Happiness Defines Conventional Wisdom & Required Humility

happiness wisdom and humility

Often, people tell me that they know what it takes to be happy. Instead, what they mean is that they understand my lessons on a purely logical level. This becomes obvious when we analyze the difference between what people say and what they do. In other words, there is a difference between understanding and being happy.

People Don’t Know Happiness, But They Understand it on a Purely Logical Level.

Often, people tell me things like, “I know this.” However, they mean that they understand what I’m saying on a purely logical level.

First of all, they can’t know what I’m saying because even academia still didn’t yet catch up with everything that I write in this blog (for more information on this, read my other blog posts). 

Moreover, I say that people understand things on a “purely logical level” because people don’t even do what I say. After all, if pure logic and understanding were enough, people would be already happy, and there would not need to be this blog. 

Humility, image of a woman with question mark on her hand

Knowing and Not Doing is Not Knowing 

As such, knowing and understanding what I’m saying is not enough, as you can learn everything I am saying and still be deeply unhappy. Instead, we need to live these happiness lessons to be happy. To this degree, I often refer to a quote by Robin S. Sharma, a Canadian writer, best known for his book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, who said that “knowing and not doing is not knowing.”

Sure, I try to write things more comfortable to read, understand, and apply kind of way. On the one hand, this is the best way to do something as it makes my lessons easy to understand and use in one’s life. On the other hand, it creates a particular bias, which I am almost obliged to address, which states that this perceived ease is exactly what prevents people from applying these lessons in their lives. 

How I Learned a Lesson of Humility the Hard Way

At university, I remember studying for my first marketing exam. I remember this exam exceptionally well. After all, I wanted to study marketing because I saw this subject as very logical and intuitive. Shockingly, when the grades were announced, I learned that I received the class’s worst results.

As it happened, I thought that marketing was effortless to understand, and since I also had to study for other exams, I decided to rely on my wit to pass this exam. A big mistake and a nice ass kick made me more humble about the difference between what I know and understand. 

HUmility, image of a woman sitting and seeing the ocean

Why do We need to be Humble to be Happy?

If you know my story, you know that I was not always the happiest kid on the block. I had many struggles. Eventually, I decided to overcome these struggles, which lead to this blog.

To do so, I needed to re-learn the lesson of humility I learned during that marketing exam. In contrast, I had to admit that I was not as happy as I wanted to be, that I didn’t solve this problem using my logic alone, and that the perceived easiness of the subject is the trap that kept me, and which keeps the masses, from being happy. 

Why Learning to be Happy is Simple, But Not Easy

As such, most people spend most of their lifetime searching for happiness. This search makes them believe that they are as proficient in the art and science of happiness as they can be. And yet, most people will admit that they are not as happy as they ideally wish they were. They also admit to many moments of deep sadness, unhappiness, and suffering. And this all happens in the most technologically advanced society our world has ever seen.

Ultimately, unlimited, unconditional happiness is still possible if we learn some simple, yet not always easy lessons. The simplest and perhaps the most important lesson of them all is that we need to be humble about the difference between what we understand logically and what we are doing in our lives.

Humility, image of a woman jumspshot while holding an umbrella

Approach the Study of Happiness with Beginner’s Mind

As such, I often tell people to approach the study of happiness as if they are hearing it for the first time. I ask people to swallow their pride and admit that some of their beliefs prevent them from being happy, and I urge them to find humility in hearing information I provide with a beginner’s mind. 

Roman Russo

Roman Russo

Roman Russo is the visionary founder, senior happiness coach, and Chief Happiness Officer of Optimal Happiness. He has written the revolutionary Optimal Happiness: The Fastest and Surest Way to Reach Your Happiest Potential, a must-read book about achieving our happiest potential. After researching this field for over eight years, Roman is confident that anyone can become happy and invites us to undertake this transformation. Are you ready to start living the life you always meant to live?

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