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Mel robbins

Hi Everyone,
Welcome to my new blog on my new website! It’s been a long while since I posted anything, but like I said in my previous posts, I won’t write just to bore you with some mindless drivel. I want what I write to have some sort of purpose, if not for my own creativity, but to share something that I think has value or something I’ve learned that could be useful to others. So today, I’m sharing what I’ve learned about happiness.

I’m a big fan of Mel Robbins and have read most, if not all of her books. What I like about her is that she’s powerful and no-nonsense. She gets to the point and backs up her statements with research (which I appreciate). She has a new series on Audible called, Start Here with Mel Robbins, which are short pep talks about a specific topic. Today’s topic that I listened to was about happiness.

Happiness is a strange emotion, it’s fickle, elusive and everyone is striving to find “happiness”, myself included. But I think Mel summarizes happiness so beautifully when she uses the analogy of waves to describe our emotions, where happiness can be very present and then seemingly disappears. What I liked most about her talk is her description about how people are born with a certain level of happiness coded in our DNA. I’ve often felt that I was missing something that my level of happiness could never sustain. Some people may call it ambition, drive and others may call it never being satisfied, but after listening to this talk, perhaps I’m of the other group where we are more pragmatic and sometimes see things more cynically. Which doesn’t necessarily mean we are an unhappy group, just that we process happiness differently.

Some of the lessons that she described in order to create “waves of happiness” I’ve heard before, probably from her in other books, but it’s always a great reminder since I know I don’t practice these everyday. What struck me the most was the bit about connection and how having a community is so important to ones happiness. And that can be a community outside of your immediate family. She describes a time that she was traveling a lot for speaking engagements and although she had a terrific marriage and family life, she was lonely. Moving from Los Angeles to Sweden I’ve often felt this type of loneliness myself. I miss the connections I had with my friends which was my tribe. Like Mel, I have a wonderful family and in-laws that love me, but that’s different from the connection you have to a community. So that is something I will work on building my community here in Sweden. I have some very good connections here, but of course due to COVID-19 it’s been hard to connect. But I’m going to make the effort to reach out more and although we are isolating more at home, it doesn’t mean we can’t chat or call on the phone.

I think everyone can take away something from this pep talk and if nothing else use it as a reminder that happiness is something you create.

I’ve taken notes on the most compelling part of her pep talk and shared it below. Some of the text is taken directly from what Mel said during her talk or paraphrased.

  1. Happiness lives in all of us, you are a happy person. You do have the ability to be happy and positive in your life. Feelings rise and fall, happiness is rooted in you. Think of your life as a beautiful white sandy beach, the whole ocean is the range of your emotions. Happiness is like the waves that ebbs and flows. The waves are the emotional ups and downs of your life, ever changing. Ocean waves are never the same just like the emotions you feel. When the waves are big and are crashing, it’s when you’re angry and when the waves barely move that’s when you are calm, riptide is when you’re drowning in sadness. And then the most beautiful days when the waves are perfect, are happiness and joyful days. 
  2. Everyone is born with a certain level of happiness, coded in your DNA 50% makes up if you are either a naturally optimistic person or naturally pessimistic. Regardless of your DNA, you are in control of the other 50% of happiness available to you. You can create your own waves of happiness. Happiness is not what happens to you, it comes from the deliberate actions you create. Your goal everyday should be to choose to be happy. 
  3. There is nothing that is going to happen to you outside of you that will permanently make you happy (ie. winning the lottery, once the feeling of euphoria disappears, then you are left at the same level of happiness). Happiness isn’t impacted on what happens to you, you have to create it. 
  4. Happiness is determined by 3 small promises that researchers have identified that will UP every single person’s happiness. 3 waves of happiness you can create anytime because you control it.
    • Wave #1: Practice gratitude – be thankful for everything not just the big stuff (ie. delicious pie…etc). Savoring is a form of gratitude when you express the specific thing you’re happy about and you describe it in detail by saying it out loud. Savoring is being a form of being present, and by saying it out loud you magnify the wave of happiness to others. You need to make it specific. 
    • Wave #2: Move your body – research shows if you move your body for 20 minutes you become more alert and focused. If you want to be happier you have to move your body. 
    • Wave #3: Connection – Researchers have shown that people that have just a few friends are 2-3 times more likely not to suffer from depression. You don’t need a ton of friends, you just need 1 or 2 good ones. So much of your happiness comes from connections and if you’re missing it, it’ll change how you feel. 2 types of important connections. Connection #1: a couple of close friends that you could call in the middle of the night if you had a problem. Connection #2: a community besides your family (ie. church group or hobby group). If you’re missing one of these connections you will feel lonely. You can have a great family and marriage, but if you don’t have a community you will feel lonely. 
  5. An act of kindness is the most powerful way to create a wave of happiness. Beyond the other practices the act of kindness will bring a tidal wave of happiness your way.