Happiness is Real Life

Jun 3, 2015 by

“From a very early time, I understood that I only learn from things I don’t like. If you do things you like, you just do the same shit. You always fall in love with the wrong guy. Because there’s no change. It’s so easy to do things you like. But then, the thing is, when you’re afraid of something, face it, go for it. You become a better human being.”

– Marina Abramović


          “Maria, this quote made me think of you and your happiness experiment,” one of my pole friends tagged me yesterday in a comment beneath her Facebook post quoting Marina Abramović. “I am doing my own experiment now too. I am calling it ‘the year of yes.’ This year, I am saying yes to everything, just to see what happens.”

          I almost burst tears of pride as I typed back, “I love this quote and I love that idea! Saying yes is one of my favourite life rules!”




          Because I preach it like religion, you all know I’m a big advocate of saying yes. It’s one of the first things I discovered to be key to happiness when I began The Happiness Experiment. My strong advocacy behind it came out of how close I was to saying no to that night in Niagara back in April 2013. When I think about how easily I could have missed out on what would turn out to be one of the most significant nights of my life, my head spins as fast as it did in the moment. Have you ever been so stunned by where you are and who you’re with that you have to repeatedly remind yourself that you’re living real life? I remember running my fingers through my hair a million times while smiling uncontrollably, questioning if what was happening was actually happening, because it didn’t make sense to me. Happiness didn’t happen to my life. As far as I was concerned, happiness didn’t exist.

          Like I’ve noted many times before, that night changed my life. It proved to me that what I was after was real, and once I experienced it, I was determined to keep it. Knowing it happened just because I said yes to something I really, really wanted to say no to, I immediately saw saying yes as a vital component of happiness. In fact, Happiness Tip #2 is “Say yes to social invites!”

          But saying yes goes beyond accepting invitations. It’s about doing whatever makes you hesitate: things you’d normally say no to, things you think you can’t do, things that scare the crap out of you – especially things that scare the crap out of you. Say yes to online dating and independent adventures and breaking the first rule of casual sex and buying a single concert ticket and flying to Paris; because the more yeses you say, the faster you’ll forget that no was ever an option. The more yeses you say, the less you’ll think before you do. The more yeses you say, the more is-this-real-life moments you’ll have, and I wish you many.

Happiness Tip: Say yes.

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