. Contrary to popular belief, they concluded that money nor status makes people happy.

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Many people think that happiness is achieved through buying that big new house, or when they get that promotion, or when they lose weight. Although these factors have some influence on happiness, they are not the primary factors.

The NUMBER ONE key to a happy life is “Social Fitness.”

Social Fitness” is synonymous with having a good social network. Just like having good “physical fitness” you have to work at it. For others, it just comes naturally.

How do you know if you have a social network that is conducive to creating happiness?

The authors suggest some questions that you can ask yourself related to 7 keystone areas:

1- Safety & Security:  Who would you call if you suddenly got a severe pain and had to be taken to a hospital emergency room? Who would you turn to in a crisis situation?

2- Learning & Growth:  Who encourages you to learn new things, to take chances, or to pursue your life’s goals?

3- Emotional Closeness:  Who provides emotional closeness? Who knows everything about you? Who can you call if you are feeling depressed, someone that you can be open and honest with regarding your feelings?

4- Identity Affirmation & Shared Experience:  Is there someone in your life who has shared many experiences with you? Is there someone who helps strengthen your self-image and self-esteem?

5- Romantic Intimacy:  Do you have someone with whom you can share romantic intimacy? Are you satisfied with the amount of romantic intimacy?

6- Help:  Who do you turn to when you need some help with a practical problem such as setting up your new TV, speakers, and WIFI? (I call the teen-aged kid from across the street)

7- Fun & Relaxation:  Who can you laugh with? Who do you call to go see a movie, or go on a roadtrip, or go out to lunch?

If you have people who complete most of these questions, chances are you have good “social fitness.” You have a good social network and are likely to experience a high degree of happiness. Congratulations!

We can also learn a few things about “Happiness” from Finland, the “happiest country in the world.”

Finland has ranked No.1 as the happiest country in the world 5 years in a row according to the World Happiness Report.

What do the Finnish people do to be the happiest in the world?

1- Finnish people don’t compare themselves to their neighbors.

Finnish people don’t talk much about money or status. The wealthiest of citizens try not to flaunt their wealth. They try to blend in with the rest of society.

Finnish people focus more on what makes them happy and less on looking successful. In the U.S., it’s often the opposite. I’m sure you know people, who drive an expensive Mercedez Benz, carry the Gucci bag, wear the Christian Louboutin shoes, but behind closed doors they’re up to their noses in debt. Right! How can anyone be happy when you’re drowning in debt!

2- Finnish people highly value nature.

Spending time in nature gives them peace of mind, energy, and relaxation. Most often, their choice for taking their paid vacations, is to go off to a cabin in the woods to be close to nature.

Spending time in nature increases vitality, well-being, and provides a sense of personal growth. It also reduces stress, and increases the pleasure hormones that create happiness.

3- Finnish people have a high degree of community trust.

In 2022 researchers conducted a study in the Norwegian countries. The study consisted of dropping wallets on the street and observing how many wallets were returned to the owner. Amazingly, in Helsinki, 11 of 12 wallets were returned.

Finnish people trust each other and value honesty. There is a great sense of security. Children can play outside their homes with little supervision. Families feel safe. In addition, if you were to forget your laptop at the coffee shop, the chances are very high that it would be returned to you. This feeling of safety and security produces happiness.

Contrary to Finland, if you were to leave your laptop at the coffee shop in the U.S., you might as well kiss it good-bye! You’re not likely to get it back! Sad!

How do we create safety and security in our American communities? We do it through small acts of kindness like opening the door for strangers, giving up a seat on the bus or subway, helping people in need. We do it by paying acts of kindness forward.

We create safe communities by providing positive, honest role-models for our youth and inculcate them with positive values. We also do it by ensuring that the neediest people have their basic needs met, and that there is not such a wide economic gap between the upper class and lower class citizens.

Well, the only thing left to do now is to sing about happiness. So, pull up the “Happy” song by Pharrell Williams and . . .

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof”

(Because I’m happy)

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth”

(Because I’m happy)

Clap along if you know what happiness is to you”

(Because I’m happy)

Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do. . .

Be Happy!

Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find happiness in simple things. When the famous French writer, Collete, was dying of cancer and was being interviewed by a newsman, she exclaimed, “What a wonderful life I’ve had! Those were the happiest days!” Then after a sigh of remorse she added, “I only wish I’d realized it sooner.”

To your success,

David C Figueroa- Success Coach

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About the Author David C Figueroa

David C Figueroa is a psychologist with over 35 years of experience teaching personal development. An awesome success coach, and internet marketer. Now retired, he has refocused his goals into helping ambitious men and women to create exceptional lives.

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