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Most people don’t understand happiness. And it robs them of feeling blissful every day. Happiness isn’t tied to achievements, purchases, or other life events. In fact, thinking of happiness this way creates untold suffering. 


Because pain and pleasure are two sides of the same coin. Your brain has certain homeostatic mechanisms that create pain if you’re feeling too much pleasure and vice versa. 

Here’s why that’s good news: 

You have a baseline level of peace and well-being you can tap into regardless of what positive or negative external events happen. 

In this episode, you’ll discover how to experience this ocean of well-being every moment of your life. 

Listen now. 

Show highlights include:

  • Why chasing happiness makes you miserable (even if it makes you feel good in the moment) (4:14) 
  • How wanting something you don’t have creates mental agony (and how to be happy without relying on external things) (6:08) 
  • How advertising manipulates you into being unhappy (even if buying something from an ad gives you joy) (7:05) 
  • The weird way having problems—whether financial, spiritual, or otherwise—actually makes you happier (10:20) 
  • 2 insidious ways your brain unleashes suffering on you (and how stop them and experience bliss every day) (10:31) 
  • How religion can unlock unlimited ecstacy (and how it can morph you into a miserable, helpless victim) (15:52) 
  • The “Dance with Reality” secret for accepting life as it is without giving up your power to live happy and free (16:55) 
  • The “Zone Out” trick for unlatching blissful joy in your body (even when you don’t have everything you want) (18:22) 
  • How experiencing too much pleasure releases pain to course through your body like a tidal wave (18:59) 
  • Why removing the word “happiness” from your vocabulary lets you dip into the glorious ocean of well-being at any time (21:57) 

If you want to radically change how much control you have over your emotions in as little as 20 days, you can go to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and sign up for the Choose Your Own Emotion course. 

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

If you’d like to buy a copy of my book, Is That Even Possible?: The Nuts and Bolts of Energy Healing for the Curious, Wary, and Totally Bewildered, you can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/That-Even-Possible-Healing-Bewildered/dp/1512336041

Read Full Transcript

It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F-word here: Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same—and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it.

(00:35): All right. Welcome back to the alive free podcast today. We're gonna talk about happiness to a certain extent. What the heck is it? I mean, let's be honest. If you asked everybody on the world, what happiness was, they would give you an activity that they do, or they would give you a certain description of a feeling in their chest and everything that they would describe would be something that isn't lasting. It. It would have a beginning, a middle and an end. One of the reasons I like the word freedom is that it doesn't have that kind of discrete, you know, it's an event kind of thing. That freedom is an overall sense of wellbeing in a very, very real way. Okay. But a lot of people get confused about that. And what's more often the case nowadays in society is that people confuse happiness with getting something.

(01:20): So the founding fathers, as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, they made this horrible egregious mistake. And yes, I am somebody who is willing to question even the great venerated founding fathers and anybody who's willing to look at life should because unless it's something that you see in your own experience, just trusting their words because they have a famous name doesn't mean that it's worth anything. It just means that you are one of the sheep. You're somebody who is following along and may and may not be being duped. You look with your eyes. So they did some great things for sure, but they also did some not so great things. It's just like, you know, max plank, the kind of guy that brought us quantum mechanics and all these other things. When he went to his university in Germany, I think it was at Lipsig or somewhere in there.

(02:11): His teacher told him like he was interested in physics, right? And his teacher told him like, no, look, we've already figured out everything that there is to figure out in physics already. There may be a few small little things to figure out, but every discovery that needs to be made has already been made. This was before quantum mechanics, this was before space travel, airplanes, computers, microchips, Silicon, you know superconductors or whatever else is being made these days. This is before so many other things that have happened that Adam bombs and all of these other things like this teacher and many of the people at the end of the 18 hundreds, unfortunately there was a certain hubris at the time declared. We know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And you know, if you're coming up with something different, well, nothing else was gonna be discovered.

(03:00): We already know everything. It was that level of hubris with regard to diet and exercise with regard to addiction and things of that nature. There's so much of it. And not everybody by any stretch the imagination, but some really dominant ideas came as a result of people making some really outlandish claims in a compelling way that weren't actually true. Turns out max plank was like, well, I'm not interested in discovering anything new. I'm just interested in really understanding how things are. In other words, he opted not to be famous, not to be special, but to be somebody who really understood by seeing how it all worked. And as a result, all the things that came from him came after that. It's pretty amazing. Right? And so, yes, there's some beautiful, amazing things that people in the past have done, but they do also can have the tendency toward a certain amount of hubris.

(03:52): And the same thing happens with the founding fathers where what they were looking for was the pursuit of happiness, right. Is what they wrote. Even though that seemed to mean at the time, the pursuit of real estate, which is still going on today in the United States, if you may or may not recall. And in that unfortunate choice of words, they ended up sort of sentencing the American public to the notion that something outside of themselves is the source of happiness. When you're feeling happy, where does it come from? Does it like float in through the window on the breeze? Does it like somehow someone come and inject it into you? Do they spit on your face? And oh look, happiness is come. Oh cool. Now I'm feeling happiness, no happiness. Isn't a thing. It's, it's a label. We place on a certain kind of experience.

(04:38): So people went chasing happiness. What they think is happiness anyway. But most often, what happens is this you're going about your daily life. You're clicking on, you're scrolling through Facebook or you're clicking on YouTube or something. And an ad pops up. You're fine. You're perfectly fine content enjoying your life. And an ad pops up and it tells you, Hey, if you don't have this thing, you are probably not living well. You're probably missing out. And so people start, oh my gosh, I've never thought about that. That, that tent right there, I mean, we, we have a tent already, but it's not as good as that tent. And if we're ever gonna go camping, I mean, we need a tent that, that sets up at least 10 seconds faster than the other one. Cuz if it's not the fastest tent set up on the planet, then there's no real use for having the tent that we have.

(05:23): And all of these comparisons come up, they may be ads for tents. They may be ads for clothing. They may be ads for shoes or, or for a nicotine patch or for the next latest therapy or a grand adventure and a huge vacation getaway. And every single one of them now creates a comparison in your mind where you are literally agitating yourself with the notion that you are missing out on something that agitation starts to create the need to create a goal. You might feel inspired by that agitation. Oh my gosh. That would be amazing. Yeah. I really need that. That will be now the source of the next amazing experience I have because we still think that happiness is, is the goal like these amazing experiences. And so what you're experiencing is not anything other than the agitation of your own mind. I really want this.

(06:13): I really want this. I really want this means I don't have this and I need this. Or, or it's in some way, shape or form, maybe not required for human survival, but for me to really enjoy my life, I really need this. And if I don't have it, I, I might miss out on something that agitation is actually making you feel worse. So that by the time you're striving for something, you finally get to the point where you get it. And what you experience is the relief from your own agitation. And you mistake that for happiness. Let me say that again. Most often, what people think is happiness is simply the relief from their own self inflicted agitation about not having something that's not happiness. That's called relief and you would've experienced it all along. If you hadn't been busy, agitating yourself about how your life is not good enough in the first place about how things need to be different for you to be happy all.

(07:06): Because from the time you were a kid, everything around you has been positioned, especially with modern advertising to make you feel like your life cannot be happy, unless you have certain experiences, unless you do certain things, unless you own certain things. And that's exactly what advertisers want you to think, because then that manipulates your emotions to make you take, make a buying decision that is completely irrational. You don't need another set of pens. You don't need. Like I did the other day. I, you know, I have a bunch of flutes and musical instruments that I play on from time to time, but I'm like, oh my gosh, this would be so amazing. I can imagine myself doing all these things because I had this cool experience watching an advertisement or watching somebody else do it. And all of a sudden I think that there that's the key to life and I fall into that trap and then I get it.

(07:58): And I, and it takes me like zero time to realize, oh yeah, this is just another thing. well cool. I can keep it or not. And so I still get duped by these from time to time just, and usually it's in a time or place where I'm feeling a little bit of unease in my system. And I happen to be seeing an advertisement at the same time. And then I kind of get sucked into it. Most people's definition of happiness is not real happiness. So what, what would happen if we change that? What would happen if we decided to frame it in new language? Well, this happened, I may have told this story before the Buddha, he had been teaching for some period of time, right? One who never claimed to be a king, never claimed to be an emperor, never even claimed to be anything other than a person who was awake, not a dreamer, not somebody suffering his own illusions or his own delusions, but someone who was finally awake to reality.

(08:52): And when he woke up, he declared that, that just changed everything for him. So at some point in time, a farmer comes to him. He tells him, you know, he'd been waiting for some time to have an audience with the Buddha. He sits down with him and then he starts telling him about his life. He tells him about his farm and how it's great, but sometimes the, the seeds don't grow well. And the crops don't grow well, or the weather is bad or something like that. He tells him that his wife, his family's great, his wife's wonderful. But sometimes, you know, they have a hard time or they fight his kids are great, but sometimes they're disrespectful. The weather's wonderful. But then sometimes it's not his BA his body feels great, but it's getting old and, you know, aches and pains. And then he went on and on about the neighbors, about difficulties with pests pests and insects and all of these different things.

(09:40): And he gets to the end of it. And the Buddha looks at him and he tells him, I can't help you. And the guy's upset. You know, what, what do you mean you can't help me? He says, every single one of those 83 problems that you just listed out, everybody's got those. You're gonna get old, you'll get sick, you'll die. Like everybody's gonna do other people will die. The, the, the weather will change. Crops will sometimes have a hard time. All of these things are gonna happen. There is nothing I can do to help you with any of those things. And the man's upset clearly. He's like, well, well, what good are you? I thought you were some great being that was supposed to help people with their suffering and their struggles and make it so that, you know, all of that stuff went away.

(10:16): I thought you were teaching a path to no longer be struggling with these things. And the Buda looked at him and he said, well, I can help you with the 84th problem. Then he said, well, what's that the 84th problem is the idea that you shouldn't have any of these problems. This is the opposite side of the puzzle of, I need this other thing, or I want this new thing. The opposite side is I shouldn't have the thing that I have, which also happens in both cases. What is really happening is that a person is looking at their circumstances and deciding that even though life has made their circumstances, the way that they are and everything in the universe is still upholding. Those same circumstances, they've decided that they know better and that it should be different. So they're running around with this fantasy delusion in their head, trying to pretend that everything should be different and trying to therefore do the impossible, which is to beat life at its own game and to magically make it different than it is.

(11:17): You hear this when people said, oh man, if only I had done this, then this would've happened. There was a, a whole episode. I don't remember what it's called that I did on modal claims and what that actually means, which is just, you just barely made up a story in your head and created an emotional experience about it because you didn't like the experience you were having, oh, you should do this. Or you shouldn't do that. Or I could've done this, or I would've done that. All of those descriptors, all of those statements, every single one of them is a person checking out from reality and running into their brain. and deciding, Hey, I'm just gonna pretend the world is different so that I can have the emotions that I wanna wanna have. How long does that work for you guys? How long do you think it'll work for you to just stick your fingers in your ears, close your eyes and go Lala.

(12:07): I can't hear you before reality. Doesn't kind of come knocking at some point in time. You're gonna have to go to the bathroom. At some point in time, the neighbor's gonna call. You might actually have to go out and get a job or put some food on the table. And so you keep running back and forth and people keep running back and forth. I don't mean to keep saying you, but people keep running back and forth between their fantasy world, where they're pretending the world is different. And between the world that is demanding their attention, because they have decided that it should be different. If you or someone you know, is looking to drop the FBO of freedom in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or want some help doing it. Head on over to the freedom specialist.com/feel better now and check out some of the things we've got in store for you, or book a call. So we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for.

(13:10): That first initial judgment, that self agitation, where things should be different. This isn't about laying down and surrendering. I've told this before long time ago. I don't know if I've mentioned it on the PO podcast. Some of these things I tell at retreats a couple years ago, I was working with Martin Wheeler. Who's a great Russian system practitioner and great martial artist all around. And I was having a PR my very first private lesson with him. And he called some big refrigerator due over. I mean, the guy was like, you know, black belt and judo and you know, great martial artist in his own. Right. And also like six foot five and 250 pounds, way bigger than me by the name of Lance great guy. And so Martin gave him a knife and he is like, well, let's see what you can do.

(13:56): He wanted to assess this new student. So I, you know, I do my best, but I'm, you know, I'm doing my best to avoid and Dodge and try and manipulate him in some way, but I'm doing it all wrong. I'm stiff. I'm not getting killed, but I'm just, I can't affect the guy. Cuz my brain is like stuck on, oh my gosh, it's a big guy. He's bigger than me. There's not a lot. I'm gonna do. I defeated myself before I even started. So Martin stops it. He's like, okay, Martin's still bigger than me and his fists are like Mac trucks. Oh my gosh. And so he grabs the knife and he's like, look, here's what I want you to do. I just, I'm gonna, I'm gonna kill you. Right. I'm gonna stab you with this knife. It wasn't a sharp knife. It was a training knife, still metal.

(14:36): And still definitely painful if you resist it, but he's like, I'm gonna stab you. And what I want you to do is just go with it. So the first time I'm going with it and I'm trying to second, guess it I'm a little stiff. He keeps kind of changing the direction on it. And every time he changes direction, I'm trying to like avoid it and stuff. I'm getting a little bit jerky. And at the very end I get tied up in this spot and I eventually just kind of collapse on the ground laughing, like all right. And he gets in my face and he holds the knife right in my nose almost. And he goes, no, don't just give up. Don't surrender to this pay attention. This is happening. You need to watch it the whole time. Don't just give in and you know, okay, cool.

(15:16): I just got scolded. That wasn't exactly the greatest feeling. So I get up. I'm like, okay. So then the next time he starts going and the whole time I'm just staying with a knife. I don't allow myself to collapse. I don't allow myself to give in with it. And at the very end, like I finally lay down on the floor kind of very nicely and like smoothly as I'm avoiding the knife, just where it's at. And he's like, okay, good. Now you're relaxed. See too often people mistake, accepting things as they are for surrendering and being a victim to things as they are. And that's why they're looking for a way out is cuz they think they're somehow power powerless and they've given the power of their freedom and their deliverance to something else. They look in religions for it. And some people use religion very intelligently.

(16:01): I'm not bagging on religion necessarily, right. There are some people that use it very consciously, but there's a lot of people that use religion as a way of being unconscious in their life. A way of surrendering and being a victim to things and not actually taking responsibility for what they can do. And people use cars and real estate and money and relationships with women or men, multiple relationships, they use fame, they use food, they use drugs and alcohol. They use all kinds of things as the source of their own happiness. They use an identity, a reputation, a personality a resume, all the things that I've talked about in the past couple weeks that I, I myself have done as a means of seeking for some kind of deliverance because they've surrendered, they've given up, they've stopped pretending. I mean, they've started pretending that they can't do anything from where they're at.

(16:52): That's not what I'm talking about when I'm suggesting that you embrace reality as it is. I would like you to consider embracing it more like dancing with it. So when you dance with somebody, you have to accept everything that they do. You can't just beat them into submission. You lead and then follow or they lead and then you follow, you have to accept it. And then you do what you can with it to yield to traffic going on the freeway, you yield to them, meaning you accept the fact that there's a car in the right hand lane and you either slow, slow down or speed up. And you adapt according to what's there. All of your choice is still there. The circumstances are what they are. That's what I'm suggesting needs to happen with regard to life itself. Because the minute there is that judgment, that life should not be this way.

(17:39): You've gotten into a street fight with life. Guess what? Life wins every time there is nothing you can do to change this moment. You might have some influence over the next moment, but not if you are busy believing that you are a victim to this moment. All right. So now that we've gotten out of the victim mode and hopefully that's a little bit of a fire under your bum. Now that we've gotten out of the victim mode, what hap how do we describe what happiness would be? If it isn't just this? Well, I have to have this achievement or this one experience or this one event. How do we describe what happiness would be? If it isn't anything that a human being does, if it's just a state of being, if it isn't anything that that disappears, what would it be? And I would say that the best words that I have for it are things like freedom or just wellbeing.

(18:22): I want you to think about the one time or the many times, depending that you zoned out, you know, you were somewhat tired or your brain was a little bit full and you just zoned out. And if you've ever zoned out and then come kind of back to before you like focused on the room, again, sound starts to change a little bit. The eyes blur the eyes, relax, and the body just gets to this place where you're just like, I'm just here. That's it. I'm just here. That's a beautiful experience. There's a reason the brain does that because it feels good. It's relief from all the agitation and all the squeezing that happens in the brain. What some brain scans and brain studies have indicated. And some research has indicated is that there is a certain pleasure and pain threshold. It's a certain homeostasis are balanced that the brain seems to want to be in.

(19:12): And if you go far too far in any direction too far, trying to squeeze pleasure out of your system, then the brain has to compensate for that by, by producing its exact opposite, pleasure and pain are two sides of the same coin. When you get one, the fear of the other shows up and the loss of the one produces the sense of loss. And so people seeking pleasure. Actually what they end up doing is finding pain. They might get pleasure, but on the other side becomes pain, people seeking pain or people using pain often like no pain, no gain. And they're using stress in order to produce pleasure as the byproduct, but either way the brain is somewhat stressed, but there's a place in the middle where there isn't any necessarily emotion either way. There is just this sense of overall wellbeing. That's there. That's what we're talking about.

(20:00): Right? And I remember years ago and when I was, when I went to Canada and I was working with Vladimir and we were working on improvised weaponry, particularly using people's clothing for takedowns jackets and shirts and, and whatnot and different ways of using it. And it was raining all the time. And he was walking by and I was trying to show that I was an amazing martial artist, whatever, and I did a move and one of them worked and then the next one, I kind of got stuck up on it. And I was like, ah, dang. And he is like, no, no, don't feel sorry for self. And I was like, whoa, what do you mean? So like, you know, these negative emotions are bad. He's like, no, all emotion is bad unless you know how to use it. I thought he was off his rocker.

(20:40): I was like, what do you mean? How could joy be possibly bad? How could love be bad? But what I didn't recognize at the time and it's taken me a long time to really see for myself is that every single emotion is like squeezing the juice out of yourself. Tears of joy and tears of pain are still both tears, a tension that comes from excitement and anticipation and you know, suspense. They also come from fear and terror and all that other stuff. And all of them are squeezing muscles. They're causing cells to divide and reproduce at different rates. They're adding blood pressure to the system. They're creating chemical changes in hormones. The body doesn't know which one is which it's just experiencing the after effects of both of those things. And the only difference between the pleasurable ones, then the painful ones. Yes, there's a slightly different hormonal thing, but that's because of your relationship to it.

(21:30): You think one thing's awesome. Another person thinks it's painful. So you have this great cascade chain effect that comes from it. They don't so, so there's some after effects of it. But ultimately the body is experiencing being squeezed both ways when it's no longer being squeezed by your psychology. And by the way that you're behaving and your body is allowed to simply be. In other words, you're allowed to be a human being not possible all day long. I get it. You have to go to work. You gotta do other things. But the more often you can release your mind from thinking, the more often you can release your body from having to compulsively do things. The more this wellbeing, that's always there underneath the surface rises. And it's an experience of utter freedom, utter release from all responsibilities, from the weight of all the psychology that's being created.

(22:17): That is what I would point to as happiness. But I like the terms, freedom and wellbeing better because they aren't words that seem to come with events. They aren't words that seem to come with jumping up and down for glee all the time. The there aren't words that seem to come with this unsustainable action that has to happen. They're just about being, and that's what I try to teach people how to do is how to work with your system in such a way that the bulk of your day is just being gloriously, dipped in this amazing ocean of wellbeing. And you will have happiness, but if we're talking about it like an ocean, the ocean is made of wellbeing instead of stress or pain, you have the ocean of wellbeing. And then if the waves heave, it's the ocean of wellbeing. That's heaving, whether they be heaving and frustration or, or joy or whatever else that needs to be marshed in the moment because anger can be very useful sometimes, but it's really just, if you take that anger and you turn it just a degree, it's just a certain level of physical intensity and that's very useful.

(23:21): So if there's an intensity that comes to the ocean or a placidness that comes to the ocean, it's still just an ocean of wellbeing. That's what we wanna build in your life and in everybody's life. Cuz if the world today we're bathed in an ocean of wellbeing, how many wars would stop? How many world leaders, if they were feeling incredible right now they're emotional creatures. They're reactive, they're compulsive. And when you have a person that is being governed by their emotions, it's dangerous because when you empower them with technology and armies and nations and powers and wealth, then because they're compulsively reacting, they can do so many horrible things. But when a person is stable emotionally, then when you empower them with those things, what good can they do? So let's go out this week, let's do what we can to start to lay the foundation for the world, to be living in an ocean of wellbeing instead of mistaking their lives for being the purpose of their life is pursuing happiness.

(24:16): That's not the case at all. Your life is designed to be fueled by wellbeing, by what people think is happiness by total wellbeing, that's the fuel of life. And when you're there other things that humans have never dreamed of are possible. And that's probably where all the legends from the past have come from is pockets in time where societies managed to live fully on in wellbeing. And that's where you'll find altruism. That's where you'll find selflessness. That's where you'll find all kinds of possible advances sure. In technology, but more often in human wellbeing. And if you need help with that, obviously we have some things that we can help with. You can go to the freedom specialist.com and check those out. But this week, look at all the places where you are agitating yourself about not having something look at all the times in your life where you've gotten the thing. And then later been upset about it. Like later, been like bored with it. And, and the, the newness of it wore off. Those are indications that what you thought was happiness or you thought was going to be happiness was really just a relief from your own agitation. And I hereby give you permission to stop agitating yourself for good. And that's it for today's alive and free podcast. If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your earbuds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcast from. And while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you. Plus, it's just nice to be nice.

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