No matter how many times your friends tell you that happiness comes from within, the truth is both simpler and more complex. 

I think human happiness is rather simple to satisfy. There are complex theologies and theories about what makes humans happy. They generally revolve around enlightenment or the attainment of self-confidence (success) or, hopefully, both. The problem with these theories is that they forget the very earthy nature of humans and their inward fear that death is near.

I strongly believe there are only three things that we humans need to be happy: time, exchange value, and health.

When it comes to humans, time is both limited and unpredictable. Although we know that our time is limited, most humans waste enormous amounts of it. We waste time procrastinating, experiencing self-doubt, being isolated, and fearing to collaborate due to ego.

But the truth is, we don’t have the right relationship with time. We spend loads of time in the past and future which are realms we are locked out of. This preoccupation with past and future blocks our ability to be in the moment; the only realm to which we have access. We need to take a personal oath that we will strive to remain in the moment 50% of the time.

The unpredictable nature of time resides in its ability to end for every human being without warning. The couple on the first day of their honeymoon, a child running to meet a friend across the street, or dad sitting at home enjoying his first day of retirement; they are all subject to the cruelty of ended time. The antidote to this tiresome revolving wheel of fear is to be happy with who we are every day.

In my mind, the service we bring to humanity equals our purpose. You agree and tell me that you were, taught that a primary ingredient for personal happiness was having a purpose in life. I agree with you wearing a smile. However, when you analyze that, you understand that the root cause of purpose is exchange value. This is the value that everyone brings to the table of existence. I believe that we’re brought into this world with a quiver full of arrows. The arrows are our natural abilities and talents. Although the number we receive is limited, they are meant to be our way to find purpose. Let’s take another personal oath that we will discover what’s in our quiver.

Finally, it goes without saying, that health is the most important of the three ingredients for happiness. This is because all endeavors, no matter how small, require energy and focus. It’s hard to find energy when the body if fighting for survival. A few great humans, like Van Gogh, were able to overcome untold misery and deprivation and keep creating beauty. However, their number is miniscule. Most of us experience physical pain and sickness and thy immobilize us. But when the dark night of sickness arrives, we get religion quickly and pray most for our health back. Let’s take the oath that we will never judge ourselves for the reactions we have to sickness. We will struggle everyday to limit elements that hurt our health and amplify those which improve our physical being.