Happiness is your innate nature!

Posted by on Aug 16, 2011 in Personal Development | 6 comments

In his amazing Ted Talk from Arbejdsglaede Live, Srikumar Rao says happiness is your innate nature. If, as Mr. Rao suggests, your happiness is your nature you may wonder why you are not experiencing happiness.

Mr. Rao also says everything you do is a quest for happiness. You can discover a lot of happiness in Mr. Rao’s Ted Talk and I encourage you to take a 20 minute inspiration break and watch this video.

If, however, you truly do not have 20 minutes to spare, or perhaps you’re not ready to invest 20 minutes for your happiness, here are the highlights of Srikumar Rao’s Talk:

Happiness is your innate nature.

Everything you do is a quest for happiness, so what do you have to get in order to be happy?

Anything you get, you can lose. Consider, instead, that there is nothing you have to get, nothing you have to do, and nothing you have to be to experience happiness.

Happiness exists within you every moment. At this point you may be asking why you are not experiencing the happiness you already have.

So why aren’t you happy?

According to Mr. Rao, you may not experience happiness because you have spent your life learning to be unhappy by buying into the “if/then” mental model. The “if/then” mental model is a belief that you have to achieve or acquire something to do or be something. It’s the idea that you can’t simply have happiness, you must gain it.

The “if/then” model is flawed because you continually change the “if” throughout your life, and any happiness you experience from the “then” is fleeting. You will never experience a truly happy life “if” your happiness is dependent on “ifs”.

To be happy, you must let go of the “if/then” mental model and accept happiness just as it is. Be happy with what you experience.

Investing in process.

Your actions are more-or-less within your control, however the outcome of even your best efforts is out of your control.

Society often teaches us to invest in the outcome, but the outcome does not often create happiness in your life. When you live this way, your well being is dependent on the outcome over which you have no control. To be happy, you must invest in the process.

When asked what would it take to be happy, most people would provide a list of achievements and material gains. Happiness is not defined by lists and objects, it is through your actions that you experience happiness.

Find passion within yourself, passion to do work you love, and you will invest in your process, invest in your journey. As you pursue the passion within you, the world rearranges itself around you. You experience the innate happiness inside you, and the outcome is to your liking more often than not.

Is this a journey I want to take?

Experiencing a happy life is a daily journey, not a destination you reach at the end. Each day, ask yourself, “is this a journey I want to take?”

Ignite the passion within you through your actions, and invest in your process.

I love your comments! Did you enjoy this Ted Talk? Have you bought in to the “if/then” model? How has this changed your view of experiencing happiness?



  1. Our society is so goal oriented that we forget to just live. Life is made of moments, not goals. No one is going to remember your goals or what you missed in goals at your funeral. So I spend more time soaking in the moments, if it’s gardening, sitting on my porch looking at my garden and the birds, or spending time with my children and grandchildren or friends.

    • I love your response, Nancy! And I agree completely! I try to balance the peace of being with pursuit of my goals- a balanced life is not 100% of one or the other.

      Thanks for your comment. Have a grateful day!


  2. Hi Chrysta,

    Sad that we think that so many people believe that happiness will happen with something outside of themselves manifests. I think that on top of all our early programming, we grew up inside an information-based culture. Advertisers programmed us with beliefs about every product they wanted us to buy. Television, radio, magazines, and billboards have fed us new beliefs during every waking moment: “Buy this and you’ll be happy”, “If you use this product, people will like you” and “If you own one of these, others will see you as successful.”

    Thanks for sharing the video.

    • Thanks for your comment, Rachel!

      I agree advertising has a lot to do with the mental model that we won’t be happy until we acquire something outside ourselves. We are constantly overwhelmed with the message that our lives will be better when we buy a product or service, which naturally leads us to believe our lives aren’t yet quite good enough.

      Our current retirement-focused career model also promotes the idea that we must work hard our entire life to be able to finally relax and enjoy retirement at the end of our lives. In corporations it’s the idea employee’s have that they are working for the weekend; we have to work before we can play.

      I know happiness exists in every moment and we can experience joy and gratitude in the middle of our workday as easily as during the weekend on our free time!

      I appreciate your comment. Have a grateful day!


  3. I admit that the if/then model used to be my way but think somehow through the years I came to embrace the happiness is a choice model. It’s been life-changing, really. Thanks for reinforcing these good ideas!

    • Thank you for your comment! I also used to follow the “if/then” mental model and it certainly did not bring much happiness to my life. I am extremely grateful to have learned that I can choose another model, and experience happiness every day, regardless of my external situation. Investing in the process, not the outcome, has been so significant for me.

      Have a grateful day!


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