Happiness Is The Truth: A 5-Step Guide For Seeking Happiness According To The Village Elder Shaman

“It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way”
A few nights ago, after a long night of partying with some friends we were sitting in a circle when I was posed the question, “Jimmy, what is the secret to life? I mean you have lived a lot longer than the rest of us.” As I appreciated the former question, the latter comment felt entirely unnecessary, thank you very much.
Granted I was not in the finest mental condition to wax philosophical on their asses, still I needed to come up with something really wise, really fast. I felt like the Village Elder Shaman pressured to evoke wisdom upon the younger and impressionable warriors.
I proceeded to explain that the secret to life is happiness and in order to be happy, you have got to be doing in life what you WANT to be doing in life…or else you really do not stand much of a chance in the quest for happiness. The conversation did not proceed much further from that point, yet the question really got me to thinking.
I think, therefore I blog.
“Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do”
Happiness-Hands1
I have touched on happiness and contentment in life in other blogs, particularly those concerning my thoughts on Buddhism; yet I have never really thought of happiness in the context of the way it was posed to me on this evening. So I explain…and hopefully my young warrior “grasshoppas” will read like good young warriors at the feet of their elder.
If we ever find ourselves in the dreaded state of mind that says, “I will finally be happy once I am (fill in the blank)”—we are missing out on true happiness in the moment.  Happiness is never found in the future. It is only found in the moment.
If your goal is to one day be a firefighter yet are not happy as a fire sciences student or as an Emergency Medical Technician, the chances of finding happiness once achieving firefighter status are rare indeed.
“Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,
Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,
No offense to you, don’t waste your time”
It is vital that we need to find happiness in whatever we are doing NOW. Happiness is a state of mind, not a physical destination, and is the child of contentedness; you might say happiness is housed in the base camp of contentment.Hence I provide you my simple 5-step plan for life happiness. 
Create a path toward your ultimate destination in life. What is the old adage? I remember, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” How can you reach your goals if you have not properly identified them? The hindrance with most people is that they never stop to consider what it is they believe will provide them happiness in the long term -as so many simply settle for so much less than what they really want. Setting an objective and goal for your life is paramount in eventually reaching it. You cannot reach for something that does not exist.
Never sell out to the almighty dollar in the quest for the ultimate destination. This is such a common theme. Trust me young warriors, what is “good money” at 20 is nowhere near “good money” at 40.  The problem is that you can get addicted to 20 year-old good money and eventually those who sacrificed and practiced some delayed gratification begin passing you up. Money is awesome and brings a lot of nice wonderful things in life…it is just that happiness is not one of them.
Be prepared for the path and ultimate destination to change at any moment. Speaking of old adages, one of my former favorites was, “Want to make God laugh? Make a Plan.” Why should we plan when we frequently do not end up where we originally wanted to land? Here is the thing about planning—so many of us end up nowhere near where we intended, yet with a plan at least we have something from which to deviate. I never set out to be a Professor of Communication Studies…yet I then recognized when I needed to deviate from my path and life led me to a differing opportunity.
Be ready for the unsought and unforeseen opportunities to arise and snag them. As I mentioned above, when our path deviates—and it will—be ready and flexible to twist with the turns, rock with the rolls, and shake with the bakes. This roller coaster is what makes life fresh and exciting. I am currently performing a task in my job that is very uncomfortable and finds me well out of my skill zone…writing a 300 page technical report for the College, very grueling. Yet this was a great opportunity for me. True, it is difficult and sucky, yet my need for a fresh challenge, desire to learn new skills, and find out more about the running of the entire institution make this opportunity second to none.
Find whatever contentment and happiness you possibly can in whatever you are doing at the moment. This is central and arguably most important.  When someone asks me what is the best exercise you can do, I typically respond with whatever exercise you love doing most…cause then you will stick to it. For those who detest all forms of exercise, I suggest making a game out of it. If you despise running, attempt to create some happiness out of it by setting little goals for yourself, i.e. try to make it from your driveway to the fire hydrant in under 5 minutes or run in a beautiful park -in other words, whatever possible happiness can be extracted from any given situation, extract the hell out of it. Squeeze that happiness juice box until not a single drop is left.
“Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
I said (let me tell you now)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down”
Thus the wise Village Elder Shaman has spoken.  And one can only hope all your asses feel properly philosophically waxed. You may now rise and go about your day young warriors and I shall go about mine.
Cause I’m happy. And happiness is the truth.