What amazes me is not that Columbus set off (supposedly) against all odds and against the common thought that the world is flat. (Anyone who has ever spent time near the ocean knows that not to be true. Plus, many mathematicians proved it centuries before) But, what amazes me about Columbus’ trip is that he came back to the old world.

Every other explorer that we know of that predated Columbus, with the exception of an Irish monk, didn’t come back. Why would you? Especially if you found the Caribbean? Food is everywhere, land is everywhere, the natives are beautiful, and they give you gold and turquoise, and anything else that you possibly want.

The same is true for Captain Cook. He discovered Samoa and Hawaii where they worshiped him as a god. (Although they did end up killing him when they found out he wasn’t) But, why would you leave?

In Hawaii as well, sex with anyone (male of female) was as common as eating dinner with anyone is to us. But in Hawaii, eating was the most sacred act, and for this women were not allowed to prepare food, were not allowed to eat 5 sacred foods, and men and women were not allowed to eat together under any circumstances.

Similarly, when the French sailed to Tahiti the island boys and girls had sex with any of the sailors. Soon, some of the island men discovered the French possessed nails. Having none of their own, the island men instructed the young girls to swap sex for nails. The French captains in this case were forced to leave, because the sailors began to rip the ship apart piece by piece in order to procure more nails!!!

If you ask the average person, “Where would you be right now if you could go anywhere in the world and do anything with anyone?” The most common answer (and I have asked this question to many many people) is “I would be on a beach drinking a mai tai with my friends and Brad Pitt”, or something similar.

On that beach we have nothing except perhaps a blanket, a book, and a Corona, yet we are happier there then when we return to our homes with double car garages that are so full with crap that we can’t even park in them! So then the question persists, why when we have happiness do we leave it? And, what creates happiness?

I read an article on happiness recently, and it contained an interesting analogy. “Why is it that when we come in to an air conditioned room from a swelteringly hot day, we find the relief so pleasurable? Yet, 5 minutes later, that extreme pleasure changes from bliss to mere comfort, and 5 minutes later status quo?

So it is it seems with money, or some other convenience. We always wish for more, but then when we get it, our happiness doesn’t seem to change. Studies in the article showed that people making over $75,000 a year had the same amount of happiness as those making more. Often too, a new position or job is the enticing carrot that we believe will procure our happiness. However, another study of top managers who changed positions, jobs, or received promotions were not any happier one year after the change than they were before.

So the point, and the questions still remain, what makes us happy? How do we achieve true happiness?

The answer: Fake it till you make it.

When I find myself unhappy, I force myself to laugh. Invariably, I begin to giggle, laugh, or chuckle genuinely. Happiness is a choice that we make daily. Currently, the book “The Secret” has been on the bestseller list for over 3 years. The book’s premise is: “You are what you think”. Quantum physics has been very plain about this; there is no way to distinguish thought from matter. Reality, as we know it is more like an idea than something that actually has substance.

So today, I ran a half marathon. Afterwards in the shower as I was washing the mud off my legs, I thought to thank them. I really praised my cells that did for me what I had hoped. I’m thankful for my hands that I can’t paint with them. I am grateful for my eyes that I have the ability to see all the beauty that is always around me. My lips and teeth feed me, my stomach and intestines process for me, and eliminate toxins and wastes. I work at a job with great kids, and I am happy. Thank you universe for that.

As my Grandfather has said many times: “The wind blows, the rain falls, and the sun rises all so that you may eat, breath, and live. Give thanks…and don’t be cocky.” J