Meaning of Pain: Find Happiness In Your Negative Experiences

Let’s do a happiness exercise:

Step 1) Go to your garage or tools kit and find a saw. If you don’t have one, just grab any sharp object like a knife.
Step 2) Cut off your arm…

Ok, before you do the step 2, I will stop you and explain to you the point of this exercise.

On regular basis, we are doing actions that resemble cutting out one of our limbs, but we don’t think of these experiences as particularly bad. In fact, people jump off bridges, make a financial decision that will cripple them for the rest of the life, or make any other similar actions with a big smile on their face.

Why would they do it? Because these experience actually means something to them, at least at that moment.

Now, if I ask you to cut down your arm without giving you an explanation as to why you need to do so, you will look at me strangely. However, if I add that by doing so you will cure cancer for the whole humankind for the rest of the time, you will receive a new superior electronic arm, or any other explanation, with which you will agree, you are that much likely to do so with that smile on your face. Thus, we have two conditions:

Conditions 1: No meaningful explanation
Condition 2: Meaningful explanation

In condition 1, we are unhappy, no matter what we do, while in condition 2, we can suffer tremendously, but we can find happiness in these circumstances.

This theory has some serious implications. There are billions of people on this planet who don’t have a clue why they are here. This is to say that most of what they do has little to no meaning. Some of them are even wealthy beyond belief. However, if all these things bring them no meaning, they will remain indifferent or even unhappy. Oppositely, you may have nothing and still be happy, such as it was the case of Diogenes of Sinope who was on purpose homeless then you will be happy. These people are happy not because of their circumstances, but because they can find something fulfilling in having nothing.

Thus, throughout my writing, I give many examples of how to be happy by simply changing the meaning we give to things, so I invite to read further into this topic. Still, for now, the last point of wisdom I will leave you with is that if you are not happy today with your circumstances, it is because you have not yet found meaning for them. Find meaning even for the most tragic events of your life, and you will be happy.

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.

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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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