Happiness is something we all desire but very few study and train for it directly. We are often convinced that our accomplishments will make us happy so we devote all our energy towards achieving them. We don’t take the time to look at happiness and suffering directly. How does happiness and suffering really work? Why are some people happy in unfortunate circumstances and others unhappy in fortunate ones? Could it be that happiness has more to do with the person than the circumstances? What is it about some people that allow them to be so happy?
Have any of these questions been burning in your mind? Are you looking for some insights on leading a happier life? If so then ‘How to be Happy and at Peace’ might just be the book for you! And to help us on the quest to happiness, I’ve been joined by Lucas Gabriel, author of this book to guide us on our way. Lucas, every journey begins with a first step, so what was the first step of this book?
This book originated from writings in my own personal journal. Every time I had moments of insight I would write them down and eventually composed a daily devotional and self-help guide intended just for me. As I reflected on how much it was helping me I decided to expand it into a form that could be accessed by others.
When you converted the work from your personal journal to the book, was it important to you to retain and heavily draw on your own experiences, or did you find when the book was expanded that these personal experiences were less prominent?
This book is a direct result of my struggles with depression and like I mentioned earlier, many of the insights come straight out of my personal journal. However, I also give credit and links to many of the teachers and resources that helped me along my path.
With lessons coming both from life, teachers and other resources, what do you feel was the most important thing that you learnt while bringing this book to life?
The process of writing this book was extremely beneficial to me. Being able to express your beliefs and insights so that others can understand them is a great way to understand them more fully yourself.
So, what was the central belief or insight that you really hope you expressed to readers clearly in ‘How to be Happy and at Peace’?
Our society has conditioned us into believing that we have to achieve certain things and be a certain way to be worthy of happiness. However, it is the adoption of this belief that led to the end of our childhood bliss and the beginning of our adult “never good enough” mentality. More than just a simple return to childhood innocence this book examines the mechanics and delusions behind mental suffering so that their causes can be understood and freedom can begin to be realized.
Challenging society’s conditioning is a huge problem to solve. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by taking on this challenge, or do you find yourself energised by the fight?
It depends on what I am writing. When I wrote this book it helped center me. I often had to pause and still my mind in order to address some of the deeper topics. I also had to write a little bit each day as much of it required deep reflection.
What did you keep in mind when you were writing each day as you were transforming your deep reflections into words useful for your readers?
When I wrote this book I definitely had my readers in mind and how I could best reach them. This is a very serious topic. I know what it’s like to be desperately searching for answers and I took my new role in that relationship very seriously.
Throughout our chat today, it’s clear to see that you’re really dedicated to your role of leading people towards their answers around how to reach and make their own happiness. You know we haven’t made much happiness yet today, so let’s change gears and make some happiness, and perhaps even a giggle or two with a few quick-fire questions. However, now I see that the first question I have in the box today is not as funny as I had hoped, but we’ll go with it anyway – what’s your favourite word?
Not sure I have a favorite but I’ve always liked Hallelujah. I find its sound very beautiful and like that its meaning seems to go way beyond what is printed in the dictionary.
I agree, it almost feels too musical at times to only be considered a word. Maybe a new dictionary definition is needed. As far as I’m concerned we should be adding hundreds of new words by inventing new things. Like new animals! If you could invent your own new animal by breeding two animals together, what would you create?
I would breed a fish and a bird together because it could then go pretty much anywhere which I would think would be rather satisfying…
An animal that could travel anywhere at the flick of its wings, yep, that’s satisfying! You know we should create a monster too while we’re making new things to stick in the dictionary. What kind of monster would you make if you had the chance, and what would it be called?
There is a Buddhist story about a very ugly and mean monster that gets uglier, meaner and bigger whenever someone is hurtful to it or tries to control it by force. However, when it is treated with kindness it gets smaller and less ugly and less mean. They have to be kind to the monster, understand it, and work with it to keep it from causing them problems. I think this monster would definitely help teach us an important lesson. I’m not sure what its name was. I guess I would call it George…
I love Buddhist wisdom like our little monster friend George, and I hope that the world takes the story of George to heart and spreads a little kindness. Lucas, I’d like to thank you so much for sharing a little kindness and a taste of the happiness that can be found by taking on some of the practices outlined in your book. I wish you every happiness in your book promotional journey with ‘How to be Happy and at Peace’ today and in the future.
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘How to be Happy and at Peace ( ASIN: B078J8JSWP )‘.
Want to find out more about Lucas Gabriel? Connect here!