The Secret to Happiness? There is no secret!

One of the phrases that annoy me most is “the secret to happiness”

Motivators, self-help gurus, anyone who wants to be famous, have used this phrase to get money. From seminars, books, aromatherapy, amulets, or whatever things that can be sold to millions searching for “the secret”.

Why do I hate the phrase? Because it uses the word “secret”, as if it is hidden from plain view, and people must struggle to find it. Or at least buy some books/DVDs.

Here is my position: THERE. IS. NO. SECRET. TO. HAPPINESS.

Science, through countless experiments, surveys, and studies, have revealed A LOT about things that make people happy. And those things are SIMPLE, “normal” everyday things that hardly qualify as “secret”.

Friendship, healthy relationship (married or not), having a job that matches your passion, gratitude over small blessings, physical health – these are some of the pretty standard stuff that are proven again and again to affect your happiness.

The problem with “Secret to Happiness” is it makes people overlook all the stuff above, and instead putting them on unrealistic pursuit of a single magical solution to happiness. And when you are busy looking for “the secret”, you forget and neglect the very simple stuffs of happiness. Your friends, your partner, your family, your colleagues, your hobby, your passion, your job, your pet – all the things around you that can be a source of joy if you just care.

Of course, the self-help industry cannot make billions of money if people stop looking for (and stop buying) the secrets of happiness.

You don’t look for the secret to happiness. You just have to practice happiness. And all the ingredients are already out there in plain view. No secrets.

And it is not an easy, one-time thing to achieve. We will have our ups and downs on the constant effort to practice happiness. But that’s life. No quick fix. (Well, you can argue that alcohol and drugs are quick fix to happiness – but don’t we all want the authentic, no side-effect methods? :D)

Happy practicing happiness! 🙂

Categories: Random Insight


  1. So freaking true.
    Yeah, the truth is happiness is freaking free, so when they sell it in DVD, it’s not happiness anymore, is it? =)

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