Marci Shimoff the author of the runaway bestseller Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy From the Inside Out. Her other books, including Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul have met with sunny success, selling more than 14 million copies. On top of this, she is also a professional speaker and one of the nation’s leading experts on happiness, success, and the Law of Attraction, and is a featured teacher in the hit film The Secret.

TAMMY LAWMAN: Let’s jump right in and tell everybody who’s listening what you’re here to talk about today.

MARCI SHIMOFF: I’m here to talk about what I believe is the most important topic we can be talking about in life. It’s the purpose of life, and that is happiness. Everything that we do in life and everything that we want is because we think it will make us happy. If you think about anything that’s on your list of what you want right now, if I ask you why you want that, the ultimate answer is because you think it will make you happy.

What we’ve found is that there are ways to actually cut to the chase, get to the happy first, and not have to have everything in your life look perfect in order for you to be happy. That’s what I’m here to talk about: how you can raise your own happiness level so that you are really living the fulfilled life that we’re here on this planet to live.

TAMMY LAWMAN: Awesome. Your newest book is called Happy for No Reason, and it’s an international bestselling smash hit. Why are people so interested in it?

MARCI SHIMOFF: I think there are a couple of reasons people are so interested in happiness. First of all, we don’t have very much of it in our society. We are suffering from an epidemic of unhappiness. One out of five women in North America is on antidepressants, which is just a staggering number. We have more than we’ve ever had as a society and a culture, but we’re unhappier than ever.

Something is missing from people’s lives. That’s one of the reasons why there’s this whole buzz about happiness. It’s a hot topic. The second reason there’s a big buzz about happiness these days is that for the first time in human history, science has actually cracked the happiness code. We know what it takes for people to be happier. As far as I’m concerned, that should be headline news.

It should be all over the papers, and it should be taught in our schools because as I said at the very beginning, happiness is the one thing that we all want. Aristotle called it the goal of all goals. The Dalai Lama said that it’s the purpose of life. It’s thrilling because we live in a great time where there are actually answers to what can make people happier. Not only is this for you, but if you have children, the best thing you can do to benefit your children is to teach them these steps to being happy.

TAMMY LAWMAN: When you say happy for no reason, does that mean being happy all the time?

MARCI SHIMOFF: That’s a really great question. A lot of times people misinterpret what happy for no reason means. They think it means that you’re just going to be walking around in some Pollyanna state of denial, or you’re going to be walking around with a silly grin on your face. It’s just that happy face kind of thing. That’s not what I mean by happy for no reason.

What I mean by happy for no reason is you have an inner state of peace and wellbeing that doesn’t depend on your circumstances. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in your life. You still may experience some sadness. You still may experience grief, frustration, or anger. Amidst that, you have a backdrop of inner peace and wellbeing that you take with you wherever you go. What that means is you’re more resilient even when you have challenges going on.

You can bounce back. You’re more creative. What I like to say is that instead of looking to extract your happiness from your life and experiences, instead you bring your happiness to your life experiences. That is an entirely different paradigm than what we’ve been used to. We’ve been trained to try to get our lives to look perfect in order to be happy. That just doesn’t work.

TAMMY LAWMAN: It’s interesting. I had a friend, and when Facebook was starting to become really popular a year and a half ago, she would say, I don’t get Facebook because everybody on there seems so happy all the time. I’m not that happy. People can’t be this happy. She was so frustrated with it.

MARCI SHIMOFF: That’s the thing. A lot of people look at happiness as this shallow concept, and that’s really not it. It’s really a very deep and profound state that we’re talking about. It’s ultimately a state of a higher level of consciousness. You think about somebody like the Dalai Lama, who I think is a fabulous example of what I mean by happy for no reason. He’s not walking around with a smiley face on all the time, and maybe he’s not one of those people who was annoying that woman on Facebook.

He’s just very deeply inwardly happy and fulfilled. You can feel it all around him. I had the great honor and pleasure of getting to speak at an event where he spoke recently. I got to be in a small group with him. It was 25 to 30 people in a small room. You could just feel the energy of peace, wellbeing, and happiness emanating from him. That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about.

TAMMY LAWMAN: Awesome. These are certainly challenging times for people. A lot of people are probably going through the worst financial challenges of their lives. Some people are losing their jobs. I’m sure many of the people who are listening are wondering how they can possibly be happy when they’re faced with such challenges. What kind of advice can you give them?

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