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How To Win The Metaphorical Happiness Lottery

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I recently learned a funny and inspiring Italian joke while in Paris -- which I'm excited to share.

How did I come about an Italian joke in Paris?

I was reading Elizabeth Gilbert's truly amazing Eat, Pray, Love on my trip before bedtime, the perfect book to read while traveling, as it inspires you to really use your vacation as spiritual restoration.

But back to that Italian joke: A poor man goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint, begging, "Dear saint, please, please, please, give me the grace to win the lottery!!" This lament goes on for months. Finally the exasperated statue comes to life, looks down at the begging man and says in weary disgust: "My son, please, please, please, buy a ticket!"

This terrific joke is a reminder to all of us that we must do our part to create our own good luck.

Life is not 100% random destiny. Life is a lively, interactive fusion of destiny AND free will.

The more you tap into this human perk of free will, and do positive "free will" habits, actions which you can control, the more you increase the odds you will be a winner in that metaphorical big ticket life happiness lottery!

With this in mind, here is "A Free Will Habits To Do List." Follow this list and you will create your happiest life!

1. Think as many positive thoughts as you can. Each positive thought you think is a Happiness Lottery Ticket you're gathering.

2. If you're having trouble being positive, put in the effort to master your negative thoughts by meditating, journaling, working out. Each of those habits are happiness lottery tickets you're gathering. (For added motivation, tell yourself you are "negative thought intolerant," the way some people are lactose intolerant. You simply cannot think negative thoughts because they weaken you and make you feel yucky. You can only think positive thoughts which nourish and energize you, and give you better odds of winning that metaphorical happiness lottery!

3. Studies show the top three happiness determinators are (1) high self-esteem, (2) intimate connections with others, and (3) doing acts of altruism. So make sure your daily to do list is full of (1) doing actions which you are proud of (2) spending time in intimate conversation/experiences with loved ones (3) spending time giving back to the world in some way. Each of these action items are metaphorical life happiness lottery tickets you're gathering around you.

4. Control your stimulus-response mechanism, which makes you reactively pick bad choices in the moment, choices which you later regret. Instead decide to gather around you as many "long term happiness lottery tickets" which will set you up for life, well into your crickety old age. How? Every day make sure you choose actions which move you towards your long term life fulfillment, instead of only doing easy, lazy, reactive actions, based on your short-term emergency/impulse needs.

5. Nourish your body/mind/spirit with healthy foods, exercise, meditation, sleep, sex, hugging, smiling. The more habits you do from these areas, the more metaphorical happiness lottery tickets you're gathering.

6. Go on a "No Nuts Diet." Remove nutsy crazy people from your life. Nutsy crazy-makers lower your odds of winning that metaphorical big ticket life happiness lottery. Likewise, surrounding yourself with lots of loving, growth-directed people increases your odds of being a Mega-Happiness Winner!

Remember...each of these "free will" habits are equal to snagging a metaphorical happiness lottery ticket. The more tickets you gather, the more you stack up the odds that a happy destiny awaits you.

And best of all, each of these "free will" habits are ALL available to EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU, rich or poor, young or old!

So do your part to create your own good luck, starting today!

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