The Man Who Discovered Happiness

The entire world knows of him. The most popular name since Einstein. It is miraculous how he could do what he did. All discoveries and inventions are minor in comparison, since he was able to make just about the entire world happy.

It didn’t take long either since once he announced his discoveries and traveled the world speaking about what he discovered, everyone’s brain lit up. The darkness was forever lifted. People got it.

The unifying thing about humans is not a single one does not want to be happy. The singular shared goal of all human life is happiness. We seek it out in so many different ways. It is what every human being aspires towards so once he was able to figure out how people could actually be happy all the time, it caught like a fire in a dry forest.

 

His name was Joe Ollman. Obviously he has been dead for some time now, but his discovery has still to this day changed the lives of everyone on planet earth. Even though we all live indoors now and are continually on-line, we have all found a happiness that is far greater than any kind of happiness experienced by humans who were off-line and went outdoors. Psychotherapy, psychiatry, life-coaches, self-help gurus, spiritual gurus, all of these professions are a thing of the past. No longer needed. In school I read about how many, many, many years ago, these were the most popular professions. They were everywhere and bookstores were filled with self-help and psychology books written by these people. Not any more. None of them exits today, since everyone is happy.

Joe Ollman. This is a name which will never be forgotten as long as humans are around. You can ask anyone, even children who Joe Ollman was and they will tell you the man who discovered happiness. And his discovery was not even that difficult. It is strange that authentic happiness eluded humans for so long. Joe Ollman just made it very easy for everyone to understand and implement it.

 

For those of you who are interested, Ollman’s Theory of Happiness is: To be happy is the absence of negative thought. Pretty simple, right? That as long as a person has negative thoughts they will not be able to be happy. In order to be happy a person must be able to eradicate all negative thinking. Sounds simple but not so easy. The genius of Joe Ollman was that he made it easy.

When Joe Ollman was alive he lived in a society that created deep unhappiness. The society that Ollman lived in was so dysfunctional that the vast majority of citizens had to take pills to make them feel better and more functional in what he called “The Sick Society.” Can you believe that? Society was at one time so dysfunctional and unhealthy that people had to take a pill, which generated more serotonin in their brain chemistry so that they could function better in that society. Even though it was over sixty years ago since things have really changed it still surprises me that this is how things once were.

People were continually worried about having enough money and what other people thought of them. People distracted themselves with things that caused them to feel even more empty inside. The routine and monotony in people’s lives caused them to live with this empty feeling inside, which drove them into states of deep anger and depression. Wow. Everyone was stressed out since surviving in The Sick Society caused a person to have to do a lot of things that they did not want to do. People had to pretend to be happy about working at jobs that they did not feel happy at. Everyone was disconnected from one another. No real relationships were able to be sustained in this harsh climate of anger, addiction, worry and depression. People pursued happiness but could never find it because their heads were filled with negative thoughts and people spent most of their time lost inside their heads. Fear prevented almost everyone from living the life that they wanted to really live. People were committing suicide and violent crimes everywhere. Men interested in power and money ran the world and the masses were much too afraid to rise up against the state. The people were powerless. They had no choice but to submit. It was pure madness. The only thing that could help this situation were psychiatric pills. It was the real Dark Age.

 

Joe Ollamn is a global hero because he is single-handedly responsible for bringing people out of these dark ages. He basically rescued everyone from the darkness and brought almost everyone out into the light. All with his very simple Theory Of Happiness. Joe Ollman was also once a very depressed and negative man. He admitted to often thinking about suicide and then he realized that there could be an alternative way. He did not have to physically die as much as he needed to psychologically change. Ollman realized that he needed to eradicate negative thoughts.

Ollman started practicing Mindfulness meditation intensively so that he could develop the awareness needed to know when he was starting to have negative thoughts and feelings. “When the emptiness and darkness was starting to creep in,” he often said. Once he was able to have this awareness he could catch it and turn the thoughts and feelings into something positive before the negativity snowballed into a miserable state. The importance of awareness in being a happy person was not discovered by Ollman but it was really brought into the mainstream by him. Today most people practice mindfulness meditation and it is because humans are much more aware that they are able to subvert negativity the moment it arises.

Ollman’s Theory Of Happiness stresses that if a person wants to be happy they must be able to not dwell in their heads. That dwelling or ruminating in thought is unhappiness. In order to avoid this a person must engage in distractions that allow them to feel engaged, focused and better about themselves when finished with the distractions. People just needed to become better able at choosing more quality distractions for themselves rather than just taking what is being offered by the highest bidder. It is because of Ollman’s discovery that Hollywood, Netflix, HBO, social media, cable television, most forms of advertising, Amazon Prime are now things of the past. Corporations that created and profited off of human misery are now gone! People now actually live quality lives. Who would have ever thought? All because of one man.

 

Ollman once said in a YouTube interview, “If human beings want to be happy they must be able to remain present and aware. It is so crucial that people are present and engaged in their lives in a carefree kind of way. If a person wants to be happy they must be carefree because if they are not stress and worry and depression will quickly rise up. The Sick Society did not allow people to be carefree. Everyone was worried and stressed out all the time and this is why unhappiness was such an epidemic. If people really want happiness it is so important that they are able to live in  a carefree way. Moment by moment, day by day without worrying about the future or thinking about the past. When a person is truly happy they are fully in the moment. They are fully content and engaged in the moment without a care in the world. The moment a person is no longer carefree, unhappiness sets in. The thing about humans is that we do have the ability to be carefree. We just need to exercise this ability or potential more regularly through mindfulness meditation practice.”

This was once of the most viewed videos in YouTube history and it is where Ollamn’s Theory of Happiness was presented to the world. Einstein wrote books and papers but it is interesting how things change. Ollman wrote no books or papers but presented his discoveries through YouTube videos. No one reads books anymore. Everyone just watches YouTube videos and Ollman was visionary enough to know that this would be the case one day. Ollman was such a genius and I am so grateful for his presence on planet earth. I do not know what the hell anyone would do without his Theory Of Happiness. We would all be taking pills and living in that dark and very sick society that almost caused Ollman to take his own life.

I am so happy the dark ages are now behind us.

*This is an essay written by a young girl for her online eighth grade Sociology class.

Advertisements

The Good Loser

The first job I was fired at was Straw Hat Pizza. I was fired for serving my fifteen-year-old friends a pitcher of beer.

 This began my career of getting fired from jobs.

 Fired from my job as a shoe salesman for being too indignant, fired as a barista for not being friendly enough, fired as a mortician’s assistant for not being able to handle the heat, fired from my job selling bagels, fired from my job at Macy’s for ringing up my own sale (twice), fired as a waiter for kicking a snobbish customer out of the restaurant, fired as a waiter for not attending to customers well enough, fired, fired, fired.

 Final job I was fired at: A high end and crowded restaurant in Sacramento where I was working as a bartender and was fired for being too slow.

 I was never good at being a good loser. I felt like all these jobs were beneath me and I was angry about having to work at them. I was a great writer and artist who was stuck being a servant. I was always pissed off. I wanted revenge. I felt unfairly treated. Singled out. When it came time for my firing, I hated the people who fired me. “Who me?” “You fired me?” “Really?” Even though in retrospect I deserved my constant firing, at the time I felt like a perpetual injustice was being committed against me. I refused to give up. I became an alcoholic. I went on Paxil. Shows you were the mind of someone who is not a good loser can be.

 I, you, we live in a culture saturated with “winning” messages. We are obsessed with achieving and winning. Obsessed. You are probably chasing after something right now as you read this. “How to be richer.” “How to be more successful.” “How to have the tools of the masters.” On and on. Blogs are filled with these messages. These how to be a winner titles, essays and speakers always forget to add one point at the end of whatever they are saying. “And finally, this is how you will end up miserable.” The constant desire to win, to achieve more, to become better at something is ultimately a recipe for disaster. This is why as a psychotherapist I am interested in how to succeed at failing, at being a nobody, at being obscure, at being an outsider. How to be a good loser. This is I feel the only way anyone can be saved from the misery, high-anxiety and unhappiness that is all pervasive in our Western culture today.

 The Italian philosopher Franco Bifo Berardi often talks about how the contemporary global system should be defined as one of absolute capitalism. Absolute capitalism is a system in which the only effective principles are those of value-accumulation (winning), profit-growth(achieving) and economic competition (short term gain for long term pain). All other concerns such as human well-being, life satisfaction, intellectual and creative fulfillment, survival of the planet or the future and mental health of the next generation are subsumed to these greater goals. Basically absolute capitalism, which is only going to get greater with the addition of Donald Trump into the equation, is a system that does not care about what is best for you.

 Being a good loser means giving up. Good losers give up. Shitty losers don’t. It is that simple. Why is it important to give up when you lose? Because losing is the fundamental nature of all existence. We all lose in the end. Everything we achieve, we will have to lose. Loss is the name of the game. It is the direction we are all heading in. Trying to oppose this direction is like trying to hold back the turning of the earth or push away gravity. You can’t do it. You will get crushed. This is why you are so stressed out. Don’t take my word for it. Keep being a shitty loser. Keep stressing yourself. Keep listening to Tim Ferris and Anthony Robins. They are making a fortune off of perpetuating a system of absolute capitalism. You will be the one who will ultimately lose.

 I think the crucial question and a much less expensive one (have you seen how much those Anthony Robbins workshops cost?) to be asking ourselves at this point in history is, what have I lost at?

 Have I lost at keeping the relationship functional and fulfilling? Have I lost at trying to make a lot of money? Have I lost at becoming successful at my dream? Have I lost at enjoying my job? Have I lost at being able to be in great shape? Have I lost at trying to eat healthy? Have I lost at having a vibrant sex life? Have I lost at writing novels? Really make a sober assessment of what you have lost at at this point in your life and then rather than trying to achieve more or do better (absolute capitalism), give it up. LET IT GO. Stop trying. This is how you can get yourself more in line with the nature of existence and the end result will be a less pressurized life..

 I’m still working on becoming a good loser. Have not mastered the art yet. If I had, I would not be writing this, since I have lost at trying to “make it” as a writer. But I keep writing anyways. I keep trying and in a way this just keeps me feeling frustrated and unsatisfied. I often tell myself that if I can just give up the need to be a writer I would be much happier in my life. But I can’t seem to give it up just yet. I have gotten better at giving up at many things that I have lost at, but there is still room for improvement. Who knows, maybe one day I will be able to be a really good loser and then I can just enjoy whatever time I have left on earth. I will have gotten rid of this spasmodic and infectious need to compete, to achieve, to attain more, to accumulate, to profit, to be more than the loser that I really am and as a result I will finally live in peace.

The Prolific Negative Thinker. Conversation #24.

You think you are a negative thinker?

What do you think? You would know best.

Absolutely. You absolutely are. I would say the majority of your thoughts are negative.

What percent?

Probably 97%.

That high?

Yes. Without a doubt. You are either thinking about worst case scenarios (worrying), judging yourself or judging others (especially your wife). This is what you do most of the time.

It’s not good.

Look at yourself now. Your wife just said to you, “I hope you have a lovely day babe,” before she left. How did you respond?

I said, “Do I have to? Do I have to have that expectation?”

Exactly. Would you not say that was negative?

Yes. It was also honest. I am a bit tired of all these expectations to be happy, to be filled with joy, to be peace, to have a wonderful day, to be redeemed.

I see.

Maybe I want to be irredeemable. Maybe this positive psychology expectation to be happy, to be filled with love and joy is just not a pitcher of Kool-Aid I am willing to swallow. It is such a California thing. Why do I have to be happy? What is so great about being happy?

You don’t. But all these negative thoughts are causing you to be unwell. Look at how your chest feels constricted right now. Notice how you are having a difficult time breathing? Notice that heavy weight on your shoulders and chest? That can’t be good for you.

I know. But I can’t seem to stop these negative thoughts. They just happen and take me over. I try to meditate, recite a mantra, exercise. None of it seems to work. I just have to wait it out and eventually it will pass. But it is true my mind seems to judge, worry, criticize constantly. Negative thought after negative thought.

Angry about this. Worrying about that. Constantly.

Yup. I don’t know how to stop it. My father was and still is an angry man. Grew up with him upset and yelling continually. My mother is and was a depressive worrier. I seem to be programed to be a negative thinker. It is in my blood.

Probably true. You did grow up in a very tense and hostile environment. There was a lot of negativity floating around all the time.

Yes. But back then it was just normal. Now I am aware that it is not normal. It is fucked up. So many years spent being unaware of all this negativity. Now at least because of meditation, I know when it is there and I try not to get too caught up in it. But it is a constant struggle. Often it wins. Sometimes it doesn’t and I just wait for it to go away. It sucks. It feels like some sort of illness.

It is a mental illness.

You think?

I do. Without a doubt. You have an undiagnosed mental illness.

Wow! That is a radical thing to say.

Probably full on Borderline Personality Disorder.

What?!

A brain that is as negative as your is is not a place of well being and health.

Well I don’t know what to say. I know I am a prolific negative thinker. Seems to be my destiny. I do what I can about it but the rest I need to accept. It is just the way it goes. All I can really do is just be aware of it and try not to get too identified with it.

As a mindfulness meditation teacher this is what you teach other people to do. So at a very intense level, you are being challenged to do the same thing.

“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.”

This is your favorite quote?

It is. It sums up my entire practice. I am learning how to just leave the negativity alone. Don’t need to fuck with it all the time. Just need to be able to let it be. IT will come and IT will go. This will be my life.

Probably true. It is a kind of chronic illness that at this point you can only learn to live with.

Yes. Besides, I do not want to be happy and positive all the time. That sounds incredibly dull. I like a certain amount of negativity. Keeps things dark and interesting.

But you have way too much negativity.

This is true. I know. Just talking about it now is helpful. I feel better- like I have let some things go. I will be spending the rest of today alone so hopefully I can just be with myself and let a lot of the negativity go.

Sounds good. What are you going to do with your time alone?

I just want to read, listen to some records, take a nap, meditate once more and maybe do some drawing. Just go easy.

Sounds about right. Just do the things you like to do today. Hopefully it will help you to calm some of your negativity down.

Ok. Well thanks for talking.

Your welcome. Enjoy your solitude.