So here’s a shocker. I got a bit of flack yesterday from an unexpected source over having a “perfect life” and still suggesting that I could help other people learn how to be happy.
Before I address this, I want to reiterate the basis of my entire belief about happiness – it is NOT caused by your circumstances. It’s binary. Either you are a happy person or you are not a happy person, and it has nothing to do with whether you own an awesome dog or live in a sunny place or were nominated for an Oscar for Best Director. Only you can make you happy. I taught myself how to be happy, and I’ve written down what I learned about the process, and hopefully it will help others.
Now, as to the specifics of my “perfect life,” I am not going to list all the aspects of it that are less than perfect, because (1) I’m too happy to dwell on that, and (2) it’s not really relevant. But here is some perspective that might be helpful: there is a big difference between me sitting on a stage interviewing Ben Affleck about his screenwriting and someone else sitting on a stage interviewing me about my screenwriting. I would trade the latter for the former 100 times a day. It doesn’t happen because my work has not yet reached the screen, and yet I know writers whose work appears on movie and television screens year after year who are simply miserable. No amount of success seems to make them happy.
I can’t look at their lives and say, “If I had that, I’d be so happy!” I have to be happy whether I have that or not.
Become happy first, and what you want in life will come to you. Then, even if it doesn’t, you’re still happy, so life is good.