How To Be Happy – #SolutionsWatch

by | Jan 9, 2024 | Solutions Watch, Videos | 89 comments

So, do you care what The Wall Street Journal says about what “The Science™” says about how to be happy? Yeah, neither do I. No, you shouldn’t care about what others tell you is the key to your own happiness. But what is the pursuit of happiness? Why is it important? And how do an all-star group of previous Solutions Watch guests answer those questions? Find out in this thought-provoking and happiness-inspiring first edition of the #SolutionsWatch podcast for 2024.

WATCH ON:  /   /    / 

Sadly, Many Happiness Studies Are Flawed

The Crisis of Science

Interviews: Neil Oliver of

Tjeerd Andringa of

Frode Klevstul of and Miriam Ekelund of

Benny Wills of


  1. For the sixth year in a row, Finland is the world’s happiest country, according to World Happiness Report rankings based largely on life evaluations from the Gallup World Poll.,Street)%20in%20Helsinki%20is%20pictured

    The truth is that Finland is one of the unhappiest, loneliest, most isolated, most depressed and alcoholic countries on earth.

    The reason it wins is that (in surveys) citizens are very satisfied with social services. It demonstrates how experts can twist reality to promote their own agenda. In this case the UN promoting Scandinavian style social welfare (which I generally approve of ).

    • Excellent exposure of, what we should all now be well aware of, the propaganda that seeps into our brains from all directions now.👍🏼

    • Well I wish the UN would let the British Government know of their agenda promotion because social welfare in Britain (for the natives) is dead on it’s feet as we simultaneously pay more and more and more to fund it.

    • Such surveys are ridiculous. They used to fill MSM space , start convos, direct change etc. Usually if not always a load of rubbish and actually the opposite is true. As with the above comment which is very interesting.
      Here in England we are constantly told how much happier Scandinavian’s are because they pay more tax into the system and therefore receive a higher standard of living . You see what they did there ? thing is you buy this line , for as long as you don’t ask questions .

      This week the news and radio stations were reporting that “1 in 3 parents believe pandemic showed children do not need to go to school everyday, poll finds.” Reality is that parents were pulling there hair out , unable to work as they did before , children finding difficult or impossible to do on-line lessons , children isolated, increased suicides.

      Love and agree with what Frode Klevstul and Miriam Ekeland have to say . Benny Willis describes your own: development , progress , growth , realising a vision, working through self imposed barriers . This is true too, to evolve as person , to grow to become fully formed, to understand who you are, where you could do better , what you want be, a plan on how to achieve this. The thing is it’s horses for courses, you could want to evolve with your only goal could be to get rich . Does such a limited goal of lots of money bring with it happiness? or a: void , skeletons in closest , secrets, addictions etc . What would someone who’s completely loaded say if they were asked , has money and power made you happy ?

  2. I agree with Benny. Progress = Happiness. Progress in your relationships — your output and your self-development. I think that if you can continually endeavor to be better, you will be happy. And, I also agree with James — I don’t need internet studies to point the way to happiness.

    Good discussion.

  3. “I want happiness.”

    I is ego, want is desire. Remove ego and desire, and all that’s left is happiness.

    • @Ilija Prentovski

      That is very intriguing and succinct. Thanks for that.

      I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this article I put together regarding mindfulness (among other things).

      In my recently published book I sought to relay the message that in order to regenerate and restore the integrity of our society and the ecosystems (ecosystem restoration) outside of us, we must first engage in “ego-system re-story-ation”.

      In essence, I wrote the book as a love letter to our Mother Earth and an invitation for the reader to fall back in love with the living earth (I say ‘back in love’, as when we are children we are all in love with the Earth, present in the moment, appreciating the butterflies and hugging the trees).

      It is my belief that neither fear of technocratic domination nor the fear of the potential impacts ecological collapse on our civilization/way of life (self-interested/anthropocentric priorities) can effectively compel humanity to change course, but rather it is love (for each other and the Earth) that will evoke the courage within us to change course before it is too late.

      Only through feeling (and knowing/embodying) this love within, knowing our own eternal spirit and being present in the moment to recognize that same eternal spark in all other beings, can we truly know peace, happiness, engaging in ‘ego-system re-story-ation’ and then eventually ecosystem restoration as well.

      • Very good, similar to my line of reasoning.

        Regarding your book written as a love letter to Mother Earth, I believe it is time to write a new one, to Lover Earth. People rely on their mother in childhood. Mature people shift the focus to an equal, and so does the object of love.


        • @Ilija Prentovski

          Thanks for taking the time to read what I shared and comment to share your thoughts.

          I will meditate on what you have expressed regarding “Lover Earth” and respond at some point.


          • Gavinm,
            In the great musical score of the universe; here is where we should play the upside down top hat.

        • @Ilija Prentovski

          I thought about your comment regarding “Lover Earth” (and how you implied that the title of how we refer to the living planet should change as our relationship with her unfolds and matures).

          In short, I do not feel that this suggested change in title is necessary nor beneficial.

          In my opinion, the role of the living Earth as the being which birthed the molecules that make up my body and has offered the nourishment for the cells in my body via oxygen, nutrients, myriad symbiotic organisms that dwell within/around me, sunlight and water (from even before my human body birthed me until now) and how she nourished/nourishes my soul with poetry for the senses does not change just because my body and/or mind develops over time and thus there is no reason to change her title from being an embodiment of a nurturing and caring being (like the ideal archetype of a mother).

          Just because we develop into adult human beings this does not mean that we should stop referring to the one that gave birth to us as “Mom”.

          The relationship between the mother and the being she has birthed can (and should) evolve into becoming more reciprocal as we become adults, but that does not change the fact that she is the mother. Our reverence, appreciation and love for the Great Mother can continue to grow and unfold, and she is still honored by being referred to as Pachamama (or Mother Earth in English).

          As we become capable adults, discovering and unlocking our own unique gifts and apply our free will to nurture our mother in return for all that she has done to nurture us, we do create a new, more synergistic and enriching dynamic within that relationship, and yet she still remains the mother.

          Thanks for inviting me to consider your perspective.

          May your path be soft, green, long and winding and may it often deliver you home into the loving arms of our Great Mother when you choose the path less travelled.

  4. One might argue that where people spend their free time is where they are happiest. Also, do we confuse happiness with being comfortable?

    • Great points! I have found that when I am doing things that are meaningful to me and “productive” I am most happy. I used to do a lot of volunteer work in my community and it did feel good to help others and I wasn’t making any money. In the process of helping, I felt pretty good. In the process of giving, I was receiving.

      Comfort will facilitate happiness because it is the absence of pain and suffering. It is hard to give when one is suffering, physically or mentally.

      Also, the experience of love is definitely something people pursue. How do happiness and love overlap I wonder. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      • cu.h.j
        You said:
        ” In the process of helping, I felt pretty good. In the process of giving, I was receiving.”

        In the process of giving, you were getting something that money cannot buy.

        I think I know exactly what you are saying. There is no other way to get that feeling is there? I wonder how many ever get it.


  5. Experiencing happiness is not ONE thing nor will it take the same form forever for an individual soul. With the passing through the stages of spiritual maturity each one goes through a changing experience or meaning of what it is to be happy. Still here are two quotes on the theme: 1)It is your right to be happy, and yet you create your own unhappiness by wanting things. Wanting is the source of perpetual restlessness. If you do not get the thing you want, you are disappointed. And if you get it, you want more and more of it and become unhappy. Say “I do not want anything” and be happy. The continuous realization of the futility of wants will eventually lead you to Knowledge. This Self-knowledge will give you the freedom from wants that leads to the road to abiding happiness. 2) “Nobody suffers in vain, for true freedom is spiritual freedom and suffering is a ladder towards it. Men unknowingly suffer for God, and God [God as the God-Man] knowingly suffers for man.”

  6. iN tHE GrEAT rE-sET…
    listening to music ~>•

    The Blue Nile ~

  7. I haven’t watched this yet, but I’ll do it soon. I have had severe bouts of depression for most of my life and I’d love to find a cure and “be happy”.

    Just off the top of my head though, I don’t think it’s possible to always be happy. The pursuit of it in unnatural ways like drugs and other escapes won’t provide it. I’ve tried.

    However finding meaningful activity will improve mood. Fulfilling goals is a great mood boost. Happiness is also something that is shared.

    Anyway, perhaps more comments when I finish the episode. As an aside, I did pick up the book “Pick Your Pieces” and I’m finding it helpful.

    • @cu.h.j

      I agree it is not possible to always “be happy”.

      I will also go a step further to say that I do not think it would be healthy to be constantly in that state in this world we live in, even if it was possible).

      While we live in a world where humans are still learning how to live without destroying the ecosystems we depend on to survive and many humans are engaging in acts of malice and pillaging the natural response for one with their heart, mind and mind’s eye open is to feel a sense of loss and hurt. When we love the world and our fellow beings, that deeply fulfilling state of being also comes with the natural response to feel a hurt and sadness inside when we take an honest look at the current state of affairs.

      Even those who are sometimes seen as being some of the happiest people on the planet (through sheer will/relentless spiritual/mental practice) acknowledge the healthy place for feeling loss and sadness at times.

      In order to illustrate why I feel this way, I present the Buddhist principle of interbeing (FYI: I do not consider myself to be a Buddhist but I value some of the perspectives offered by that lens of perception).

      Interbeing says that existence is relationship. It isn’t just that we depend on each other, on the rainforests, on the sun, water, and soil to survive. It is that they are part of our very being. Accordingly, if a rainforest is cut down, or the small copse of trees near your home, something of you dies as well. That is why the events happening on earth today hurt so much. They are happening to each of us.

      Interbeing says that outside and inside reflect and contain each other. A country that visits violence on the world will suffer domestic violence. A nation that locks up millions of its citizens cannot be free. No person can be fully healthy on a sick world. And the things we condemn the most in others live in some form within ourselves. The revered teacher Thich Nhat Hanh conveys this principle eloquently in his poem, “Call Me by My True Names.” Here are a few stanzas:

      I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
      my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
      and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

      I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,
      who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate,
      and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.

      I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands,
      and I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to my people,
      dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

      My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all walks of life.
      My pain is like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.

      Please call me by my true names,
      so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once,
      so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

      Please call me by my true names,
      so I can wake up,
      and so the door of my heart can be left open,
      the door of compassion.


    • (..continued from above)

      RE: “bouts of depression” on a less spiritual and more scientific note.

      I faced a similar challenge for years and though I do still have challenging moments now I have managed to find a balance and greatly reduce the moments feeling down via introducing a few things into my life.

      I have found that interacting with diverse array of beneficial microscopic organisms in the kitchen (with fermented foods) and in the garden (through working with living soils) stabilizes and uplifts my mood in general (some reasons for this could be explained in an empirical sense via the the study of the symbiotic relationships that take place between those microbes and your cells in your gut and in your blood stream/brain).

      For some pertinent data:,and%20strengthens%20the%20immune%20system.

      I also discovered how powerful ensuring I get enough vitamin D in the fall and winter months is in regulating balanced neurotransmitter function (resulting in a more upbeat mood).

      I feel that through eating fermented foods… touching and smelling rich living soils these are some of the ways we open up a two way communication to Mother Earth and her ancient memory of health, symbiosis and regeneration through receiving data on a molecular and cellular scale through our microbiome.

      Each spoon full of raw sauerkraut, miso soup, raw yogurt or kimchi you eat or handful of living soil you lovingly gather up to support your seedlings is opening up a symbiotic dialogue between your cells and the more ancient organisms that call this world home.

      We depend on microbes to digest our food, protect our bodies, and build healthy soils. Many have forgotten (or even never discovered) that truth.

      I wish for you a more joyful, inspired, hopeful and fulfilling 2024 than all previous years you have experienced on Earth! 🙂

      (PS – You may already be doing all three of the practical things I listed above regarding optimizing brain/neurotransmitter function , and if that is the case, I apologize for preaching to the choir! )

      • Thank you for the suggestions and I will try to implement some of them. I have to set small goals for myself that I can build on.

        I know very little about gardening and soil. I’m looking forward to growing some of my own food this year though. I need to start small and basic since I am a novice and lack a “green thumb.”

        I hope 2024 is hopeful and fulfilling for you as well!

  8. Happiness is such a childish desire isn’t it? Probably one of the reasons our culture is sold products by cartoon characters.

    A more mature goal, IMO, is good health, intelligence, kindness of spirit, physically safe and free which would lead to life satisfaction.

    The controller’s of our evolutionary process have instilled false goals and desires in us, now too many believe “happiness” comes from possessions. Real life has ups and downs and it takes the “possession” of friends and loved ones support to be “happy” to be alive.


  9. I took small doses of psylocibin mushrooms for about 12 years. It hugely elevated my mood during that time. I had heightened experiences but never tripped.

    I might start doing that again but at lower doses.

    • “Microdosing” is something I want to try. Many people swear by it. There’s also ultra low dose naltrexone people have tried but getting the right dose can be hard. That’s more of a treatment of chronic pain though, rather than mood. However, some have claimed that it does improve mood as well.

        • Yes, microdosing (non trip doses) with psilocybin and/or LSD has apparently helped a lot of people with depression. I’ve never tried it in microdoses, only trip doses. Those did help temporarily but did not sustain a better frame of mind for me.

          I have found that if stored properly can last a long time. I have done lots and lots of therapy. Some of it helped and sometimes not. I don’t think there’s any more therapy that can help me, with a therapist. I know enough to implement my own solutions now.

          Anyway, might as well use what you have and see if it helps.

      • @cu.h.j

        If you do try microdosing, I also suggest experimenting with the so called “Stamets Stack”.

        Beyond just balancing mood and nurturing a more positive/empathic outlook, the stack super charges brain function in the areas of cognitive performance, problem solving and memory recall.

        • Thanks for the link. Someone just mentioned this to me a few weeks ago and I had forgotten the niacin portion of the stack.

          I’ve never tried Lion’s Main before. Some people report more depression, so I was hesitant to try it. But it might work well in this stack.

          • @cu.h.j

            Your welcome.

            I have grown lion’s mane mushrooms and mycelium (both on hardwood logs outside and in pre-inoculated grow bags inside) and experimented with ingesting different parts of the fungi using different extraction/food preparation methods.

            When I ate the cooked fruit bodies I experienced not only good flavor but cognitive enhancing effects in about an hour.

            When I made a tincture of just the mycelium I experienced heightened memory recall and energy levels but felt somewhat depressed (within 20 min).

            When I make a tincture from combining both the fruit bodies (aka mushrooms) and the mycelium I experienced both nootropic and mood enhancing effects (also within 20 min).

            When you are buying the lion’s mane pay close attention to what they extracted the pills or tincture from. Many companies use mostly mycelium (as it is cheaper and faster to grow) but this offers an incomplete profile of the medicinal compounds offered by the fungi as a whole being.

            When the fruit body and mycelium is combined you get both the terpenoids (such as: volatile monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes , triterpenoids and sterols) as well as the more well known medicinal fungal sugars (beta-D-glucans).

            Hope this helps.

            Please let me know how it goes.

            • I’ll let you know. The person who first told me about it was very impressed with the effects.

    • I find myself in need of doing something to help my mother, who’s become a fidgety neurotic mess, to put it frankly. I can’t find a modality of talking to her as she will simply ignore anything I try putting forward. And everything else, she will just completely ignore if it doesn’t bring some sort of an immediate effect that in her extremely narrow world view is “good” or whatever.

      For example, she gets up several times over night due to bladder issues. Just the other day I watched some dr. Berg videos and he suggested bladder problems stem from resistance to insulin. And what may cause that? Late night or over night snacking (sweets especially). And what does my mother do? Has some ice cream right before bed. Or candy. A 70 year old woman eats candy before going to bed. I shit you not.

      She also drinks the most pathetic excuse for a juice during night. Every time she gets up to pee she gulps down some juice. She won’t even hear about having water instead. I try to explain more fluid inflow will cause more outflow, but no, she’s “thirsty”. Maybe the thirst is coming from the fact the body needs some water, instead of that sugary poison. She will literally stare into void and completely ignore me when I start talking. She will literally pretend I am not there.

      Anyway, I tried to suggest that she should, not even lay off the ice cream, but have the same amount earlier in the day, right after lunch for example. Absolutely zero impact, I’d have a greater chance taking down Bruce Lee in his prime. The answer was that late night ice cream “pleases her”. I shit you not.

      My own mother is turning into an NPC and it’s happening in real time. I wish I could blame the vaccine but somehow she didn’t take it. Probably she thought it would be helpful and when she spots something that might help her out she’ll do a 180 and run as fast as she can.

      I tried conning he into taking some supplements, but that would be far easier to do with my cat. Bought her some of that Natural Vitality Calm. She absolutely refuses to take it. I was thinking about slipping her some CBD oil or maybe some magic mushrooms. Anything that would jolt her back from her stupor. I don’t think I can do anything for her health if that extremely negative worldview is not tackled first. She’s a walking, talking proof of nocebo and psychosomatic illness.

      God help me, but my own mother is such an incredible disappointment to me. She’s dehumanized herself to such an extent that I can’t even comprehend it fully. I have to wonder how many people are in such a low state of consciousness and are completely out of it. She could have many valuable years still ahead, but no, she will just have none of that.

      • It could be related to hormones. For both women and men hormones drop which can have a profound affect on mood and mental functioning. But it’s impossible to get someone to do things they don’t want to do.

        Perhaps instead of suggesting things, doing some of the things you might think are helpful and demonstrating how they help you. Perhaps she will think “it looks like he’s in a good mood and “happy”, maybe this could help me”??

        My mom is similarly stubborn, but does try to improve her health by cutting out sugar and other unhealthy habits. She’s done this on her own though.

        Another suggestion might be to talk to her more and ask her how she’s feeling? Building rapport? Just some thoughts.

        For me, I have a natural resistance to someone saying to me “you should do…” I don’t know why but I know it’s there. Maybe your mom is similar.

        • I very well understand that I can’t make her do what I want. And that’s not my goal, instead I want to somehow coax her into thinking and caring about what’s she’s doing. Lack of care is her primary problem.

          And I do try to lead by example. I don’t have late meals, I cut down on sugar 90%, I have a lot of fruit and vegetables, I bring home the healthiest food I can find. I’ve been drinking only water for years now. Well, water and a very modest amount of alcohol to prevent me from blowing a valve now and again.

          I don’t start by telling her what to do, but I ask her questions about these things she’s doing. Typical reaction is that she’ll just glaze over or start crying and scuttle off. I think she’s well aware that she’s not doing smart things, but she’s stuck in this broken programming. That’s the net impression I get, she has her triggers and keeps running same programs over and over. New ticks are added to the mix on regular basis.

          For example, she’ll sit in a relatively colder room for hours and presumably not feel cold. Then she’ll go into a relatively warmer room (we are talking good 3-5 degrees) and immediately put a blanket over her back as she’s now cold. I would file this under mood swings of which she’s a world champion and not the biggest of her problems.

          She’ll “wipe off sweat” every 30-60 seconds while the paper towel will get slightly damp at best/worst. If I point out the fact that the the towel is barely moist she’ll sometimes get quite aggressive making me lose temper so I avoid going there. I try to explain that a small amount of sweat is there to help cool the skin, but she won’t have none of that.

          One thing I’m certain: she’s absolutely certain that there are big massive beads of sweat poring down her face. We are talking about this going on at 19°C (66°F) room temperature. During the summer it’s much worse.

          She’ll get into bouts of continuously rubbing her eyes, sometimes using the same paper towel she’s using to wipe off all the imaginary sweat. When I try to point out that she should not touch her eyes so often due to reasons 7 year olds understand, she’ll complain that her eyes are itchy. When I propose that they might by itchy due to constant rubbing I get a heavy sigh or a blank star or some ugly temper.

          She’ll sit at the kitchen table and straighten out the tablecloth by going over it with her hand at a tune of 20 times in 10 minutes. Once I pointed out that the tablecloths was (obviously) dirty, she completely crashed and cried for an hour.

          I proposed putting a glass cover on the kitchen table to enable easier maintenance. I’ve seen this at the friends house and it works really well. It has both a decorative and sanitary function. She found the idea obscene. She finds most of my ideas obscene and offensive. But that’s nothing new.

          Thank you for your comment.

          • That sounds frustrating and I have similar sadness with my mom’s own neglect of her mental health in particular at times.

            I wish I could suggest something that would help. It sounds like if she saw a naturopathic health practitioner they would be able to possibly evaluate her and help her. It does sound to me related to drops in estrogen that women continue to experience after menopause and in some people can have very drastic impacts on mood and mental functioning. But it’s just my presumption.

            Anyway, I hope you are able to continue to nurture your own health during these times. Take care.

            • For cu.h.j and mkey, please consider looking into Bach Flower remedies if you have not already. Here is a link:

              I’ve been a conventional doctor for 22 years, have a second degree in nutritional medicine, and am currently training in other natural health therapies including bioresonance and homeopathy. The more I learn, the more I realise that nature seems to have a cure for everything that can go wrong with us. For emotional and mental health problems, Bach Flower remedies seem to be at the top of the list. And their use can often result in resolution of physical problems (which may have their root in the emotional problem).

              Good luck to you both and sending you love ❤️️

          • Have you tried leaving her alone?

            • Yes. Not saying anything seems to make things less real. That’s the anger part, anger is triggered only after words are spoken. So the problem is not with the problem itself but with the words being spoken. At least that’s my interpretation.

            • You may benefit by adopting a “Live and let live.” attitude towards her.

              She could conceivably benefit, too…

              • Facing yourself with gentleness, kindness, forgiveness, longsuffering, understanding, and the like might help you deal with her, too.

              • This is a woman that has trouble getting around (due to knee injury and second or even third stage ramifications of a broken hip) and refuses to use a crutch because “it doesn’t help”. I guess all those people using crutches to get around in a safer fashion are mere idiots and deluded fools. What does help her though is using the walls and the furniture as something to lean on.

                Recently, and thanks to this very unnatural way of walking she developed in form of unsafely bending forward which is throwing her balance completely out of whack, she fell and hit her head. By grace of the creator, and a few pillows that may have helped break her fall, she didn’t break her hip (again) and the head trauma resulted (only) in a black eye and a temporary swelling on her forehead.

                She still refuses to use a crutch. I can only imagine she did not even consider changing her mind.

                Five years ago I, by pure chance, heard her drop in the bathroom where, again by a grace of god, I don’t know how else to describe it, she sled down the bathtub wall (instead of fell) while losing consciousness. For a long while (years) she completely ignored major intestinal pains (and black stool) which turned out to be due to internal bleeding in the colon. I won’t mention the details of a 8 hour long gruesome fight we had over getting her to a hospital. I was completely exhausted but I was ready to stay up all night if that is what it would have taken.

                Some 5 years before that, her sister, probably even more stubborn if there is such a thing, succumbed after a record setting 5 pound stomach ulcer burst. Can you appreciate the tenacity required to grow an ulcer into such an overpowering calamity? I can, and I weep at how misplaced this majestic effort was. She didn’t have anyone close to count the pills she was self medicating.

                Do tell me more about how I ought to just live and let live, that seems highly applicable to this situation, I just can’t see it yet.

              • “Live and let live” is tough especially if you live with the person. I could not live with my mother. It would drive me to full on insanity. So anyone who is able to live with their mom and try to look after them is pretty impressive to me.

                I suppose negotiating a relationship if people are in a shared household would be necessary.

                I think there are ways to communicate with a person in a shared household in order to respect everyone’s needs and boundaries IMO.

                Falling and breaking bones can result in death and also extensive medical bills so if I were the one paying the bills, I would have to say in a respectful way that there would need to be some changes. Sometimes with most reasonable people, it’s possible to communicate in such a way so that they hear you and also you hear them.

                Anyway, just some thoughts. I don’t think it’s fair for family to expect things and a relationship and then behave in a way that completely negates the other persons effort even if they are older.

          • Re: Live and let live.
            It ain’t easy in your situation. You need help. Can you pull in a sibling to help? Or a friend to give you needed breaks?

            You wrote,” She’ll sit at the kitchen table and straighten out the tablecloth by going over it with her hand at a tune of 20 times in 10 minutes.” My mother had dementia and she would do that. She was much older than your mother.

            The fact of the matter is, your mother is declining and the chances of you changing her are minimal. I wouldn’t even try. The chances of changing how you respond to your mother and her needs, in ways that might allow YOU to live a better life are much higher.

            • Thank you for the insight. I had not considered that possibility. I re read the comment above and my grandma would have similar emotional outbursts over small things and she had mild vascular dementia (related to her stroke).

              When people have these types of conditions mental flexibility is almost impossible due to physical changes that occur.

              Understanding that the affected person may not be able to change or that their condition may be outside of their control and they do not mean to cause hurt in loved ones can help caregivers cope.

              I remember feeling hurt when my grandma would lash out but when I realized she couldn’t control it, I was better able to empathize with her and also myself.

      • @mkey

        I am sorry to hear about the challenges you are facing my friend.

        I will say a prayer, send some good vibrations her way and envision a more receptive and open minded response on her part going into 2024 (in the end though, gentle invitations transmitted through the etheric realms aside, it all comes down to free will).

        • Yes, people either want to do something or they do not. Influencing the transition from one to the other seems to be an art form.

          • mkey says:
            “Yes, people either want to do something or they do not.
            Influencing the transition from one to the other seems to be an art form.”


      • Her life, her choice. Let her be. That is what REAL love is all about.

        You might give some thought as to if you are using this for attention.

  10. This was wonderful James… you have amazing guests, only some of whom I’ve encountered in my own research efforts. Like many others who have faith-based happiness, I too find it in service. And in nature; and in inspirational books and activities. Let me offer some related material from a book that has brought me great happiness: The Urantia Book. What follows is from Paper 3, The Attributes of God:

    “The uncertainties of life and the vicissitudes of existence do not in any manner contradict the concept of the universal sovereignty of God. All evolutionary creature life is beset by certain inevitabilities. Consider the following:

    1. Is courage—strength of character—desirable? Then must man be reared in an environment which necessitates grappling with hardships and reacting to disappointments.

    2. Is altruism—service of one’s fellows—desirable? Then must life experience provide for encountering situations of social inequality.

    3. Is hope—the grandeur of trust—desirable? Then human existence must constantly be confronted with insecurities and recurrent uncertainties.

    4. Is faith—the supreme assertion of human thought—desirable? Then must the mind of man find itself in that troublesome predicament where it ever knows less than it can believe.

    5. Is the love of truth and the willingness to go wherever it leads, desirable? Then must man grow up in a world where error is present and falsehood always possible.

    6. Is idealism—the approaching concept of the divine—desirable? Then must man struggle in an environment of relative goodness and beauty, surroundings stimulative of the irrepressible reach for better things.

    7. Is loyalty—devotion to highest duty—desirable? Then must man carry on amid the possibilities of betrayal and desertion. The valor of devotion to duty consists in the implied danger of default.

    8. Is unselfishness—the spirit of self-forgetfulness—desirable? Then must mortal man live face to face with the incessant clamoring of an inescapable self for recognition and honor. Man could not dynamically choose the divine life if there were no self-life to forsake. Man could never lay saving hold on righteousness if there were no potential evil to exalt and differentiate the good by contrast.

    9. Is pleasure—the satisfaction of happiness—desirable? Then must man live in a world where the alternative of pain and the likelihood of suffering are ever-present experiential possibilities.

    “Throughout the universe, every unit is regarded as a part of the whole. Survival of the part is dependent on co-operation with the plan and purpose of the whole, the wholehearted desire and perfect willingness to do the Father’s divine will. The only evolutionary world without error (the possibility of unwise judgment) would be a world without free intelligence. In the Havona universe there are a billion perfect worlds with their perfect inhabitants, but evolving man must be fallible if he is to be free. Free and inexperienced intelligence cannot possibly at first be uniformly wise. The possibility of mistaken judgment (evil) becomes sin only when the human will consciously endorses and knowingly embraces a deliberate immoral judgment.

    “The full appreciation of truth, beauty, and goodness is inherent in the perfection of the divine universe…”

  11. Generally, I would say happiness is not something one should strive for. At best, happiness is fleeting and can be quite wanton. Pursuit of happiness is one that will go in vain. One should pursue property, such pursuit will lead to occasional bouts of happiness.

    When I say property, I do not mean iphones and other obsoleting trash, but land. And all manners of food grown on it, being trampled by many pairs of careless children’s feet.

  12. What an exceptional path to follow at this time with all these “thinkers” James!

    Once again you have “made me happy” that I somehow stumbled into following the Corbett report 🤩😁

  13. James~ What a delightful 2024 launch into your Solutions Watch series!
    It was a genuine pleasure to hear different perspectives and concepts.

    At this point in my life, I simplify it into: Focus on Attitudes and Gratitudes, and ignore Platitudes.

    As for myself, from my earliest memories, happiness was never anything I “pursued;” it simply WAS.
    But that was from those days when I wasn’t conditioned into over-thinking, nor concerns about what other people might think of me.
    I was passionate about being outdoors in the natural environments; it was always my milieu.

    I possessed inexorable curiosity and fascination about nearly everything, so I naturally gravitated to those explorations. I never worried about being happy, because I just WAS happy, as long as I was engaged in my interests.

    Happiness is purely subjective…and not actually quantifiable and empirical—as so many “scientific studies” demand. So yes, that WSJ article is utterly ridiculous to me, given the analysis of happiness.

    Thank you for this uplifting focus and truly FUN topic!

  14. Perhaps this is semantics, or a question of definition, but ‘happiness’ is the opposite of ‘sadness’ and both of these emotions are not meant to be long lasting, but instead temporary. The question of ‘what makes me feel happy’ should be answered by something that’s more momentary, like a beautiful sunset, a child’s smile, or something fleeting.
    The question should be ‘what makes me content’?? Because contentment should be the goal.

  15. I agree with Dr Munte: get a dog and a hobby and you’ll be happy. Works for me :-).
    Thank you J.C for all your wonderful work!

  16. This might sound strange but I find myself very happy when turning compost (which I probably spend a ridiculous amount of time doing).

    Why this ‘chore’ specifically..? I’ve thought about it a lot and I think it boils down to 4 main points.

    Firstly, I turn compost with a pitchfork and they are usually fairly large piles so its a somewhat physically challenging task. Furthermore its a very aerobic excrise requiring regular ‘breaks’ to add water from the garden hose. At the end of the day I’m usually very worn out and because of the varying changing shape as you go it seems to do a great job working out many different areas of the body.

    Secondly, I find it very meditative. Since its somewhat repetitive task that doesn’t require much thought I can usually just free my mind of all thoughts, worries and everyday stresses and just exist in the moment, not focusing on anything in particular. Sort of like meditation or prayer perhaps.

    Next, it is literally as ‘in nature’ as you can get. You’re 1 on 1 with a huge living ecosystem with enormous volumes of microscopic criters. You are smelling the fresh wonderful aromas, you can feel the heat put off by the pile. Its impossible to fully explain but I really do feel more connected to nature while emersed in this task.

    And lastly, you are participating in buildng or creating something completely unique evey single time as no 2 piles are the same. Turning a compost pile requires understanding how to mix the correct ratio of carbon and nitrogen materials. Adding the right amount of water. Building the pile up into a specific shape. All of this is very intentional and when completed and done correctly feels very rewarding and results in a truly beautiful work of art.

    Just wanted to share my experience with something I get much happiness doing. Thanks James for another great solutions watch!

    • In Florida I enjoyed watering my outdoor plants by hand, not with a hose, and was surprised how immensely satisfying it was. I had a dipper and a 3 gallon bucket and I scooped up the water and put it exactly where the roots seemed to long for it. I became more AWARE of each plant and found I loved them more. It was quite nice.

      • I can definitely relate to that. There really is something to be said for slowing down and being intentional with your thoughts and actions. We live in a society where the default is to go as fast as possible and automate as much as we can but we don’t realize what we lose when going about things in that way.

        • I’ll speak from personal experience and say that I automate only those things that are not worth doing in any way.

          But yes, racing and multitasking are proper nuisances, and ones that even develop into addictions.

          • Yes, there is a time and a place for automation certainly. I have a great deal of respect for many modern marvels we wouldn’t have otherwise. Even the printing press is a form of automation I think you could say.

    • @JCh129

      Thanks for that!

      What a wonderful testament to the Earth, Mind and Soul Regenerating properties of Composting! 🙂

      Sometimes when I am cultivating/tending to plants or fungi that have neurochemistry altering potentials I get to wondering if it is me that is cultivating/tending to the plants and mushrooms or the other way around.

      I do not necessarily mean plants like Cannabis or fungi like psilocybin mushrooms (which can intoxicate and/or induce hallucinations, though they are something I think people should cultivate and explore for medicinal use responsibly) but also plants like Turmeric (Curcuma longa), Ginkgo biloba trees or Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) mushrooms/mycelium that have the potential to offer nootropic (sober cognitive enhancing potentials).

      I also contemplate similar potentials when composting in the garden or fermenting food in the kitchen (both processes that involve engaging with microscopic organisms and both potentially processes that could alter my brain chemistry/perception).

      Thus, I present the following:

      Perhaps the composting microbes are engaging in mind control to make you happy so you will continue to feed them! 🙂

      One book that comes to mind which explores perspectives that touch on the idea of plants and/or fungi engaging in mind control (albeit benign or even perhaps “benevolent” forms of mind control) was Merlin Sheldrake’s “Entangled Life”.

      Long live our fungal, bacterial and rooted overlords! May they always mind control us into being happy and healthy (and so that we continue to cultivate and propagate those ancient organisms) 😉

      Thanks for the comment.

      • @Gavinm

        “Perhaps the composting microbes are engaging in mind control to make you happy so you will continue to feed them!”

        I think its most definitely possible. Mutually beneficial relationships are everywhere in nature. I will check out that book for sure, thank you.

        I’m not sure if you’ve come across Tom Wessels work but i find him very insightful and this one seemed a little bit related.

        Take care!

        • @JCh129

          If I remember correctly the book explores how specific fungi such as (Tuber melanosporum, which produce the fruit bodies known as “Black Truffles”) have developed a potent array of compounds that they produce solely for the purpose of making their fruit bodies very appealing smelling/tasting to mammals (in order to influence us, and other mammals to dig them up, eat them and spread their spores to new colony sites).

          Truffles are ectomycorrhizal fungi (symbiotic species that require forging a mutually beneficial relationship with specific tree species in order to grow) so that reproductive imperative would also by extension include their host trees (that would also benefit from the symbiotic fungi spreading to help their seedlings do better).

          Some mammals (such as pigs) can smell the aroma of a truffle fruit body (mushroom) hundreds of meters away and the fruit bodies are often up to 9 feet deep in the ground.

          Some of the species of trees that are ideal hosts for the fungi species that produces truffles also produce fruit/seeds (such as American Hazelnut/Corylus americana, Shagbark Hickory/Carya ovata and White Pine/Pinus strobus) that appear to be designed (and/or have evolved to) be appealing to mammals as food (in order to spread their seeds).

          So, in the case of truffles, we may have a situation where a rooted (photosynthetic) being and a fungal beings are kind of teaming up in a conspiracy in order to convince humans (and other mammals) to cultivate them, eat their fruit bodies/seeds and continue their lineage into the future. Some might describe that as fungi and trees farming humans 🙂

          I have not come across Tom Wessel’s work but I look forward to checking it out, thanks for the link.


          • They only problem when hunting for truffles with pigs is that you have to keep in mind that you’ll have to fight that pig for the prize. So keep the pig on the small side.

            I see it as an evolutionary failure that man can’t smell truffles as well as a pig can. Having a snout would be thoroughly worth it.

            • @mkey

              haha yes good idea! See how effective the fungal mind control is, our ancient overlords have us fighting with pigs in a competition to see who gets to spread their spores 🙂

              I aim to remedy that evolutionary failure via taking a cue from the indigenous peoples of the plains tribes on Turtle Island in how instead of chasing the Buffalo they engineered the ecosystem to that the buffalo would come to them 😉

              When I plant out trees like oaks, white pine and chestnut in food forest designs I shall inoculate the roots with the mycelium of truffles, and given enough patience, instead of chasing the wild truffles with the pigs I shall bring the truffles to me.

              • And in so doing you shall bring pigs to you as well.

  17. Happiness is in your heart. That’s where you find it. Does not depend on outside circumstances, condition. Everyone can find it anytime. I can say when you find God/ Creator in your heart the True Self.

  18. what makes me happy is the wife ,grandchildren and of course gardening inside in the winter and outside in summer. Also the wife and i do and information line every saturday about agenda 21 and fertilizer reductions.. We meet a lot of interesting people .. One such interaction was with a couple from Winnipeg down for a wedding .. the husband works for Manitoba Aerospace and he said to us what do you think they are spraying us with .. conversation started .. he said he works on jet engines and they do not produce what we see.. and many more interesting people and how they are seeing what’s going on.. so that to makes me happy

    • “Also the wife and i do and information line every saturday about agenda 21 and fertilizer reductions.”
      What is an information line?


  19. To me, happiness is following one’s heart in every conscious moment, flowing with whatever is, instead of allowing stale thought. Most of us have something that calls us. In my case, happiness equals drumming, which made itself clear before I knew what music was. Happiness is a sense of driving purpose.

  20. “A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy and nothing can stop him.”

    “You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power – he’s free again.”

    “Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.”

    “Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul.”

    “The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all.”

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  21. For myself happiness is having a clear conscience. A clear conscience for me means that I am doing all I can for my neighbor and for God. This leads to having no feelings of guilt or remorse. It is not easy and takes a great and constant effort, therefore I am not happy all the time. Obviously, personal problems or tragedies will hurt us and take away our happiness, but we can always heal with time. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

    A small percentage of people never, ever have feelings of guilt or remorse. What makes these people happy is totally different to the majority. This is the definition of psychopathy!

  22. I love that you chose this as the first topic of 2024, James! It’s a topic I’ve devoted a lot of thought to over the course of the last 70 years, and I think I’ve learned some things, through hard headed trial and error, that ultimately yielded, for me, what I think are some truths I now hold on this topic.

    First, a semantic parsing, if you will. For myself, I’ve always considered “happy” to be a rather ephemeral state, one to be enjoyed if it presented itself, but not to be particularly sought after. On the other hand, I’ve chosen to invoke “joy” as the more substantive cousin, and I see it as an element that comes from from taking recognition in the small moments of one’s daily existence that bring peace, connectedness, contentment, maybe more, but certainly any one of those states will suffice for where I’m going with this.

    Now a digression, which is to say what led me to these considerations? A difficult life, filled with a tremendous amount of trauma, which was capped by watching my parents both respond to their lives by becoming deeply embittered. I took as an imperative in my own life that I not waste mine as I watched them do, but as anyone else whose early life was filled with terrible things, those next “early adult years” are like being catapulted into adulthood, with no good sign posts and at best, a tremendous amount of confusion and pain…

    So, I had an imperative, but really no idea how to accomplish it – which was to find joy, and experience it in the context of my daily life, using nothing more than my own powers of observation and the knowledge that repetition builds muscle. So I created for myself a practice I called “The Discipline of Joy,” and it had two rules. First, I must do “it” every day, and what I was doing was explicitly noticing the moments (and I do mean moments) that felt like grace, that were connected, that brought me peace, that did indeed make me happy. That’s it.

    What I immediately recognized it that these moments were things like having my hands in the dirt, hearing a redwing blackbird call, playing with the cat, baking bread, just life, like any one of us might experience, but for the lack of “noticing” them, holding them, accumulating their weight for the good in one’s life. It makes a difference. I say this from a vantage now 40 years past that point when I stumbled into putting these things together for myself.

    And that’s the last part of this… while I do very much believe I have some thoughts that might be helpful in this conversation, what I’d also hope to convey is that there need be not a single bit of “technology” involved, nor a dime spent, only commitment to observing the tiniest moment that presents itself that your heart recognizes.

  23. The idea that one can “pursue” happiness demonstrates complete misunderstanding of it. It’s a gift, an experience that is bestowed on us when our hearts, minds, and actions are in alignment. When what we feel, think, and do are in complete sync, we awaken to the miracle that is life. That little frisson of energy that we call “happiness” is the grace bestowed at those moments. It swells the heart, and makes the chest and throat tighten, as we fully realize how deeply we appreciate the opportunity to be in the presence of something that engages us so completely, inner to outer. At those rare moments, this precious life we’re blessed with comes into focus so profoundly that it may even bring tears to our eyes. This is the experience of happiness. Trying to “pursue happiness” actually kills any possibility of experiencing it. If happiness becomes a goal – a thing to be pursued – it takes on the characteristics of an object on which we can bestow the power to “make us happy.” Thomas Jefferson was a good man, I think, but he was also clearly prey to materialistic delusions when it came to articulating human prospects for self-development.

  24. James,

    “Happiness” is both fleeting and temporary. To attempt to prescribe a method, a drug or a “way” to maintain it is absolutely futile.

    Return to Nature and start working with the soil again. That’s my prescription.

    Grow your own food.

    It won’t make you “happy,” per se, which is quite an infantile concept to begin with. But it will make you more connected with Nature, grounded and very much at peace.

    James, your 3rd eye is opening wider and wider, brother. Keep up the good work, and keep proposing more solutions. #theearthisabundant

    Blessings from Osaka,

    Brian/Dr. Noh

  25. “Happy New Year!”

    Soaked in substance, that phrase takes on a whole new context with this first #SolutionsWatch for 2024.

    The Corbett Report is Mind Food for one’s Humanity.

  26. I’m just posting this again because sometimes a comment can get lost when it’s a reply to an older post….

  27. For cu.h.j and mkey, please consider looking into Bach Flower remedies if you have not already. Here is a link:

    I’ve been a conventional doctor for 22 years, have a second degree in nutritional medicine, and am currently training in other natural health therapies including bioresonance and homeopathy. The more I learn, the more I realise that nature seems to have a cure for everything that can go wrong with us. For emotional and mental health problems, Bach Flower remedies seem to be at the top of the list. And their use can often result in resolution of physical problems (which may have their root in the emotional problem).

    Good luck to you both and sending you love ❤️️

  28. I had to chuckle at your introduction on the ‘science’ of happiness (i.e. ‘asked no-one ever’) as that was literally the essence of my indoctrination having studied psychology at Essex and Oxford University! TRUST THE SCIENCE, DAMNIT!

    I don’t know how insightful it is to ask a lot of Euro-Americans what they (we) think about happiness, as we will respond with either an indoctrinated view on HAVING to be happy, or our attempt to escape this view while being stuck in this awful society.
    I’d be much more interested to know what indigenous cultures think, and not necessarily about happiness, but more about how do you live well? From what I can observe, it’s to do with building relationships and finding ways to be and live communally. And importantly, to just ‘be’. Do we in these Euro-American cultures know how to just ‘be’?
    In The Myth Of Normal, Gabor Mate speaks about being compassionate as a good way to live life.
    Once my husband and I have set up our permaculture institute in the Rift Valley in Kenya, I can update you on how the ‘just being’ is working out for us 😉

  29. Thinking of the music used in the animation of When the Grinch Stole Christmas. Hum that tune and apply. ” Your a sly one Mr.Corbett,,,”
    Anyone who could use Schrodenger and p-hacking inside the width of two breathes deserves a tip of the hat and a beer on my tab. To hear it and give up the loons for others to imbibe makes me happy.
    This I’ve said is not a question for scientists but one for philosophers. You Mr.Corbett, and when you include this chapter in your Book, I can die happy. It’s like asking a compass if it thinks as it points. The arrow knows not the letters at the edges, they where put there by others. Being independent of those letters is HAPPINESS as the arrow has no point or butt no up or down,left or right in its pursuits. It proves that God exists by being unaware of the lies of men.The divisions of the Hegelian dialectic are the death of happiness. I think you for enlightening the masses for some would never have come across such things if it weren’t for you. So we know what makes you happy. Cheers to the way you kill lies. Now that makes me happy.

  30. Gods law and the Scout law and motto are a reciprocal form of obtaining Happiness !
    Being Prepared to Do a good Deed for others every Day and achieving is what makes me feel good and I am Happy, it can be challenging and I sometimes fail !
    Human nature of many seems to be opposite and some people feel happy when they make others unhappy for fun and profit , you can figure all you want and still not understand the difference in motivation without considering Spiritual values !
    Some people are just happy being unhappy and I know many and refuse to feel sorry for them !

  31. Genuine happiness comes from doing something for other people, and making them happy. This also extends to caring for animals, plants and the environment in general. It’s the most direct and practical expression of selfless love, and we are all capable of that. Let our thoughts, words and actions be firmly rooted in love without any wish, thought or desire for a reward. This approach to life is what’s known as “Karma Yoga”, and it essentially requires letting go of selfishness in all its many ugly forms. As always, self-knowledge is the key to genuine transformation, of the invidual and the world…….

  32. Through my buddhist studies I have learned of five kinds of happiness:
    1. The lowest is the pursuit of happiness looking outward. It is temporary and fleeting, depending on outer circumstances, which are bound to constantly change (money, love, vacation, weekend, party, Soma – whatever).
    The next four are inner-generated forms of happiness and thus not dependent on outer circumstances:
    2. Learning – the awareness that one is growing as a human being. We can learn all the time, even from difficult or adverse situations.
    3. Self-realization – the awareness of one’s highest potential, and striving to living up to it.
    The last two are still based in the ego. The next two are free of ego.
    4. Boddhisattva – Working for the well being of self and others. This is not to confuse with co-dependency, where one disregards the self to only help others.
    5. Enlightenment – This is nothing extraordinary. We all can achieve this with mindful practice. It can be described as the awareness of wisdom, compassion, courage, freedom and happiness. We all carry the potential for enlightenment in us. We can tap into these inherent human traits at any moment, through meditative practices, or simply through our conscious in and out breaths.

  33. What is happiness? Is it a feeling, thought, touch, sense, it’s up for grabs. Happiness, is something we all feel differently I guess, since it is all in our minds. Ones happiness could be another’s fear. Happiness comes from I believe from within ourselves. When we are happy or feeling good about ourselves, we overcome those fears, and respond differently to our surroundings, just like when we are down in the dumps, a thing that made us happy at one time, may in the future, make us sad. We all feel happiness in our own ways,
    I guess. I myself try to stay happy all the time, since laughter is the best medicine, that I believe is the ultimate happiness. Got a good joke? Thanks James, Keep on Keeping on.

  34. I would like to offer number 17 from my 24 reasons to start a garden in 2024 list here:

    17. Soil microbes have anti-depressant and cognitive function boosting capabilities:

    That means working in the garden (touching and smelling that rich living soil) has now been proven to have benefits to the human brain and immune system. Gardeners have been saying that working with their hands and the smell of the rich earth makes them happy for centuries and now science has discovered one of the reasons why that is!

    Interacting with diverse array of beneficial microscopic organisms in the kitchen (with fermented foods) and in the garden (through working with living soils) increases the resilience of your body through the symbiotic relationships that take place between those microbes and your cells in your gut and in your blood stream/brain.

    Eating fermented foods… touching and smelling rich living soils these are some of the ways we open up a two way communication to Mother Earth and her ancient memory of health, symbiosis and regeneration through receiving data on a molecular and cellular scale through our microbiome.

    Each handful of living soil you lovingly gather up to support your seedlings is opening up a symbiotic dialogue between your cells and the more ancient organisms that call this world home. Get outside, work in the soil and get your hands dirty more often this year to improve your mood and the function of your immune system and brain.

    Articles and research:

    Soil Bacteria Work In Similar Way To Antidepressants:

    Identification of an immune-responsive mesolimbocortical serotonergic system: Potential role in regulation of emotional behavior:

  35. How to be happy? Disable comments to your videos apparently!

  36. James, why have you disabled the comments on your odysee channel?

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