It was 2008 – my worst year ever. I had lost everything in the recession.
I was beating myself up emotionally and physically.
I started to drink too much. I was lost.
It was the toughest of times. I did not know what to do.
I wanted to end it all. The pain was too much. I was suicidal. I saw no way out!
It was time to break the news to my wife, Meena. Her reaction surprised me the most. She had a smile and a look of relief as if I had told her good news. I was completely confused. Her words were “I thought something serious had happened, that you were sick and dying. I don’t care about the money, as long as we are all together”
That’s when my epiphany came. I knew I had to turn things around for my family, and this wasn’t about me. I had to unleash my inner gift and change my focus from what I had lost to what I had left, which was an incredibly loving family, my health, and my gratitude and much more.
I started to perform acts of kindness. The feeling that I received from helping people, alleviated my pain and suffering, and it became addictive. I had found my purpose!
In the moment you give authentically all the pain and suffering will disappear.
I started off doing small events with a handful of people and within a short period of time, they grew bigger and bigger. I was invited to speak on larger stages to over 10,000 people in a bull ring in Medellin, Colombia to a Spanish audience. I thought it was me that was going to be slaughtered!
I authored a best selling book titled, Immediate Happiness.
I spoke on Fox news and at Harvard University.
I continually help celebrities, athletes, tycoons, entrepreneurs, influencers, schools, charities, groups and individuals.
This is not to impress you, but to let you know what is possible when you get out of your own way.
One reflective day I asked myself what did I do to turn things around?
There had to be a link!
I came to the conclusion that there were three major components. This link unearthed the Happiness Formula.
I had found a formula for happiness! How cool was that!
H = G x G x G
Happiness = Give x Grow x Gratitude
The First “G”
The first thing you have to do is Give.
You have to give your time, love, energy, joy, commitment, money, gift, presence etc. WITHOUT wanting anything back. It has to be a pure gift with a pure intention.
In the moment you give authentically the pain and suffering will disappear.
Here are some exercises that you can perform to increase your happiness levels:
1. Perform 10 acts of kindness in the next two days
- Notice how it makes you feel
- Make sure you don’t wish for anything in return.
- Write down how this makes you feel?
Examples: Open the door for someone, buy a coffee or smoothie for someone, pick up litter, thank someone, compliment someone, send a kind text, tell someone you love them, smile at people.
The Second “G“
You have to Grow – Emotionally, Physically, Spiritually and Mentally.
Have a look at your life and see which one of these you need to work on and be brutally honest. What do you spend your time thinking about most of the time? Is it your emotions, your health, your spiritual side or your mental aptitude.
Here are some examples that you can perform to grow:
- Write down the emotions that come up during the day. Analyze which is a common emotion and work on eliminating the negative ones and increasing the positive ones
- Read at least 20 minutes a day
- Read some fiction every day
- Exercise daily
- Eat healthily
- Keep hydrated
- Take 10 deep breaths twice a day
- Do things that you love to do
- Focus on the present
- Smile/laugh more
- Let go of the past
- Be more playful and energetic
- Call a friend that you have not spoken to in a while
- Daydream for 10 minutes
- Visualize some happy moments
- Take a few extra minutes to relax
- Let go of regrets
- Smile more
- Be more playful
- Be curious
- Live in wonderment
- Go with the flow
- Respond not react
- Watch the clouds go by
- Look for things to be happy about
The Third “G”
You have to be Grateful.
Be grateful for what you have and do not focus on what you do not have. In 2008 I was focusing on what I had lost and not what I had left. I had a beautiful family, amazing friends and great health. If you look at your hands right now and ask yourself – when was the last time you thanked them. I bet it has been a long time or never! They have done everything for you. What would you do to get them back if ever you lost the use of your hands?
Exercise – Write down 50 things you are grateful for. This may sound a lot. It is like a muscle, the more you use it the easier it gets. Things to be grateful for could be your friends, family, clothing, roof over your head, health, wealth, transportation, phone, internet, shoes, teeth, feet, skin, air, clouds, rain, sunshine etc.
As you write these things to be grateful for please notice how it makes you feel. It will lift you up!
Now the beautiful thing about this formula is that –
IT ALWAYS WORKS.
Whenever you feel that you are not as happy as perhaps you could be then you can look at this formula.
You should score yourself on each “G“.
What is your Give score? If 10 is the highest level of Giving and 1 is the lowest, what score would you give yourself?
What is your Grow score? If 10 is the highest level and 1 is the lowest level, what score would you give yourself?
What is your Gratitude score? If 10 is the highest level and 1 is the lowest level, what score would you give yourself.
What you will find is that one of these has a much lower score than the rest and that is the area of your life that you need to work on. As you work on that area of your life, your Happiness level will significantly rise. Let’s look at an example.
Give score is 8
Grow score is 7
Gratitude score is 2
Happiness (H) level is 112
If you increase your gratitude score to 3 – your H is 168
If you increase your gratitude score to 4 – your H is 224
If you increase your gratitude score to 6 – your H is 336
If you increase your gratitude score to 8 – your H is 448
These represent 50/100/300 and 400 percent increases in your Happiness Level.
You can see what a dramatic effect this can make in your life. This will compound itself even more if you improve your other two scores by even a small amount.
This is the power of compounding!
This is a powerful formula that can have an immediate impact on your happiness and one that saved my life many years ago. This formula gives you the clarity that you need when things are not working as well as you want, and when you may not be thinking as clearly as you should. You cannot be in love, joyous, fulfilled, successful etc. without awareness. It all starts with Awareness
Awareness –> Clarity –> Focus –> Action –> Results –> Momentum –> Fulfillment
You can do this assessment anytime of the day and one of the three “G” will always be below the rest. They are never all exactly the same level. You will find this can vary from hour to hour, as someone or something may have triggered a negative response in you, thus affecting your score. It is quite interesting to monitor this. You will get the power back in your life rather than life running you.
With practice the self-assessment can take seconds to determine which “G” needs to be worked on. It takes me less than 10 seconds to determine which “G” to work on. It removes the subjectivity and allows an objective assessment as to what is actually happening in the now and what action to take in the now!
The results are immediate.
Always use this formula whenever your life is not as great as you want it and you will develop a muscle that will deliver much happiness to you and your family. I wish you a life filled with giving, growing and gratitude.
You can teach this to your family and even do a 3 “G” assessment for each of them to help them overcome any unhappiness they may be going through. They will thank you and you get to be a hero!
Please enjoy my recent Ted talk – https://youtu.be/Px6_WBppMls