“Are there Secrets to Happiness?” What is it to be happy, or to live happy and successful life? Is it having money, getting married, becoming a mother, having good health, living in a mansion, or receiving a postgraduate degree? The only question that is more investigative is “What is happiness?” There have been many books written concerning ‘happiness’ and attempting to define the ‘secret’ to happiness, or suggesting how to achieve it. Whether scientific or non-scientific we have discovered that there is not a single (universal) definition, key, or secret to happiness.
Socrates was a classical Greek philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, puts happiness in an unselfish perspective, thus:
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”
— Socrates (469 BCE–399 BCE).
Over many centuries, the world has experienced exponential growth in world religions, human knowledge, science, and technology, and considerable financial and material wealth. Humanity has made significant progress in academia, science and technology, arts and entertainment, space exploration, and medical research, and in the treatment and eradication of some common diseases such as smallpox, measles, yellow fever, and polio (poliomyelitis).
The thoughtful observer could conclude that our world should blossom into a “new era” of high civilization with peace and prosperity, and hope and happiness. Instead, humanity has been ushered into a “global village,” observably unprepared to manage past challenges, present challenges, and looming challenges of the twenty-first century and the “new millennium.” Has humanity unearthed any secrets to happiness?
To try and attempt to answer this question, Marjorie and I have stood on the shoulders (figuratively speaking) of the prophets, philosophers, academics, intellectuals, and the humanitarians to take a ‘panoramic view’ of the “happiness landscape.” We have not found discovered any hidden places or suitcases with compartments filled with secret documents. We have not discovered any hidden paths; every path was visible and straightforward to navigate. Instead, we have discovered that the universe does not withhold any secrets from its Earthly inhabitants. The universe teaches simple life’s ‘lessons of happiness’ that can blossom into a happier world for all humanity.
Marjorie and I have discovered that a “spiritual compulsion” informs our higher moral responsibility to make others happy, as opposed to a “material obsession,” that is often self-serving. We have discovered that an “Optimum Happiness” state, positively transforms individuals, marriages, families, workplaces, governments, and nations. We have determined that “Joy” in the “Spiritual” realm, informs happiness in the “physical” realm of our lives. We have read that the US Constitution states, “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as the ‘unalienable rights’ [birthright] of the individual (United States Declaration of Independence in Congress July 4, 1776 —Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826).
Marjorie and I have discovered that happiness does not come naturally, or that we can be happy by merely envisioning ourselves as happy. Happiness has a deeper meaning that demands action such as to love, to care, to give, and to receive, fostered by a life of purpose, meaning, and objectivity. We have ascertained that happiness travels along many paths. Global travel has helped us to discover five pathways that illuminated our “search for happiness.” We delineate these five key pathways as leading to (1) Spiritual Happiness (love and peacefulness); (2) Moral Happiness (leadership and servanthood); (3) Social Happiness (personal and interpersonal relationships); (4) Intellectual Happiness (knowledge, wisdom, and understanding), and (5) Physical Happiness (freedom from fear, mental and physical well-being).
FIVE PATHWAYS TO HAPPINESS
SPIRITUAL HAPPINESS (“Joy”) transcends all other forms of happiness. This path is a noble way that brings both “Joy” and happiness to others and us because it is the realization of the whole purpose of human existence. The spiritual pathway speaks to the foundation of God’s love (agápē) for His creation, which is absolute and unconditional. The practice of this form of love breaks down barriers of intolerance between human beings regardless of color, race, class, culture, nationality or religion.
MORAL HAPPINESS is the pathway taken to understand, embrace, and practice moral laws. The principal foci of the moral foundation are the transcendental and transformational benefits to “moral leadership” in the family, community, corporation, and nation. The benefits of “moral happiness” help to promote “moral authority,” voluntary control of excessive wealth, and unbridled power. It helps individuals, families, and nations to grow and prosper equitably as a unified human family.
SOCIAL HAPPINESS is the pathway taken to build close social relationships with fellow beings, depicted in the following fifteen relationship types:
FIFTEEN RELATIONSHIP TYPES THAT ARE DISTINCTLY DIFFERENTIATED
- Spiritual relationships (between God and man)
- Marital relationships (between husbands and wives)
- Parental relationships (between parents and children)
- Sibling relationships (between brothers and sisters)
- Romantic relationship (between lovers)
- Platonic relationships (between friends)
- Business relationships (between business associates)
- Associate relationships (between co-workers)
- Casual relationships (between strangers)
- Subordinate relationships (between employers and employees)
- Territorial relationships (between neighboring countries)
- Sovereign relationships (between nations)
- International relationships (between nations)
- Constitutional relationships (between government and people)
- Judicial relationships (between state and judiciary)
These fifteen relationship bonds define human interactions in a myriad of ways depicted above. Social Happiness is not merely with our immediate family and friends, or with our immediate neighbors, but with those in the diverse international community. An understanding of these distinctly differentiated relationships provides the healing balm for the fractured relationships that cause much of the human suffering that we experience on a daily basis.
INTELLECTUAL HAPPINESS is the pathway that informs the human intellect. It is in an environment that stimulates and inspires people to reach greater heights in understanding how to live better lives. Many may view happiness generically, or as merely a lifestyle, but “Intellectual Happiness” comes from “Human Intelligence (IQ) imbued by “Spiritual Intelligence” (SQ), for better management of “Artificial Intelligence” (AI), to enable us to make critical life-saving and life-enhancing decisions.
PHYSICAL HAPPINESS is the pathway that exists in the physical realm, which comes from a sense of physical well-being, but understanding all of the complexities of our physical well-being is critical to living healthy and happy lives. For instance, we cannot experience physical health and happiness to the exclusion of spiritual and mental health, and a clean environment.
From the medical scientist to the layperson, all might agree that the human body is complex but marvelously made (Psalm 139:14–16). We are also, as living beings, an integral biological component of the living and breathing universe. Even the living trees exchange matter with people. The trees cleanse the environment of toxins for our health, survival, and happiness.
Each of the five pathways underpins the human journey. They confer upon us the agency of spiritual and material gifts that we desire to experience a life of fulfillment. The benefits become real when we subscribe to a belief in the existence of a higher “Spiritual Intelligence” (SQ), which informs “Human Intelligence” (IQ), for the creation of “Artificial Intelligence” (AI). When these three primary forms of intelligence are in harmony, humanity can realize its fullest “happiness potential.”
The search for happiness will take you along paths that you might not have traveled, although the five paths delineated herein may hold the secret to your happiness. Some paths that you may have traveled or that you are currently traveling may be the path(s) that have suffocated your happiness and have robbed you of a successful and fulfilling life.
Happiness means a commitment to God, marriage, children, family, and friends; likewise, to recognize, acknowledge, and embrace the “oneness” of the human family. Happiness means to understand that all people have a common desire for universal love, hope, peace, mercy, fairness, and justice, honesty and integrity, competency in business, and generosity to others.
If there is a secret to happiness, it may lie herein. The secret has become a revelation that you must now share to maintain the potency of its power to transform individuals, families, communities, and nations. The more relevant inquiry is to seek to understand better, “What is Happiness?” Moreover “Optimum Happiness” (OH), which is a ‘higher value proposition’ than happiness, for human survival as a viable species.
“Joy” is the ‘higher value proposition’ to achieve and sustain happiness. “Joy” is the Sentinel that guards the soul when happiness takes flight —temporarily. “Joy” is a ‘Spiritual compulsion’ rather than a ‘material compulsion.’ A wellspring of “joy” rises within us when our ‘spiritual self’ rises above our ‘natural self.’ Understanding the dual nature of “happiness” (spiritual and physical) is the first step in any unveiling any perceived secret to happiness. We trust that you are not disappointed that Marjorie and I did not reveal any hidden “secrets to happiness.” Notwithstanding, we hope that we have shared ‘new’ revelations that will engage, enlighten, and empower you to further “search for happiness,” not merely as a temporary material state but as a permanent state of “joy” as you travel life’s path.
“Discovering Your Optimum ‘Happiness Index’ (OHI) Project recognizes that happiness is not merely about the individual but the human family, intrinsically linked as a ‘community of influence.’”
Writers, Errol A. and Marjorie G. Gibbs are avid readers, inspired researchers, and mentors. Their journey, which began with their “search for happiness,” led along paths to “Optimum Happiness (OH),” which is a “higher value proposition” for human survival as a viable species. These same paths await on your “journey of discovery.” “Discovering Your Optimum ‘Happiness Index’ (OHI).”