Happiness: a master speaks and shows the way (not for the faint hearted)

As I wrote in one of the earlier posts we can play the game of happiness at many different levels.  One of the levels that occurs as being particularly interesting and inspiring is that articulated by Werner Erhard.   When he speaks there is value in listening and really getting what he is pointing towards and making available to us.  I have been listening to Werner speak and this is what he has to say:

One of the things I am really sure about is nothing will make you happy. Very few things I am really sure about.  That is one of things I am really sure about. Nothing will make you happy.  It may give you give you a jolt. It may make you gleeful but it isn’t going to make you happy.  What does that mean nothing will make you happy.  It means what it says: there is no thing that’s going to make a person happy. Most people think gee when I graduate then life will be great. No. You graduate thats wonderful but life still aint great. When I get married then life will be great. Not true.  Well when I get divorced then it will be ok. Or when I get promoted, whatever it is, when I get a new car….when I get a chance to go on this new vacation… All of you have to do is to watch people on vacation and you can see very clearly vacations do not make people happy. No, no, no.

Most people live their lives working towards something, working for something,  that they think is going to make them happy.  And it’s really the Peggy Lee song “Is that all there is?”.  No matter what it is you get that you think is going to make you happy I can promise you that in a very short time after you get it you’re gonna be  well “Is that all there is?  Is that all there is to that? You mean it’s not filling my life with joy?” Yes, that’s right it, it isn’t. 

You have to bring happiness to life.  You don’t get happiness out of life.  What is there to be happy about? Nothing. When you can be happy about nothing. Just be happy. You know “I am happy” – those words are sacred. It’s like a declaration, it’s like a place from which I come, it’s like a stand I take upon myslf.  Its not I am pretending to be happy, it’s not I am acting happy.  No. I am happy!

If you find value in what Werner has to say then I suggest you check out the following: Transformation, One to One With Werner Erhard – a series of six pay per view interviews with Werner Erhard.  From where I stand they are great value for money.


Author: Maz Iqbal

Experienced management consultant working at the intersection of strategy, customer, and technology. Combine a tendency to think strategically with a penchant for getting my hands dirty at the coalface of implementation.

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