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Natalie: Today on the show, we'll speak to Jonathan Robinson who's the author of find happiness now, a book that has 50 different techniques that we can use to find happiness now and he shares a few of them today, so stay tuned (intro music). Hi, I'm Natalie Ledwell and this is the Inspiration Show. And today, my special guest is Jonathan Robinson. How are you, Jonathan?
N: The reason I have Jonathan here, he is the author of an amazing book called, Find Happiness Now, and we are all about happiness and knowing where to find it and how to live it. One of my favourite sayings is Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So Jonathan, why don't we start first of all with your story and how you got to author such an amazing book?
J: Well, when I was a teenager, I was a very depressed. I grew up in a very dysfunctional family. So I kind of had my mid-life crisis at the age of 13. That's a good time to have a mid-life crisis.
J: So I got into self-help books and meditation at that age. Eventually, I got into being in a monastery and then I wrote books in the genre (1:30). So I become kind of a well-known author and then I decide to let that go and just live my life and find out what makes me and other people happy. So I read a lot of books on happiness and kind of came up with the greatest hit, so in the book find happiness now, I kind of put the 50 best methods that I could find that could be done in under 3 minutes because I'm kind of lazy so I figure if it will take more than 3 minutes, I probably wouldn't use it.
N: Okay. So define what happiness means to you?
J: Well, I think it's different for different people. But I certainly want a sense of love and connection, a sense of peace, of bond, of joy, these are things that little kids have a lot, so it's not that unrealistic but as adults we often get covered over by stuff and problems and plans, our busy minds. So to me it's a lot of letting go of what's in the way of our birth right of joy, peace and love, and you know when you have it. (laughs)
N: Right. (laughs) True that (laugh). So what are some of the things that people do let get in the way of their happiness? What do you find most people is the block between them and being able to experience that?
J: Well, I think, the biggest block is people think they know what's going to make them happy, and they think they know how to be happy but that's a big block because most people are not very good at creating a joyous, peaceful and loving life. I think that's a skill that people have to learn and when you learn the skill, you actually can create more of those moments. So that's a big block and another block is that people don't make it a priority - making money a priority, getting things done a priority but we don't necessarily make having moments of love, connection and peace the most important thing. And when people do, they find out what really works, what does science say works the best and they can create one of those moments.
N: Right. I know that you've touched a little bit about having things to make you happy. And most people say, happiness comes from within. What's your view on that?
J: I agree that they show that money doesn't make you happy unless you're really poor. And relationships don't necessarily make you happy but there are a lot of ways within. There's a lot of techniques to increase the joy or to let it blossom. Most people don't know those techniques or don't use them, so I agree that happiness does come from within but you need to learn the science of how to tap that within.
N: Right. You're going to have to touch on this science, we're skirting around the issue here but we're like tell me exactly what we need to do (laughs).
J: Let me give 3 or 4 techniques...
J: There's like 50 of them...
N: I know. That's what I'm saying, you have 50. (laughs)
J: Well, I think different strokes for different folks you know, not everybody likes vanilla ice cream. One good thing is to simply schedule time for the things that you most value. We schedule our work, we schedule our doctor's appointments but why not schedule time to play with your dog? Or time with that special friend? Doing that makes it more likely to get those things to happen. So I think that's a good thing to do. Gratitude is really important in happiness. So some people can keep gratitude internal but I'd like to use what I call the thank you mantra. When you wake up in the morning and you take a shower you say thank you that I have a warm shower. And then when you eat breakfast, thank you for this food, you know, most of the world doesn't get to choose what food they eat but we do. Thank you for my dog or my (5:44). Thank you for my wife that I love and then, thank you for this computer, thank you that I get to talk to you, you know. It's all very good, but if you don't say that thank you from your heart and take a moment to really feel like we're really kind of the chosen people that we get to listen to stuff like these, then you miss that gratitude. It all just becomes a part of your life and you miss it. So, I call it the thank you technique.
J: There's so many different methods. I'd like to picture, take a moment and just picture times, special times with my dog or my wife or my friends and really feel loving connections to them. It only takes a minute, I mean people can do it right now as I'm talking, you just think of a special time you've had with your child or your pet or someone you love, and think of how grateful you are that they're part of your life. And then just let go on to that feeling of love and gratitude. And with practice, you get better.
N: I'm actually feeling a little overwhelmed right now. Just before I jumped on the call with you to record this video, I had a moment with bella, my little puppy and I was sitting here because I've just most recently just moved to LA, and I've moved up on my own, my husband and I separated last year, and I was just having a moment, and I had her on my lap and I was just thinking how grateful I was that I have her in my life and so this love that I have, this little being that I can share that with and I was so grateful for what she brings to my life and to my day and how grateful I am that it's the two of us that are here and not specifically on my own. So I exactly had that moment just before I got on the call.
J: These methods take seconds to do. There are more and more moments of joy for life and more and more little breaks from all the stuff that we normally do. Depression runs in my family and it practically gallops in my family. I have to learn to step out through that, I mean you can sing a song with the beatles, and it's hard to feel bad when you're doing that. One of the different methods from simple to complex and a lot of them work quite well.
N: I have another question for you, I don't know if you're going to answer it, let's say, because you've just touched on depression there, I know that sometimes we all go through dark moments, like I mentioned before, my husband and I separated and gratefully we're on the same page, we want the same thing, it's all good. We parted as great friends but of course, you have moments, I have moments, I go through, you know, I'm mourning the loss of that. How important is it for us to feel and move through that or should we be going, I need to feel happy all the time and start doing these techniques to over-ride this feeling?
J: Well, definitely you shouldn't be doing that. In fact, one of the best ways to be happy is to really go into one's negative emotions and feel them fully and then let them go. This is what children do, they have a tantrum, they get depressed or angry, they really feel it for 3 minutes and then they're off to play. Adults, they don't do that. They avoid feeling stuff and so it's kind of eating at them and then it can be like that for months or years. So I think you do want to feel what you're feeling but you need to learn to let go of your negative emotions more quickly and that's something that's also in the book.
N: Yeah. I agree totally. If I'm feeling something, I feel it, I went through it and then release it, as long as it takes. You know, sometimes it takes longer than others, but it's not realistic and I think it's basically impossible to be happy every single moment of every single day. That's not going to happen.
N: I think sometimes we need the contrast. Sometimes you really appreciate our happiness having moments when we're not happy or when we're depressed or when we're sad can really help with that contrast. Can help us appreciate all those moments even more.
J: I don't know about that. Sometimes people who experience a lot of happiness and they don't have much of a contrast and I know people who are depressed all the time, so I don't know if that's the case but you know it might be different for different people. And in America, we kind of have a superficial culture, so when people learn to go deeply into the joy, love and peace and not spend and not spend so much time in their negative emotions, I think that's a good thing.
N: Yeah. And what are your thoughts on meditation and it's connection with happiness?
J: Well, I've meditated every day for 40 years so I'm a big believer in that. I think there are a lot of different forms of meditation and people should find one that works for them. Nothing like quieting your mind and opening your heart to experience joy and happiness, so I'm a big believer in that.
N: Yeah. I agree. Since I studied meditating on a regular basis, I think it helped to open up my heart to even more and to be able to feel that love and not that love like human love but like a vessel love. It's really interesting after my separation, I read a book called (11:20) soul by Michael Singha. Are you familiar with the book?
J: No, I'm not.
N: Anyway, he talks about when you have that connection to that universal love and you understand the immensity of that, you realize that what you're going through now is just a moment of time. And you will realize that this is one moment out of a gazillion moments that you're going to have in your life. It makes it easier for you to have that perspective to move through it.
J: One of the things I like is people not have tools just require separating themselves from their lives. So I like mini meditation, how to actually bring more joy into a (11:57) like this, you know, we're talking on the skype or on the phone, how to bring that to your consciousness into your active moments in your life. Those mini-meditations, I find those are very, very good for people.
N: Yeah. I think in general, what we're saying is slow down a little bit and smell the roses once in a while.
N: Now, before we jumped into the call together, you were talking about some amazing people that you've got to meet in your life. Can you tell us a little bit about those meetings and the circumstances they happened?
J: Well, I did a book called the experience of god, which I interviewed a lot of best known spiritual leaders, everybody from Mother Theresa to the Dalai lama (12:43) all these people, I asked them what are their favourite methods for knowing God and I got a lot of really good information, but one thing that the Dalai Lama which I appreciate was, I asked him what the purpose of life is and he said, the purpose of life is to be happy, is to find the happiness within and from your abundance be able to be kind to other people and I like that. I think as my job is to find happiness, so I'm in a better position to give more to other people.
N: I love that. The thing is when you exude happiness from within and you're kind to other people, even that act of kindness helps to fill your cup as well.
N: You're giving out, that's a give and take flow kind of situation.
J: Yeah. Kindness is like chocolates, it's addictive. Once you taste it, you go, hey let's do some more. And Science have shown that acts of kindness to a stranger or a friend is the best way to immediately boost your own happiness level.
N: Yeah. I absolutely and totally agree. Jonathan, it's been a pleasure having you here on the call. You've authored so many books and you are a picture of happiness yourself and so where can send people to find out more about your book or whatever it is that you do, where can we send them?
J: Conveniently, I have a website called findinghappiness.com...
N: Ah, Nice!
J: A lot of free stuff there, they can send for free happiness tips and all kinds of stuff.
J: It has all my books inside.
N: Wonderful! findinghappiness.com. Thanks again, Jonathan and it's been an absolute pleasure having you here. Thank you for joining us.
J: Thank you very much.
N: So guys remember, please share this video, you can do that by clicking on the Facebook and Tweeter share buttons on this page, so you know, we can get the message out there and we can all experience happiness together. Also make sure that you download the app, if you haven't done so already because you can watch the shows on the go now, you don't have to be actually in front of your computer. And make sure you leave your email on the box on the page here so I can send you the manifesting with the masters video e-course. It's actually valued at $87, and I would love to send it to you for free. So until next time, remember live large, choose courageously and love without limits. We'll see you soon.