Srkumar Rao believes we are hard-wired for happiness. The problem is we have spent our lives learning to be unhappy. In this TED Talk, Srkumar shows us how we can rid our minds of the “I’d be happy if..” mental model, which hinders our happiness.
This is Day Two of my Seven Days Of Happiness Series, where I watch TED talks for seven days instead of watching television, to increase my happiness and excitement for life.
Srikumar Rao is the creator of the “Creativity and Personal Mastery” MBA course. A course designed to help students discover their unique purpose, creativity and happiness in life. He his also author of Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated, and Successful – No Matter What. You can also follow him on Twitter @srikumarsrao.
Happiness Is Our Innate Nature
Our whole lives are quests for happiness. Our jobs, relationships and even our possessions. Unfortunately, anything we can get, we can also lose. There is nothing that you have to get, do, or be in order to be happy. Happiness is our innate nature. We cannot NOT be happy.
Why Does My Life Suck?
Your life sucks because you have spent your entire life learning to be unhappy. We have adopted the wrong mental models on how the world works. We have learned the get, do and be mental model also called the “if this happens then we will be happy” mental model. Unfortunately, even when we get what we want we are never happy. The model is flawed, but we still keep adjusting the “if this happens” side of the equation with new wants and desires.
Every one of us can remember moments of enlightenment and happiness. For example, seeing a wonderful sunset or a rainbow. Why were we happy in these moments? Because, at that moment we accepted the Universe exactly the way it was. Our wanting-self dropped away. All of the problems we THINK we have ARE equally perfect. By not accepting the NOW, we are buying into the flawed “if this happens” model.
Invest In the Process Not The Events Of Life
Actions are in our control but the results, outcomes or events are completely out of our control. We define our lives in terms of the outcomes, but we can never guarantee any specific outcome will actually occur. So why do we invest so heavily in the outcomes? “If I get it then I will be happy”. The alternative is to invest in the process. Outcomes are still important because they give us direction and goals. Once you have your goal then dedicate your attention to the process. If you don’t succeed it doesn’t matter because you have not invested in the outcome. You just go in a new direction and adopt a new process. The outcome is out of our control; the process is not.
Finding Your Passion
Passion exists inside all of us. It is not external. It does not exist in our jobs, career or business. Our life is just a series of journeys. Ask yourself daily is this the journey I want to take?
My Next Action
I need to invest more in creating processes and daily actions for my life.