unconditional happiness

334: The Path of Unconditional Happiness

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Experience a painful emotion only long enough to extract value from that experience.”

Hal Elrod

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Do you ever have that experience where you’re reading a book and find yourself nodding your head and thinking, “Yes!” because you agree and resonate so deeply with what the author is saying?

That happened with me over and over again when I read The Untethered Soul and its follow up, The Surrender Experiment, by Michael Singer. They quickly became two of my favorite books of all time, and there are millions of people who would say the same things about his work.

Today, I’m going to read one of my favorite chapters from The Untethered Soul to you: “The Path of Unconditional Happiness.” This chapter reaffirms a fundamental philosophy that has been one of the most important I’ve ever discovered, what Michael Singer calls “the highest spiritual path.” It is that life is meant to be enjoyed, that suffering is optional, and how we always have a choice to be happy, regardless of our circumstances, which begins the moment we make our “vow of unconditional happiness.”

I invite you to keep an open mind, think about the emotions that cause you pain as well as those that best serve you, and think about how you can apply Michael Singer’s wisdom to your life so that you can truly enjoy every moment and be the happiest you’ve ever been.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Why people don’t see the choice of happiness as a simple yes/no question, even when it is.
  • Why choosing happiness is a spiritual experience.
  • Why you cannot let your happiness be conditional upon yours or others’ behavior.
  • How choosing happiness leads to overwhelming joy and transcendence.
  • How you can make your vow of happiness today and experience life as it’s meant to be lived.

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COMMENT QUESTION: What is your big takeaway? Write it in the comments below.

View Transcript

[INTRODUCTION]

Hal Elrod: Goal achievers, members of the Miracle Morning community. Hey, it is Hal Elrod, and welcome to the podcast. Today, I'm going to do something I don't normally do. I'm going to read to you. I've done it a couple of times but it was always from my own book. I'm actually going to read you a chapter, one of my favorite chapters from one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. And then we'll talk about it. We’ll talk a little bit about it. I might even interrupt as I'm reading to talk about it if I feel the call to, if you will. I'm getting ready to go out of town, first time jumping on a plane since this whole COVID-19 thing hit a few months ago. And my family and I are flying to California of all states, back to my home state where I was born and grew up to visit my sister and my mom and my dad and my wife's family as well. So, we're getting ready to leave this afternoon. Yeah, hopefully, it'll be a safe and uneventful trip other than fun with the family.

[EPISODE]

Hal Elrod: So, the book I'm going to read you from today is called The Untethered Soul and this is years ago, Oprah Winfrey featured this book and interviewed the author, Michael Singer, and I believe Oprah, this is one of her favorite books of all time. I was late to the party reading and I probably read it about sometime a year ago, six months to a year ago, and then I read Michael Singer's follow-up book, which is called The Surrender Experiment. Both of these books are two of my favorite books of all time. And I'm not the only one. Millions upon millions of people will probably tell you the same thing. And this book, The Untethered Soul, I'm going to read Chapter 15 to you today, The Path Of Unconditional Happiness. And this chapter resonated with me so much. You ever do that where you're reading a book and you're like, "Yeah, that's me. That's me,” either because you agree with the author or you relate to the experience the author is expressing in the book?

Well, when I read this, I'm like, "Yeah, that's how I think. That's how I feel. That's how I've lived through all my adversity is this kind of decision for unconditional happiness.” And so, without further ado, I'm going to read this to you. It's like the audiobook by Hal Elrod of The Untethered Soul, I guess. But again, this is Chapter 15, The Path Of Unconditional Happiness.

The highest spiritual path is life itself. If you know how to live daily life, it all becomes a liberating experience. But first, you have to approach life properly or it can be very confusing. To begin with, you have to realize that you really only have one choice in this life and it's not about your career, whom you want to marry, or whether you want to seek God. People tend to burden themselves with so many choices but in the end, you can throw it all away and just make one basic underlying decision. Do you want to be happy or do you not want to be happy? It's really that simple. Once you make that choice, your path through life becomes totally clear. Most people don't dare give themselves that choice because they think it's not under their control. Someone might say, “Well, of course, I want to be happy, but my wife left me.” In other words, they want to be happy, but not if their wife leaves them.

But that wasn't the question. The question was very simple, do you want to be happy or not? If you keep it that simple, you will see that it really is under your control. It's just that you have a deep-seated set of preferences that get in the way. Let's say you've been lost and without food for days, and you finally find your way to a house. You can hardly make it to the doorstep but you managed to pull yourself up and knock on the door. Somebody opens the door, looks at you, and says, “Oh, my God, you poor thing. Do you want something to eat? What would you like?” Now the truth is, you really don't care what they give you. You don't even want to think about it. You just utter the word, "Food,” and because you really mean it when you need food, it no longer has anything to do with your mental preferences. The same goes for the question about happiness. The question is simply, do you want to be happy? If the answer is really yes, then say it without qualifying it. After all, what the question really means is, do you want to be happy from this point forward for the rest of your life, regardless of what happens?

Now, if you say yes, it might happen that your wife leaves you or your husband dies or the stock market crashes or your car breaks down on an open highway at night. Those things might happen between now and the end of your life but if you want to walk the highest spiritual path, then when you answer yes to that simple question, you must really mean it. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It's not a question of whether your happiness is under your control. Of course, it's under your control. It's just that you don't really mean it when you say you're willing to stay happy, you want to qualify it. You want to say that as long as this doesn't happen, or as long as that doesn't happen, then you're willing to be happy. That's why it seems like it's out of your control. Any condition you create will limit your happiness. You simply aren't going to be able to control things and keep them the way you want them to be. You have to give an unconditional answer. If you decide that you're going to be happy from now on for the rest of your life, you will not only be happy, you will become enlightened.

Unconditional happiness is the highest technique there is. You don't have to learn Sanskrit or read any scriptures. You don't have to renounce the world. You just have to really mean it when you say that you choose to be happy, and you have to mean it regardless of what happens. This is truly a spiritual path and it is a direct ensure a path to awakening as could possibly exist. Once you decide you want to be unconditionally happy, something inevitably will happen that challenges you. This test of your commitment is exactly what stimulates spiritual growth. In fact, it is the unconditional aspect of your commitment that makes this the highest path. It's so simple. You just have to decide whether or not you will break your vow. When everything is going well, it's easy to be happy. But the moment something difficult happens, it's not so easy. You tend to find yourself saying, "But I didn't know this was going to happen. I didn't think I'd miss my flight. I didn't think Sally would show up at the party wearing the same dress that I had on. I didn't think that somebody would dent my brand new car one hour after I got it.” Are you really willing to break your vow of happiness because these events took place?

Billions of things could happen that you haven't even thought of yet. The question is not whether they will happen. Things are going to happen. The real question is whether you want to be happy regardless of what happens. The purpose of your life is to enjoy and learn from your experiences. You were not put on earth to suffer. You're not helping anybody by being miserable. Regardless of your philosophical beliefs, the fact remains that you were born and you are going to die. During the time in between, you get to choose whether or not you want to enjoy the experience. Events don't determine whether or not you're going to be happy. They're just events. You determine whether or not you're going to be happy. You can be happy just to be alive. You can be happy having all these things happen to you and then be happy to die. If you can live this way, your heart will be so open and your spirit will be so free that you will soar up to the heavens.

This path leads you to absolute transcendence because any part of your being that would add a condition to your commitment to happiness has to go. If you want to be happy, you have to let go of the part of you that wants to create melodrama. This is the part that thinks there's a reason not to be happy. You have to transcend to the personal. And as you do, you will naturally awaken to the higher aspects of your being. In the end, enjoying life's experiences is the only rational thing to do. You're sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Go ahead, take a look at reality. You're floating in empty space in a universe that goes on forever. If you have to be here, at least be happy and enjoy the experience. You're going to die anyway. Things are going to happen anyway. Why shouldn't you be happy? You gain nothing by being bothered by life's events. It doesn't change the world. You just suffer. There's always going to be something that can bother you if you let it.

This choice to enjoy life will lead you through your spiritual journey. In truth, it is itself a spiritual teacher. Committing yourself to unconditional happiness will teach you every single thing there is to learn about yourself, about others, and about the nature of life. You will learn all about your mind, your heart, and your will but you have to mean it when you say that you'll be happy for the rest of your life. Every time a part of you begins to get unhappy, let it go. Work with it. Use affirmations (I second that) or do whatever you need to do to stay open. If you are committed, nothing can stop you no matter what happens. You can choose to enjoy the experience. If they starve you and put you in solitary confinement, just have fun being like Gandhi. No matter what happens, just enjoy the life that comes to you. As difficult as that sounds, what's the benefit of not doing it? If you're totally innocent, and they lock you up, you might as well have fun. What good does it do to not have fun? it doesn't change anything. In the end. If you stay happy, you win. Make that your game and just stay happy no matter what.

The key to staying happy is really very simple. Begin by understanding your inner energies. If you look inside, you will see that when you're happy, your heart feels open and the energy rushes up inside of you. When you aren't happy, your heart feels closed and no energy comes up inside. So, to stay happy, just don't close your heart no matter what happens. Even if your wife leaves you or your husband dies, you don't close. There is no rule that says you have to close. Just tell yourself that no matter what happens, you're not going to close. You really do have that choice. When you start to close, just question if you're really willing to give up your happiness. You should examine what is inside of you that believes there's some benefit to closing. The slightest thing happens to you when you give away your happiness. You're having a great day until someone cut you off on the way to work. It got you really upset and you stayed that way the rest of the day. Why? Dare to ask yourself that question. What good came from letting it ruin your day? There was no benefit. If somebody cuts you off, let go and stay open. If you really want, you can.

If you take on this spiritual path of unconditional happiness, you will go through all of the various stages of yoga. You will have to stay conscious, centered, and committed at all times. You will have to stay one-pointed on your commitment to remain open and receptive to life. But nobody said that you can't do this. Staying open is what the great saints and masters taught. They taught that God is joy, God is ecstasy, and God is love. If you remain open enough, waves of uplifting energy will fill your heart. Spiritual practices are not an end in themselves. They bear fruit when you become deep enough to remain open. If you learn to stay open at all times, great things will happen to you. You simply have to learn not to close. The key is to learn to keep your mind disciplined enough so that it doesn't trick you into thinking that this time it's worth closing. If you slip, get back up. The minute you slip, the minute you open your mouth, the minute you start to close and defend yourself, just get back up. Just pick yourself up and remain and affirm inwardly that you don't want to close no matter what happens. Affirm that all you want is to be at peace and to appreciate life.

You don't want your happiness to be conditional upon the behavior of other people. It's bad enough that your happiness is conditional upon your own behavior. When you start making it conditional upon the behavior of others, you're in serious trouble. Things are going to happen to you and you're going to feel the tendency to close. But you have the choice to either go with it or let it go. Your mind will tell you that it's not reasonable to stay open when these things happen but you have limited time left in your life. And what's really not reasonable is not to enjoy your life. If you have trouble remembering that, then meditate. Meditation strengthens your center of consciousness so that you're always aware enough to not allow your heart to close. You remain open by simply letting go and releasing the tendency to close. You just relax your heart when it starts to tighten. You don't have to be outwardly glowing all the time. You're just joyful inside. Instead of complaining, you're just having fun with the different situations that unfold.

Unconditional happiness is a very high path, and a very high technique because it solves everything. You could learn yoga techniques such as meditation and postures, but what do you do with the rest of your life? The technique of unconditional happiness is ideal because what you're doing with the rest of your life is already defined. You're letting go of yourself so that you can remain happy. As far as your spirituality goes, you're going to grow very rapidly. A person who actually does this every moment of every day is going to notice the cleansing of their heart. This is because they're not getting involved in the stuff that comes up. They're also going to notice the purification of their mind because they're not getting involved in the mind’s melodrama. Their shakti (spirit) is going to awaken even if they know nothing about shakti. They will come to know a happiness that is beyond human understanding. This path solves daily life and it solves spiritual life.

The greatest gift one can give to God is to be pleased with his creation. Do you think God likes to be around people that are happy or people that are miserable? It's not hard to tell. Just think about it. By imagining that you’re God, you created the heavens and earth so that you can play and experience yourself and now you're dropping down to check on your humans. So, God asked the first human he sees. How are you doing? The human says, “What do you mean how am I doing?” “Well, do you like it here?” “No, I don't like it here.” “Why not?” “What's wrong?” “That tree is bent in five places. I want it to be straight. This person went out with somebody else and that person ran up a $100 phone bill. This person has a nicer car than mine and that person dresses funny. It's just terrible. Plus, my nose is too big, my ears are too small, and my toes are weird. I'm not happy with it. I don't like any of it.” So, God says, “Well, how about the animals?” “The animals? The ants, mosquitoes bite you. It's a terrible thing. I can't go out at night because there are all these animals out there. They howl and poop all over the place and I just don't like it.”

Do you think God likes listening to this? He says, “What do you think? I'm a complaint department?” Then he goes on and visits somebody else and again, he asks, “How are you doing?” The person says, “I'm ecstatic.” God says, “Wow. Well, how do you like things?” “They're beautiful. Everything I look at it just creates waves of joy inside me. I look at that bent tree. It just blows me away. The ant comes and bites me. It's just so amazing that a tiny ant to be brave enough to bite a giant like me.” Now, guess who God wants to hang out with. One of the ancient names for God in the yogic tradition is Satcitananda, eternal, conscious bliss. God is ecstasy. God is as high as it gets. If you want to be close to God, learn to be joyful. If you remain spontaneously happy and centered, no matter what happens, you will find God. That's the amazing part. Yes, you will find happiness but that's nothing compared to what you're really going to find. Once you have passed through trial by fire and you are thoroughly convinced that you will let go no matter what, then the veils of the human mind and heart will fall away.

You will stand face-to-face with what is beyond you because there is no longer a need for you. When you were done playing with the temporal and finite, you will open to the eternal and infinite, then the word happiness can't describe your state. That's where words like ecstasy, bliss, liberation, nirvana, and freedom come in. The joy becomes overwhelming and your cup runneth over. This is a beautiful path. Be happy.

Hal Elrod: Again, that was Chapter 15, The Path Of Unconditional Happiness from the book The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. And I want to take just a few minutes or so to just to talk about that. Obviously, for some people, there may have been some trigger words. If you're not a spiritual or religious person, the speaking of God might have thrown you off. If you are a religious or spiritual person, you probably resonated with that very deeply. Here's what I would encourage you to consider. I'd encourage you to even go back and relisten to that now that you've heard it once and go back and relisten to it with an open frame of mind, the idea that if there was anything in there that triggered you, in fact, I listened to this with my wife a couple of months ago and something triggered her. She goes, “I don't know if I can resonate with that, that you can just be happy no matter what.” So, some things may have triggered her. So, it was my favorite chapter and for her, she didn't align with it. So, it's interesting, but we talked about it and we had a discussion and I gave her some different perspectives. And she actually kind of went, “Oh, that is actually interesting. I never thought of that before.”

Here's the point, I would encourage you to consider listening to that again or reading the book. Actually, go get the book. It's one of my favorite books, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, and consider which aspects of that you can apply. And I want to share a couple of examples from my own life, one that I have never ever, ever shared publicly, and I almost hesitate to which should get you intrigued. So, I'll save that for just a minute. I want to share a couple of things with you that I've shared many, many times. In fact, every time I'm interviewed, I typically share this so you've probably heard this before, but it's so in alignment with what I just read that I do want to mention this again. And it's the decision I made when I faced the most major adversities in my life. When I was in my car accident in the hospital, I was so happy and joyful that the doctors thought I was in denial or I was delusional. And when they sent my dad in to talk to me and find out how I was “really feeling” because they said I should be sad and angry and depressed and scared. And my dad asked me, “Hal, how are you feeling?” I said, “Dad, if I never walk again, I've already decided I will be the happiest, most grateful person that you've ever seen in a wheelchair because I'm not going to let my circumstances define my quality of life. My emotional well-being will never be determined by my circumstances.”

And so, I wasn't pretending to be happy. It was just totally in alignment with what Michael Singer wrote in that chapter, which is why resonated so well. I go, "Wow, this is exactly how I approached my adversity and the challenges in my life, starting back with my car accident.” And then three years ago, when I was diagnosed with cancer, I made the same decision on the day that I was diagnosed and I was given only a 30%, actually a 10% to 30% chance of surviving. I said, “I will be the happiest and the most grateful I have ever been.” That is my commitment. That is my vow of unconditional happiness even though I don't know if I'm going to live for more than the next few weeks or months, even though I'm going to go probably endure chemotherapy in the most difficult time in my life, and it was. But you can ask anyone that was in the hospital with me, I was smiling and laughing and I did record videos in the hospital. I was in pain, but I was smiling, I was laughing, and so on and so forth. So, those were major adversities.

I want to share with you a minor adversity and I'm warning you, I have never shared this, but I wrote this out, and I'm just going to read it as I wrote it. I wrote this out this morning, as I was preparing for this episode and I was thinking when are some times in my life when I've practiced unconditional happiness even in the midst of something that normally would be a situation that you would normally be upset about or it wasn't something I wanted? Alright. Here we go. I'm just going to read it. So, here we go. Here's the story. This is not my proudest example but it is a real-life example that I can remember vividly. I was 22 years old and attending a college party at UC Davis, the University of Davis above Sacramento, California. Well, I drank one too many beers and I got sick. And as all of my friends were having a great time, I went out back because I felt like I had to throw up. And as I sat there on a lawn chair just past midnight, feeling miserable physically, feeling sick and knowing I was on the verge of throwing up and I was resisting it. I didn't want to throw up. I hated throwing up. But then I thought, “Wait a minute. I can feel that this is inevitable. So, why am I resisting this? What if I just chose to enjoy it instead?” Now, to be clear, you guys, I don't like throwing up any more than anyone else. I hate throwing up. Nobody likes it, right, or at least I don't. Nobody likes it. It's like worse.

But I thought, “I can't change it. I can't change it,” and this is about to be an opportunity for me to condition myself to be able to enjoy anything. I thought if I can enjoy throwing up, I can enjoy just about anything like to me life, you guys, you're always growing and every opportunity, especially the difficult ones, it's always an opportunity, you've heard me say this before, to learn, to grow, and to become better than you've ever been before. So, as I sat there, about to throw up, I thought, “I'm going to use it. I'm going to enjoy this. I'm going to smile. I'm going to enjoy every moment and be grateful that I'm here that I'm alive that I'm even alive to throw up.” So, as I begin vomiting, again sorry for the visual you guys, but remember this vividly or I can picture it, I can see it, I can feel it, I can see the parking lot in front of the apartment, I know where I was, but I was smiling the entire time. And I was consciously choosing my thoughts and I was thinking about all that I had to be grateful for. And I even made the conscious choice to be excited about throwing up because just to simply exercise that I had the power to make that choice.

And so, again, I know that's kind of a, you know, I apologize for the visual, but that's a real-life example where I was like, okay, this is something that I'm not happy about like I don't want to be throwing up but, wait a minute, why don't I choose to be happy even though I'm about to do this thing that's uncomfortable or that's painful? And the everyday example that you can apply is whenever you're in traffic like use traffic as an opportunity not to be frustrated or upset or stressed out. Use it as an opportunity to be happy, to be grateful, to be joyful even though you're going through traffic, right? It's just like Michael Singer wrote. It's that vow of unconditional happiness. And this reminds me of the book Man's Search for Meaning by Dr. Viktor Frankl. And Dr. Viktor Frankl was in a Nazi concentration camp. He was watching his peers, some of which were his friends, be killed every day. They were treated horribly. They had horrible conditions. Of course, they're sleeping on the ground. The food they're eating is the worst. And he had an epiphany, same epiphany that Michael Singer had. They say there are no new ideas, universal truth, universal wisdom, but Dr. Viktor Frankl realized the last of man freedoms is to choose one's own attitude in any given set of circumstances. And so, Dr. Viktor Frankl decided, “I'm going to be happy. I'm going to be the happiest I've ever been while I go through however many days I have left,” and he figured his death was inevitable.

And by the way, this is a father and a husband. I believe he was 31 years old and I could be wrong on that, but I think he was 31 and he had a wife and a child back home. And so, as a parent, of course, I can relate, “Oh my god, you're imagining you're never going to see your wife and child again. I mean, there were so many things for him to be - he could have been depressed and suicidal and just miserable but he realized that didn't serve him. And very rarely does being depressed or sad or anything… I'm sorry. Let me take that back. All emotions serve us but typically dwelling on painful, destructive, stressful emotions typically, that doesn't serve us. I was interviewed yesterday, and I put it this way, I said, "Experience a painful emotion only long enough to extract value from that experience.” I'll say that again. Experience a painful emotion only long enough to extract value from that experience. Well, what's the value? For example, maybe you get mad at yourself because you made a mistake and you woke up later, or you didn't follow through with something. You didn't have discipline. You didn't exercise when you said you were going to and you're mad about that. Only stay mad, only get angry with yourself just long enough to extract the value from that. The value I would say is to make a new commitment that I will not let this thing happen again, I will not do this again or I will not refrain from doing this again because I know that I should have done it and I want to do it.

So, take the emotion, experience it, feel it, and then ask yourself, “What am I supposed to learn from this? What am I supposed to learn from this emotion? What is this trying to teach me?” Because in that way, our emotions serve us. And so, I would never say that your painful emotions are bad or wrong. They're valuable, right? But only dwell on that emotion for the minimum amount of time needed for you to extract the value that is available. And so, for me, this has been something that I've lived for a long time and I will give you an update. So, I'm 41 right now. I was 20 when I really started to apply this lesson when I had my car accident and have applied it ever since. I will give you a quick update for those of you that have listened to the podcast a while or following me online. I've been very open about the depression and anxiety that had developed for me about a year-and-a-half ago. Well, I have really exciting news for you or for me. You're like, “Was that exciting for you?” But I stopped taking chemo about a month ago and my brain is clear. It really was the chemotherapy. I feel completely back to normal. My depression is gone. My anxiety is gone. I just feel like the person I've always been where I had completely felt like I'd lost that person and lost my ability to feel joy and happiness and none of it. None of what I'm talking about was working, wasn't applicable because the brain chemistry that was being affected by the chemotherapy.

So, anyway, if you know anyone that’s under chemo, imagine everyone is affected differently, but be patient with them, be supportive. Please check in on them. Please ask how they're doing. And I'd say this is true with most or many pharmaceutical drugs that there are side effects and it's hard to know what they are doing to our psyche but it is fair to know that it's not natural, right? Nature didn't intend a lot of these chemicals to go into our body and into our brain. And therefore, our brain kind of might freak out and go, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, what are you doing to me like what is this? What is this foreign man-made chemical substance?” So, anyway, I just want to share that with you guys and gals that it feels good to be back and, yeah, this is allowing me to serve at a higher level, which I felt like the last year. I've been so depressed and insecure and just all of these just having anxiety. I've really kind of hidden for the last year. I've really hidden because I felt scared to talk and serve. Every time I did a podcast, you may or may not have been able to tell it and sometimes I might have mentioned it, but I was doing it from a place of fear and really having to overcome my fear, which I guess there’s something where I can actually feel good about that, about myself that, hey, for the last year and a half I didn't want to do a podcast, I didn't want to go on a video.

I didn't want to give a speech every time I had to overcome this intense severe anxiety, fear, and depression and if there's anything in that you can take from that or learn from that is that if you are experiencing or if you ever experience a lack of confidence or insecurity or fear, realize that you can still do the right thing, even in the midst of all of the internal obstacles that may be holding you back. So, just because you feel the fear, you can still do the thing that you're afraid of. In fact, that's a lesson I teach my kids all the time is that's how you overcome your fear is you do the thing you're afraid of. And I think that for me even was helpful is that when I was in the midst, I had fear but I did, I gave the speech, I recorded the podcast, I recorded the video, I did whatever and it was okay, it was good. people responded. It helped them. And then what that taught me is, okay, even if I am feeling depressed or anxious or scared, or whatever, I can still take the action, even while I feel like not taking the action because those who only do what they feel like don't always do very much, right? Something to keep in mind is that if we simply let our feelings always dictate our actions then we give into our fears and we give into our anxiety and we give into our insecurities. But when you take action in the midst of those, you do grow, you do become stronger because you realize that, wow, nothing can stop me. Nothing can stop me, including myself, which is what stops us more often than not.

So, with all of that said, again, the reason I read this chapter to you, it is one of my favorite, the vow of unconditional happiness that Michael Singer talks about. I encourage you to try that vow on. Relisten to this episode with an open mind or read the book, The Untethered Soul. And I do believe that we weren't meant to suffer. Not that we weren’t meant to suffer at all. I think suffering is a part of life but it should be a very minimal part of life. Again, only suffer as long as you need to, to extract the lesson. And then take the lesson, accept what you can't change that's happened up until this point, be at peace with where you are. Be happy with where you are and who you are and just for the sake that you're alive, be grateful to be alive, be happy that you get to make the choice to be happy. I have that picture in my doorway when you walk in our front door. It says, "Enjoy every moment.” And I do believe that we are at our best when we are happy. We are at our best when we are in a place of joy, in a place of love, and we can be that and express that and exude that in every interaction we have with others and then our joy, our happiness brings that about in other people.

[CLOSING]

Hal Elrod: So, I hope that a little bit of my happiness is worn off on you or rubbed off in you today. I truly wish nothing but the best for you, nothing but that unconditional happiness that I'm telling you it is available to us at all times even if you're in traffic, even if you have cancer, even if you're throwing up at a high school party. No, it was a college party. I was 22 at a college party. No matter what, you have that choice to make that unconditional vow of happiness, and I hope that you will. I love you, I appreciate you, and I will talk to you next week. Take care, everybody.

[END]

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