The secret to happiness is different for everyone and runs the gamut of wants and desires—owning a designer bag, living in good health, having sex three times a day, or looking and feeling beautiful. But above all, it’s about feeling awe.
Awe is a relatively unstudied emotion that exists somewhere between pleasure and fear. It can come from a variety of stimuli. We can be in true awe of Tahitian sunsets, an artist’s masterpiece, a tear-inducing symphony, a hero’s actions or a heavenly piece of tiramisu.
When we experience awe, we react by engaging all of our attention, thoughts, hopes and needs. It's all-consuming, primarily because it's an experience in which we feel—really feel, deep in our solar plexus—as if the world is bigger than us.
The big secret to how to be happy: living simply enough that you can recognize and experience these awe moments. Now, if we were to ask a thousand people for their secret to happiness, we’d surely hear two thousand answers (we’re always changing our moods, after all).
The responses would run the gamut of wants and desires, from spending quality time with family to winning an Oscar to winning the lottery. All may be perfectly fine answers. But the kind of happiness we’re talking about here lies at a much deeper level.
There’s more than one way to achieve true happiness. We’ll explore all the different paths you can take to find your bliss.
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