In this pillar you will explore what happiness looks like for you personally. You’ll experience an exercise that will increase your sense of optimism and help you to notice the joy and beauty in your daily life.
Perhaps you’ve done some research on happiness, read a few books, and tried some strategies on your own, yet are still frustrated because you haven’t had the success you hoped for. You might be wondering, “What does happiness even look like for me?” At last, you’ll have an answer.
In 50,000 Miles to Happiness, I’ll guide you through 11 exercises to discover and grow your happiness, joy, well-being, and success.
In this book, I reflect on the experiences I had during a year-long journey that shaped my personal happiness and the happiness of others. You’ll learn about my Four Pillars of Happiness: Discover Yourself, Accept Yourself, Connect Yourself, and Share Yourself, and engage in a series of exercises and reflections I used to discover my own happiness.
At age 13, I was diagnosed with a rare form of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and given a 30% chance of survival. I underwent intensive chemotherapy and spent the next three years of my life in and out of the hospital for treatments. I suffered a collapsed lung, a stroke, lost 25 pounds, needed to have food pumped into my stomach through a nasal tube, and dealt with an onslaught of other side effects.
While I recovered physically from the disease, I continued to suffer psychologically. After stopping chemotherapy, I entered a period of severe depression. I tried several antidepressants, as well as psychotherapy, but continued to struggle off and on for several years until I finally made a self-directed effort to get better. I took an interest in positive psychology, the study of happiness, optimism, well-being, and related topics. These fields of study, along with my bouts of depression, inspired me to write this book.
In August of 2012, I set out on my journey to discover the path to happiness. I packed my camera and a few belongings in my car, and proceeded to drive across the US (as well as parts of Canada) collecting insights from people I met along the way. Living on the road and interacting with people from all walks of life, allowed me to recognize different paths to happiness, not only for myself, but for others.
The Four Pillars of Happiness:
After you discover your happiness, you’ll work on learning to love and accept yourself. I’ll guide you through exercises on gratitude, self-esteem, and self-love that will leave you feeling better about yourself and where your life is going.
In this pillar, you will explore the types of connections you want to make with others and learn to appreciate your current relationships. Not only that, you’ll take a deep look at your values, which will help you discover what matters most to you, helping you find more meaning, purpose, and direction in your life.
Once you’ve discovered what makes you happy, accept who you are at your core, and connect with your values and the people you care about, you will explore what you want to give. You’ll discover your gifts and strengths, contemplate your life goals, and decide how you want to share yourself and your happiness with the world.