If You Think Happiness Is Impossible, Read This

Happiness Is Impossible

“I can’t be happy,” said a Ukrainian gentleman who didn’t attend my happiness workshop as he thought it was a “waste of time.” Following this conversation, I decided to share my perspective on happiness for people who think that happiness is impossible for them, especially given their life circumstances.

First of all, I can sympathize with what is happening in Ukraine due to their current ongoing war, as well as everyone else in the world, as I know that there is a lot of pain and hurt happening all around the world.

So let’s not focus on specific cases, such as that of this Ukrainian gentleman, as there are plenty of people who are suffering today and have been suffering for many years, if not all their lives. Indeed, we can generally say that everyone is suffering in their own way and everyone’s suffering is relevant to them, even if it can be considered a luxury for someone else.

For example, a person may have a genuine concern about having to pay taxes on over a million dollars they just made. Now, this specific issue may be laughable for many people, especially those who are wondering how they will afford their next meal. However, for a million-dollar individual, it can cause a lot of sleepless nights. They may be worried that they will end up in jail if they don’t pay their taxes correctly, or that the business they’ve worked so hard to create will collapse due to ongoing market pressures.

Naturally, we often don’t consider the perspective of other people, and sometimes we even desire the problems of others. But it is important to remember that unless we address the question of happiness completely, it is likely that we will suffer regardless of how much or how little we have in our lives. Hurt is hurt, so it helps if we can cultivate emotional intelligence and maximize our emotional well-being regardless of our life circumstances.

And this is possible, too, as I believe that happiness is possible for virtually anyone, regardless of who you are, where you are from, and what your life circumstances are. We may be talking about significantly different levels of happiness, but we can achieve considerable improvements by following clear and universal steps.

For example, I believe I know what it really takes to achieve our happiest potential, and I teach it professionally. However, one day (and this is a true story), I broke my leg. Then, after recovering from this injury for two years, I broke it again, requiring another two years for full recovery. These two events were unfortunate, unforeseeable, and completely different from each other, so let’s call it bad luck, but it definitely affected my quality of life. However, emotionally speaking, I was able to remain positive and have a fast and efficient recovery. Even my surgeon was surprised at how well I recovered considering the extent of my injuries.

On the other hand, one of my clients lost a family member and became completely devastated by this event. It affected her performance at work, eventually leading to her being fired. Her health deteriorated, and she pushed her boyfriend, friends, and family away. Overall, her life was completely destroyed because of this one event, which arguably didn’t have to have such a profound impact on her life. A certain level of mourning is completely reasonable, but the person who passed away would never want her to feel so bad after they are gone. They would probably wish for her to go on and make the most of her life instead.

Furthermore, death is a natural part of life, and accidents, wars, and other unfortunate events can happen to anyone. I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but it is inevitable that something negative (or positive!) will occur at some point of time. It is a statistical certainty. We cannot prevent these occurrences, but we can certainly prepare for them.

In this way, our happiness will look different for each person at different points in time. However, regardless of the circumstances, we can still find our own version of Optimal Happiness. After all, I cannot provide everyone with exactly what they think they need to be happy (e.g., give them money, fix their relationship, or stop wars). Nevertheless, I can teach them universal principles that will improve their overall quality of life.

I have counseled many people from Ukraine since the war started and worked with individuals from diverse backgrounds from all over the world. Based on this experience, I strongly believe that happiness is possible even for those going through the most difficult circumstances.

Everyone’s situation will be different, and people will need different strategies to become fully happy again. However, I want to leave you with a message of hope that happiness is possible for you and anyone else who seeks it. Most strategies for becoming happy are universal, so if you are reading this blog, you are already moving in the right direction. Just keep pushing forward!

Picture of Roman Russo: Author of Optimal Happiness

Roman Russo: Author of Optimal Happiness

Roman Russo wasn't always happy and struggled with his own negative emotions, anxieties, and depression, until one day he pledged to resolve this part of life, whatever it took. The journey took 6 years, but it was worth it. Today, Roman considers himself to be one of the happiest people alive, part of the 1% of the happiest elite, and he now teaches others a working and universal happiness formula to reach a similar goal. He offers his best advice on Optimal Happiness social media, newsletter, blog, and books, and teaches a complete and unconditional happiness formula in his online courses.

15 thoughts on “If You Think Happiness Is Impossible, Read This”

  1. “ so it helps if we can cultivate emotional intelligence and maximize our emotional well-being regardless of our life circumstances.”. Love it Roman. I find physical representations of ideas to be helpful for my learning curves, and love the many “wheels of emotional granularity”. There are many versions of them online with an image search, but found this cool website that has an interesting way of implementing and sharing them: https://humansystems.co/emotionwheels/

  2. I’m also a visual and logical person, although I write about emotions. This used to be a challenge for me around the age of 25 when I experienced my biggest depression. Nowadays, I tackle emotions using logic, and just like you mentioned, a visual aids are immensely helpful. Emotional wheels are a great tool, but I like to simplify them into two categories: 1) positive emotions (happiness) vs negative emotions (unhappiness) and 2) their intensity. To illustrate, calmness represents a low intensity positive emotion, while excitement represents a high intensity positive emotion. On the negative spectrum, boredom falls under low intensity emotions, while hate falls under high intensity emotions. I find this division sufficient, as emotional wheels can otherwise become confusing due to the numerous emotions they include.

  3. Liz Mente-Bishop

    Great piece. Keep you your good work. Thank you for all the support you have given my blog :)

  4. Now I have worked out how to comment from my account! I’m not very technical. Great blog and great work to inspire others. Thank you for all your support on my blog. :)

  5. I couldn’t agree more, Elizabeth. Often, people seek wealth and power for their own sake, thinking that these things will ultimately make them happy (what I call the modern formula for happiness). However, many individuals who achieve wealth and power soon realize that they are still not as happy as they anticipated. Then, they may feel that happiness is unattainable, believing they require even more money or success. Alternatively, they may begin to blame themselves for some personal deficiency. In reality, they were not following the correct model of happiness. To clarify, while some money and success are necessary for happiness, there is a point where the significance of these things diminishes in terms of how much they can make us happy. At this stage, it is crucial to divert our focus onto other pursuits in life that will have an even greater impact on our overall well-being.

  6. I couldn’t agree more, but I would like to add that while accidents can happen, we can anticipate that something extremely good or bad will happen to us eventually and it is just a matter of time before it does happen. It’s a combination of probability multiplied by time. Certainly, both small good and bad things happen to us much more regularly (e.g., someone being nice or rude to us). And if we view the world in this way, we can begin to anticipate these occurrences. As a result, we can learn to emotionally prepare for these events and take any other necessary steps, such as purchasing health insurance, before they occur. By being proactive and doing the necessary work before challenges arise, we can make handling difficulties easier than when they do come our way. And this is a secret to a happy and easy life – preparation.

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“The problem is that of optimization,” states Roman Russo, author of Optimal Happiness: The Fastest & Surest Way To Reach Your Happiest Potential. There is plenty of advice on how to be happier or less sad, but no one is speaking about how to become the happiest we can be. And this is the difference that makes all the difference. By not looking at our maximum potential for happiness, we fall short of achieving it. After all, we all have hundreds of ideas on how to be happier or less sad, but most people still feel like they are not living their best lives. As such, Optimal Happiness explores the question of how to be the happiest we can be, regardless of who we are, where we are from, and what our life circumstances are. It proposes a complete and unconditional formula for happiness and explains how you too can become happy today and forever, inviting you to join the 1% happiness elite and become one of the happiest people alive.

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