Most of us spend our lives trying to figure out what will make us happy without getting very far—when we finally achieve what we thought would bring us true joy, we discover that the feeling is fleeting.
“Most of us convince ourselves that once we get what it is we want, we’ll be happy,” says Tony Robbins. “Evidence to the contrary be damned: that big new house or fast car will indeed make me happy.”
Tony calls this “Rock Star Happiness”: the happiness that comes from getting what you want.
It’s one of three kinds of fleeting happiness:
Fame, fortune, admiration, success—rock stars have it all, yet “of all the rock stars I’ve met and worked with over the past 30 years,” says Tony, “they are not the happiest people in the world.”
“Inevitably, I get the call where [insert your favourite rock star here] calls and says, ‘How come I have everything I ever wanted and I’m miserable?’ And the answer is this: getting what you want may give you pleasure, but it doesn’t make you happy. Plenty of people with ample wealth, fancy toys and fast cars still find themselves disillusioned.”
It’s easy to be satisfied if you don’t expect much out of life. But this kind of happiness doesn’t come from real fulfillment.
“Remember how crappy the economy was in 2008 when the thought of the global economy collapsing was a real and scary possibility?” Tony points out.
“By comparison, things today look better, right? It’s a simple adjustment we’ve made to our expectations, and that might give us some near-term happiness, but it’s fleeting.”
In Tony-speak, peak state refers to the state of being that results from mastering the emotional triad: your physiology, your language, and your focus.
Sounds reasonable that achieving your peak state would result in happiness, doesn’t it? As Tony says, “There is a certain bliss to be achieved when you conquer a goal you set for yourself.”
The problem with this state is that when you reach the top, inevitably you need to come down. Achieving your peak state might feel great, but it’s not sustainable in the long term—and if you base your happiness on this state, you will forever be playing catch up.
“Nothing that takes such out-sized energy and devotion to achieve is sustainable indefinitely,” says Tony.
So, if none of the above can give you lasting happiness, what can?
The answer, according to Tony, is simple:
“If you aren’t growing, you are dying. It turns out that happiness that is true and lasting is quite simply this: progress. Progress = Happiness!”
“If you are growing and giving, you will be happy. If you are moving forward in your life, if you are progressing personally, professionally, emotionally, spiritually—you will be happy. It is only in stagnation that we wilt.”
The wisdom of this answer lies in realising that happiness is not an end goal, but the process itself. True happiness is a way of being—and that makes it infinitely achievable.
Great news, right?
Want to see Tony Robbins live? He’s bringing his transformational 4-day event, Unleash the Power Within, to Birmingham in May 2020! Find out more here.