This is a bumper sticker message that has been around many years in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In some ways, it summarizes the tasks we are setting upon in this conversation because I believe that happiness results from being able to use your mind to understand how you think, what you think, and the ways those thoughts impede or deliver happiness. I borrow from all kinds of disciplines and practices, yet adhere strictly to none. Your desire and willingness to examine how you think and what you think can be a measure of whether this discussion is relevant for you or not. It is not for everyone. It is for those who have attempted to find happiness and have not quite succeeded.
It is my hope that these ideas may trigger “aha” moments for you. I enjoy being around happy people, so I am motivated from selfish reasons to create more happiness in my world. That said, one of the main ideas I live by is that my happiness is independent of what others do or say or how they be. So you will discover many seeming contradictions, but if you examine them more closely, you will find this baseline premise:
_Happiness is a purely subjective experience. It is unique to each of us and is colored through our history, our desires, and our ability to manage our individual minds._
I believe most people know intrinsically that happiness cannot be packaged or bought, though many businesses, and by extension their advertising agencies, have done their best to convince us otherwise. And if that makes _them_ happy, then so be it. We can choose to play or not. I have had many fun fun moments being in the swirl of hype – like love, it can be euphoric even if it changes with time.
It is contrary to my method to expect them to change so we can be happy. Because if hawking their goods to us in ever creative and/or high pressure ways is fun for them, then they have that privilege. Remember, if an advertising person or CEO is reading this, then they are actually you, not them. I imagine many “you’s” reading this, and that is supporting me from falling into an “us or them” distraction.