Against Happiness

Happiness is not an aim per se — it is instead a consequence of a successful pursuit of one's aims, of the overcoming of hurdles to one's actions.

~ Frederich Nietzsche

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

~Mahatma Gandhi

Everybody wants to be happy, Right?

Today’s preoccupation with being happy isn’t new; figuring out what it is and how to get it has been an eternal concern of philosophy and the social sciences.

Recently a study was published that suggested happiness may be more the consequence of, say good health, than of an inner attitude/stance.

This caused an uproar. The positive psychology “experts” said the study was wrong, flawed, insisting that an inner positive state precedes an experience of happiness.

So the games begin, again.

I’m AGAINST Happiness: The Word. I’m FOR an experience of fulfillment, contentment, accomplishment, joy, peace, delight, well-being, exhilaration, playfulness, and a full feeling every day of what I call Aliveness.

Like many terms it’s my experience with myself and my clients that the word Happiness has lost its value because it has become a cliche, a sound-byte, and a substitute for the real thing. Consider this example: The Thesaurus offers this term as a synonym for Happinesss: “Hollywood Ending.”

I and perhaps you, too, have built a personal myth around an idea of happiness force-fed to us by the culture, religion, family.

Then that myth is pursued vigorously, reinforced by the same influences that created it.

BUT if the myth is based on a false notion, in this case, a fixed idea of what happiness is instead of one’s own individual nature, disappointment follows.

And, even worse, we may construct an inner and outer mask to make sure we conform to our myth, whether it’s working or not. This “presentation” to self and others is a lot of work. My own personal facial muscles have become very fatigued arranging my “look” to conform to my myth:

I’ll be happy (joke) to offer a few tips that have worked quickly and effectively to avoid the side-effects of swallowing the happy pill, to begin to re-frame your personal myth so it provides a strong structure, a house, to hold your life.

1. Substitute the term Happiness for another term that you can try on for a month. Just drop the H-Word. Choose another word that works for you.

2. Make a list of the 5 items (experiences, people, projects, activities) that give you a feeling of fulfillment, satisfaction, accomplishment, aliveness. Translate your list into projects. Translate the projects into doable action steps. Nietzsche said it best when he stated, "To exert oneself in pursuit of one's aims IS happiness."

3. Take the actions that produce results for each of your projects.

Notice how you feel after a month.

If you feel better, great.

If you don’t, you can always reclaim your former version of Happiness.

Rock On.



LA NEW WORKSHOP: February 2016 - Chaos or Creativity


Contact Marsha @ (818)782-8533 or email:

or Amelia:

for additional information about workshops.

Call or email Marsha directly to schedule a personal

coaching/counseling session.

To learn more about Marsha and her work

check out her website:

and "like" her on Facebook!

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