The Importance of Happiness

The One Thing You Fear Most

Photo: Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Every human has happiness as their primary goal in life. Looking at our progress you wouldn’t think so. We work at jobs we don’t enjoy, yell at our loved ones, and have an epidemic proportion of drugs on the market for depression.

You would think with such a universal (dare I say instinctive) goal to be happy we would have figured it out after 200,000 years. Unfortunately, the methods to achieve this allusive state of mind are scant and sketchy.

It’s important that you understand the significance and magnitude of this quest. All of your hopes, dreams and desires are intricately linked to this one goal to be happy. Consequently, so are all your fears.

You only have one fear in life.

You don’t fear your loved ones getting hurt.
You don’t fear the rejection of a lover.
You don't fear physical pain.
You don’t fear success or failure.
You don’t fear not having enough money.
You don’t fear public speaking.
You don’t fear the unknown.
You don’t fear death.
You fear unhappiness.

You fear the anxiety, anger, resentment, frustration, embarrassment, guilt, helplessness, incompetency, or regret you believe you would feel if any of these events were to occur. So in a sense, you fear an emotion – you fear feeling bad.

If you were guaranteed you could (and would) feel okay if any of these things actually happened, there would be nothing to fear. This is possible.

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You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.

- Jonathan Safran Foer

When I was in grade school, they told me to write down what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They said I didn't understand the assignment. I told them they didn't understand life.

- Unknown