How Happy Are You? | The Oprah Winfrey Show | Oprah Winfrey Network

♪♪♪♪ -He loves to complain. -Now my makeup artist, Reggie, is going where he’s never gone before. -What am I getting into now? I’m nervous. -Will he come out a changed man? Then, she gave up everything… to do this? -Wow! -Plus, where you live, what you do, how much sex you have, how can you be happier? We’re gonna tell you. Next. ♪♪♪♪ [APPLAUSE] OPRAH WINFREY: Okay. Very nice. We’re live in Chicago. Live. Thank you. We’re live in Chicago today. My pants are too tight. I know that, so you… OPRAH: I didn’t have time to change because we’re live. So those of you who see my pants, you don’t have to write and tell me. I know they’re too tight. OPRAH: I know. We’re the only show that’s live today. Today, we are asking the question, how happy are you? How happy are you? Everyone in this audience and the five people standing with me right now, took a revealing test. And I want you at home to take it too to find out how happy you are. We’re gonna do that in just a few moments. I took it too. And I’ve discovered that I am so happy that if, I, I, really, if there is an afterlife, I really wanna come back as myself. I do. OPRAH: That’s how happy I am. So, audience, do you think you can tell, and those of you at home too, we’re just gonna scan these five people up here, do you think you can tell who is the happiest person in this group? You think you can tell? Do you? Okay. I think I can, too, but I could be wrong. Okay, because I don’t know either. Everyone in this audience has a special high- tech voting device in hand. You have it, right? It’s under your seats. And after we give you a couple of clues about each person, we want you to vote for who you think is the happiest, okay? Those of you at home can do it too. Although, you don’t have the device. Okay. Ready? First up is Peggy. She is a 44-year-old married mother of two teenage sons. Last year, both Peggy’s father and her sister died and her mother is now suffering from Alzheimer’s. She works as a bookkeeper in the family business. That’s Peggy. Now, meet 52-year-old Noreen. Noreen is divorced and the mother of two children in college. She’s an avid swimmer, she works in the operations department of a–major airline. Okay. I can read. OPRAH: Major airline not of a mayor, but of a major airline. Okay. Now, this is 27-year-old Lachelle. She is married with no children. She works two jobs and has two dogs. Last year, four of Lachelle’s friends and two family members died within six months, four and two. Okay. Now, meet David. He’s 53. He’s been a funeral director, looking at dead people… OPRAH: …everyday for 30 years. David is married and has two sons. Funeral director. Finally, Lorrie. She’s been married for 15 years and she has six children. She works in retail and is the vice president of the PTA. Okay, audience? Based on the clues, those of you at home do the same thing, who do you think is happiest? Each, each of you has a pageant, it’s called pageant communications voting device. The numbers start from the left with Peggy, who is number one. So number one, Noreen is number two. Lachelle is number three, David is number four, and Lorrie is number five. Push the button to cast your vote for who you think is the happiest standing here. OPRAH: I can’t move too fast, my pants are tight. ♪♪♪♪ OPRAH: I can’t move too fast, my pants are too tight. OPRAH: Okay. Okay. We’re ready, because they–they tally this really quickly. Have they done it yet, Dean? Because we’re live TV tell them this. That’s so nice, nice of Joe not to pull out and show my tight pants. Are we ready? Stand by? The numbers are gonna come up to us. Okay. Who is the happiest? Peggy, Noreen, Lachelle, David or Lorrie? How am I gonna get the answer, Dean? Okay. The results, oh, oh, David. David. LORRIE: I took second pretty close. OPRAH: Mr. Looking-at-dead-people-all-day? OPRAH: This audience thinks that David, looking at dead people all day, is the happiest person. Okay. I don’t know. What is the answer? Dean, what is the answer? What happens now? We’re on live TV. Somebody tell me. Okay. We’re gonna reveal who really is the happiest in just a moment. But first, how happy are you, audience? The quiz we’re going to give you is one of the most widely used tools in the study of true happiness. There are people who study happiness. And here’s how it works. You have to answer these five questions on a scale of one to seven. Seven would be the highest. Number one, this is the question. Answer this, in most ways, my life is close to ideal. Number two. The conditions of my life are excellent. Number three. I am satisfied with my life. Number four. So far, I’ve gotten the important things I want in life. Number five. If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing. Okay, now. Add up your score, those of you at home. The highest score is 7. You all can add, I know. So if you scored between 31 and 35, you are considered extremely satisfied. Okay? If you scored 15 or below, you are considered dissatisfied with your life, and if you scored somewhere in between, you might have a lot of work to do. OPRAH: You are, you are really feeling bad about yourself. Only 24% of this audience rated themselves as extremely happy. Doesn’t that surprise you? Well, maybe not, because you all voted for yourselves, okay? OPRAH: Okay. 5% of this audience here, you are dissatisfied with your lives and the rest of you are somewhere in the middle. Okay? Where is Lagerne. Lagerne. Okay. You scored a perfect 35 out of 35. Yeah. Stand up. Stand up. And why are you so happy? LAGERNE: I am from Baltimore, Maryland. I am a professor at Goucher College. I teach in the education department. OPRAH: Yeah. LAGERNE: I was a sophomore when you delivered the commencement speech in 1981. OPRAH: I was gonna say, I spoke there in 1981. LAGERNE: Yes, you did. This is my student, Erica Green who’s with me. OPRAH: Wow. You were at the school when I spoke there, right? LAGERNE: I was a sophomore. We shook hands after you delivered the commencement speech in 1981. OPRAH:: Is that you? OPRAH: Girl, is that you? Okay. LAGERNE: And now, each year, for the past four years, I’ve taken my students to Grahamstown, South Africa… OPRAH: Yeah. LAGERNE: …where we teach in the rural schools for one month. We leave this year on May 26th. We’re there until June 24th. OPRAH: Okay. So you get to see how other people live and also makes you feel better about how you live. LAGERNE: Absolutely. I recognize my personal privilege and thank God every day for all the gifts I’ve been given. OPRAH: Oh, that’s amazing. OPRAH: I still have that speech, by the way. When we come back, okay, who scored the highest who scored the lowest, and how we can all be happier. We’re gonna find out if David, Mr.-Looking-at-dead-people-all-day, is, is the happiest. OPRAH: We’ll be right back. Back in a moment. ♪♪♪♪ [APPLAUSE] ♪♪♪♪ [APPLAUSE] OPRAH: We’re live, live, live in Chicago. And our audience just guessed that David is the happiest person of these five people. And we’re talking about how you can be happier in your life because it’s in our constitution, this pursuit of happiness. And Peggy is the least happiest, is what our audience said. So let’s see if they were right. Step forward if you scored, because the highest you can score on this test is 35, right? Right, Robert? DR HOLDEN: Thirty-five. OPRAH: And then the lowest you can score is five. So if you were five, we need to talk to you later on today. So, so step forward if you scored 34 or above. Yeah. OPRAH: Okay. So Dave, looking at dead people, is happy. OPRAH: Peggy, Dave, and Lachelle all scored highest. Here’s how they, now, this is so interesting. I would have voted for you because you were smiling the most. I–I would have voted for you. So, okay, so here’s how they found happiness. LACHELLE: For me, happiness is a conscious effort. It’s about claiming what’s yours. If you want a positive life, you need to think positively and act positively. I do my best not to compare myself with others. I have always felt that what one person has may not be what is destined for me. DAVID: I have little phrases that’s, that I’ve, I’ve developed over the years. I will say it’s a marvelous Monday. It’s a terrific Tuesday. Most people look upon funeral service as being a sad profession. I look upon it as a profession where I’m helping people at a very difficult time in their lives. Being successful in life is not what really matters. Being significant in life is really the core root of what matters. PEGGY: I surround myself with things that make me happy. And we don’t need a lot of money to make ourselves happy. Every morning I have a ritual. After the boys have left, have a good day, we get in the hot tub, and it’s our time. And we talk about what is going on for the rest of the day. It is just our quality time to stay connected. OPRAH: Okay. I’m just curious. Pretty amazing. We’re talking about how happy you are. And by the end of the show we’re gonna give you some specific ideas on how you can actually make yourself happier. This is Dr. Robert Holden. He is founder of the Happiness Project in England and the author of 10 best selling books including “Happiness Now.” Dr. Holden, what are our top scores doing–first of all, you studied happiness. That’s the deal. DR HOLDEN: Yeah. I’m, I did, doctored in psychology of happiness. I’m British and happy. DR HOLDEN: That makes me, life is scientific phenomenon, you know? And also, I’m a psychologist and I’m happy. That’s even more odd. So… OPRAH: Wow. Interesting. Interesting. So, when–when we’re looking at the tape of David, and he was talking about how he doesn’t see it at just looking at dead people but it’s–helping families through a difficult time, you said he’s got the right perspective. DR HOLDEN: Well, I think David, you know, your job just helps you to have a great perspective on life which is we are just here for a short spell and it’s really important to make the most of it. You know, when I listen to people talk about life, they often say, if I die, as opposed to when I die. You know, like, we’re not gonna do it somehow and that we are just always gonna be alive. Well, actually, you know, this time around, we’re here for a short spell. We’ve got to enjoy it. And that’s why I love how you talk about your marvelous Monday, your terrific Tuesday. This is a little sort of, British eccentric thing coming in here, I noticed. But it’s, you, I think you set an intention to enjoy your day and your job gives you a perspective for life. OPRAH: Lachelle scored 34 out of 35 on the happiness test. Dr. Holden say she uses the law of attraction to stay happy. How so? Did you know you were using the law of attraction? LACHELLE: I have always done that. My father always told me to keep like-minded people around me. So that’s what I’ve done ever since college. OPRAH: Really? LACHELLE: Negative out, positive in. OPRAH: Negative out… LACHELLE: Positive in. OPRAH: …positive in. Yeah, I do that, too. Yeah. DR HOLDEN: Yeah, and, Lachelle, basically what I see is that you have chosen to be an optimist. Now, you’ve had some difficult times in your life, you’ve had bad circumstances, but you’ve made great choices. And this is how the law of attraction works. What I, what I found, Oprah, is that, basically, we have beliefs about life. And our perception gathers evidence to prove that our beliefs are right. So an optimist believes that good things can come from bad situations. So your perception now works overtime, looking for what’s the good that come from this. OPRAH: Yeah. DR HOLDEN: And hence… OPRAH: So our perception gathers evidence to make our beliefs right. DR HOLDEN: Exactly. OPRAH: Now, I got that. DR HOLDEN: That’s the function of perception. It’s just to teach us that we are right about everything. Hence, pessimists are right about life, optimists are right about life. OPRAH: Okay. Because it’s all about the way you perceive it. DR HOLDEN: Totally. OPRAH: Okay. Noreen, what was your score? NOREEN: Very low. I think the lowest you could possibly score, I believe. OPRAH: What was yours? NOREEN: What is the lowest possible score? OPRAH: Five. NOREEN: Five. DR HOLDEN: Five. Yeah. NOREEN: I think, I think that day, that’s how I felt, Oprah. OPRAH: Really? NOREEN: Yes. Yes. OPRAH: Okay. I’m going back to the questions. And so, in most ways my life is close to ideal, you wrote what? NOREEN: One. OPRAH: One. Okay. The conditions of my life were excellent. You wrote what? NOREEN: One. OPRAH: One. I’m satisfied with my life. You wrote? NOREEN: One. OPRAH: One. So far, I’ve gotten the important things I want in life. You wrote? NOREEN: One. OPRAH: One. I could– if I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing. You wrote? NOREEN: One. OPRAH: Wow. NOREEN: I know. OPRAH: Oh. NOREEN: Boohoo. OPRAH: You didn’t–how did you score? How did you score, Lorrie? LORRIE: It was an eight or a nine. OPRAH: Eight or a nine. LORRIE: Yeah. OPRAH: Okay. LORRIE: But I’m not surprise that–you were surprised because all day I put on a happy face and people think I’m the happiest person alive. OPRAH: Yeah. LORRIE: It is a big lie. It is. I do it… OPRAH: It’s a big lie. LORRIE: …for my kids and my family because I put them first forever. OPRAH: Yeah. LORRIE: And that’s, so I faked you out, too, Oprah. OPRAH: You did. You real did because I was standing next to you, and your energy, your vibe, which is very interesting, not just what you, what was on your face. But your vibe was that oh, I’m so happy. I’m so excited, Oprah. That’s what I was feeling from you. But obviously, Peggy, you’re happy because… PEGGY: My husband, he is there for me 24/7. He doesn’t only love me, he appreciates me and makes me feel good. OPRAH: Well, that’s the difference how to achieve… OPRAH: Well, Peggy, the, the two kids, all of you who are watching us at home and your stay-at-home moms doing the hardest job on earth, I think that is what is missing for so many women in particular. It’s not, you know, you know your husband loves you, he ‘s paying the bills, and helping take care of the family and all that, but it’s the sense of appreciation. Yeah. Because for me, that’s how you show whether or not you love somebody or not, isn’t it? So that’s a key thing. I think–didn’t a lot of little hairs on your head raise when she said that? AUDIENCE (CROWD): Yeah. OPRAH: I don’t just feel loved, I feel appreciated. Okay. So what can Noreen and Lorrie do and everyone else, anybody else out here scored a five? Fives? You’re not gonna admit it. I see. OPRAH: Okay. What else–what can they do? And it’s interesting that she said, on that particular day. Because let me tell you, on the day that I took, because I don’t think it has to do with the day. “‘Cause the day I took this test, I was really very sad because my, my little dog Sophie, who I’ve had for 12 years, has had kidney failure. And on that day, the doctor told me that I had to put her down. So I was really, but she, I didn’t put her down yet, but I was really very because she’s holding on. She’s holding on. But I didn’t put her down. I was very sad, very sad. And I realized, as I was walking, I was literally walking around crying because of Sophie, and then I realized I could change the way I felt about it. That I could think about all the wonderful times that I’ve had with her and what a comfort she’s been in my life. And it changed the way I felt about it. DR HOLDEN: Oprah, you make such an important point because I think, for happiness, a lot of times we’re looking outside of ourselves… OPRAH: Yeah. DR HOLDEN: …for everything to be right. OPRAH: For what’s going on today. DR HOLDEN: Yeah, exactly. OPRAH: Yes. Yeah. DR. HOLDEN: But when you talk about happiness, I think you are really talking about joy.. OPRAH: Joy, that’s exactly… DR HOLDEN: You’re talking about something that’s inside you. And it’s in there regardless of how your day is and what’s going on in your life. And this is the big secret to happiness. What I find is, is when people remember that there’s a place in them where they’re already happy and they can connect to that place, then, you know, that’s the key to happiness ultimately.. OPRAH: But how can you remember that you’re already happy if you’ve never connected to that place? DR HOLDEN: Well, that’s exactly true. Most of us haven’t had the education or the example to show us that actually there is this innate happiness just waiting for us to make contact with it.. OPRAH: And where is it? DR HOLDEN: Well, that’s a really good point, you know? OPRAH: Yes. Noreen would like to know to, where is it. NOREEN: Right. OPRAH: Where is it? NOREEN: I would like to know. DR HOLDEN: Somewhere right in the middle of your heart, Noreen, is where it really is. Noreen, I’ve been reading up on you. I’ve been reading your mail. And what really occurs to me is, the thing that struck me the most is you are such a good person. NOREEN: Thank you. DR HOLDEN: That was the thing that really occurred to me first up. But I realized that, you know, you’ve not made some of the best choices in your life in the past. NOREEN: That’s what it is. DR HOLDEN: Yeah. Poor choices. Poor choices. And those choices, I think, have been motivated really by, like a lack of what I’d call self-acceptance, which is where we somehow don’t believe we deserve anymore than what you have. And the way the law of attraction works is that as we increase our self-acceptance, we attract more happiness. We accept it. It’s easier. So I really feel for you. You know, its like, you need to surround yourself with people who know how great you really are. And today’s the day to begin to make some new choices. And… OPRAH: But doesn’t’t she need to know that herself first? DR HOLDEN: Totally. But I think it’s also great to have some friends around you who can remind you because we do forget. We do forget. NOREEN: I feel like I’m on the road at this day. DR HOLDEN: You know, I feel like this is day one now for you. NOREEN: I do. I feel like I’m starting. DR HOLDEN: It’s never too late. That’s the thing. NOREEN: I can feel it. I can feel it. OPRAH: Okay. DR HOLDEN: It is never too late to be happy. OPRAH: Okay, we’re talking about Lorrie when we come back. And some more clues on how you can begin to change your perception of what it means to be happy. And also, you’ re gonna meet the man, my make-up artist. I love him, but he loves to complain. OPRAH: Can an unusual new exercise help Reggie Wells, make up to one star, put on a happy face. We’ll see next. ♪♪♪♪ [APPLAUSE] ♪♪♪♪ [APPLAUSE] OPRAH: I know. I started out the day, my pants are too tight and the blood’s circulation is… OPRAH: …being cut off in my seat. Please don’t mind me. We’re live in Chicago talking about how you can be happier. And I was just saying to Robert Holden, who’s a doctor, has a doctorate in happiness. He’s–has developed the Happiness Project and studies happiness and how people can be happier. I was just asking you, what did you think of the secret? And you said… DR HOLDEN: Yeah. Well, I think the secret is based on some very timeless principles. And it starts with a very wild idea, which is actually the physical world. It doesn’t really exist. It’s a mental world. OPRAH: Mm-hmm. DR HOLDEN: And actually, we project ourselves onto the world. This is the key. We project what we think we deserve onto the world. OPRAH: And I was saying that, you know, when we have done the secret on this show, I had said that I’ve been, I’ve been living my life this way for many years, since 1985, actually, when I first started to see that the world around me wasn’t really what I though it was, and that there was an interior world. And that things did not live outside of me, things live inside of me. And that’s how you created the outside. And you said, you were 18. DR HOLDEN: Yeah. OPRAH: You started discovering it at 18. I was late. DR HOLDEN: I have my first like spiritual teacher then… OPRAH: Yeah. Really? DR HOLDEN: 18. OPRAH: Yeah. DR HOLDEN: Absolutely. OPRAH: And what did your spiritual teacher tell you? DR HOLDEN: Well he said, look, actually, Robert, you’re already happy. And I said, well, that’s great but I don’t feel it. So tell me, what do I have to do? And he said, you have to understand that the pursuit of happiness can–is a mistake. It’s like you do not chase happiness out there. You learn that you’re happy inside you, and then you go running, then you go into the world. OPRAH: What if you don’t feel it, though, because I think that’s what Noreen and Lorrie are saying. Lorrie who’s been married for 15 years and has six children, like so many of you taking care of your family, sacrifice yourself, scored 15 out of 35 on our happiness test. OPRAH: Lorrie says that people often mistake her for being happy, even I did, I would’ve voted her as the most happy up here because she puts on the face. DR HOLDEN: Exactly. Lorrie, you scored a five, I think. LORRIE: No, 15. OPRAH: Fifteen. DR HOLDEN: Fifteen. Excuse me. Okay, fifteen. OPRAH: Noreen was five. DR HOLDEN: Here is what I think, is firstly, you’re amazing. You have six children. You know, you’re vice president of PTA… OPRAH: Anybody with six children has to be already. DR HOLDEN: Yeah. I mean, that is amazing. OPRAH: Six children and you are engaged with your children. LORRIE: Yeah. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. OPRAH: Participating in your children’s lives. LORRIE: Very. OPRAH: That’s a bravo right there. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah, really. OPRAH: That’s a bravo right there. Huge. Huge. Six or two or three or one. Yeah, okay. DR. HOLDEN: And not just that, you’re getting your VP of the PTA, you’re a room mom at school, you’re on the home association. So this is what I’m thinking. as you’re so good at helping everybody else, I think you are in danger of leaving yourself out of your own life. Yeah? LORRIE: Absolutely. DR. HOLDEN: I think that’s the key. And so what we have here is like a classic, but I call a martyr ethic, which is where we’re putting everybody else first instead of ourselves. And here’s the big secret around this one for you, and I think this is the think that can really help you to change. Your happiness is your gift to your family. Your happiness is your gift to your family. I know you so want your children to be happy, and I tell you this, you can’t just tell them to be happy, you show them with your example. And that’s the big key. So, you know, we’ve got to start putting yourself first. And… A good, good idea. Yeah. LORRIE: (Unintelligible). DR. HOLDEN: I think you, yeah. OPRAH: Because isn’t it true that children don’t learn from what you, as much from what you tell them, but they learn from what you demonstrate to them. DR. HOLDEN: It’s, yeah. OPRAH: You know, you can tell them, tell them, tell them, but it’s the action that really teaches your children how to be. DR. HOLDEN: It’s the example. OPRAH: And so if you’re unhappy in your life… DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. OPRAH: …that’s what your children will pick on. DR. HOLDEN: Totally. It’s the example. You know, kids, you know, they’re just here, blah, blah, blah, blah, you know? LORRIE: It’s true. DR. HOLDEN: And, yeah, but the example is the big thing. And so, you know, I think, yeah, it starts actually with asking your family to help you. Now, this is such a big thing because martyrs don’t like to ask for help. Yeah? LORRIE: Absolutely. OPRAH: I was gonna say that. That’s gonna be hard for her to do it. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. OPRAH: For all the other mothers out there… DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. OPRAH: …who, you know, support our show and are watching… DR. HOLDEN: It’s so difficult for us, but we have to remember that if we’re alive, we need help. OPRAH: Okay. But this is the thing… DR. HOLDEN: Yeah? OPRAH: …I think the perception of a lot of mothers, because, and I’m in no way comparing raising dogs to children, but I remember when I got my three puppies two years ago, I felt like, well, I did it. So now. I’m gonna have to do this all by myself. DR. HOLDEN: Yes. OPRAH: I’m not gonna ask anybody to… DR. HOLDEN: You have. OPRAH: I mean this is just dogs. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah.
OPRAH: I thought I’m gonna do, You know, I’m gonna be responsible. I don’t wanna be one of those people that now has to get help. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. OPRAH: You know, for three puppies at one time, which I really needed it. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. Yeah OPRAH: I really needed it. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. OPRAH: I ended up sleep deprived and crazy. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. OPRAH: And just a regular bitch, I can’t tell you. DR. HOLDEN: I know. I know. LORRIE: That’s me. OPRAH: Because, you know, being so, you know… LORRIE: You just described me. OPRAH: …aggravated. being so aggravated because of it. Yeah. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. And I think the big mistake here, and it’s a common one, is that we try to do our lives by our self. And, you know, the whole point is there are six billion people on the planet. So there’s someone here to help. And it’s probably someone nearby. And you know, the greatest gift we can give to other people is to accept their help. Yeah, because, you know… OPRAH: Wow. DR. HOLDEN: …it’s like people feel loved when you say, could you help me? OPRAH: They feel needed. DR. HOLDEN: They do. OPRAH: They feel like there’s something they can do in your life. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. OPRAH: Yeah. Absolutely. DR. HOLDEN: So, it’s time to stop being a super mum and be a regular mum. OPRAH: This is what I love, didn’t you all love when Robert Holden said this, that you are in danger of taking yourself out of your own life? DR. HOLDEN: Yeah, it’s–you are living for everyone else. OPRAH: When we come back, my makeup artist, Reggie Wells, goes on a search for happiness. And we know you can’t find it outside of yourself. OPRAH: He’s searching, anyway. ♪♪♪♪ [APPLAUSE] ♪♪♪♪ [APPLAUSE] OPRAH: Well, so–that–it’s in our constitution. You were saying that your spiritual teacher told you, Robert, many years ago, that you can’t pursue happiness, that you are already happy. And then, you go out and do whatever it is that makes you feel fulfilled, or whatever. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. OPRAH: But it’s in our constitution. DR. HOLDEN: Yes. We have to handle it right. Because, you see, it’s like if we forget that happiness is within us, and no matter how much we pursue it, we’ll always feel like we’re further away from it. That’s right. Yeah. OPRAH: And this is what’s so interesting, is there’s something called destination… DR. HOLDEN: Oh, yeah. Destination addiction. If you’re a psychologist, you have to invent an illness, so I invented an illness called destination addiction. DR. HOLDEN: Destination addiction is where you live in the not now. It’s always about tomorrow, so you’re chasing more, next, and there. And you promise yourself that when you get there, you’ll be happy. And I promise you, you won’t because you’ll always set another destination to go for. OPRAH: Yeah. Okay. So then this leads you to my makeup artist, Reggie Wells… DR. HOLDEN: Mm-hmm. OPRAH: …who I just adore. He’s been with me forever and… REGGIE WELLS: Yeah. OPRAH: …yeah, really, and, you know, beats my face every morning and helps me look somewhat normal in front of the camera. But he is the worst complainer. OPRAH: And–I mean, he complains-like, a couple of weeks ago there was a minister on who gave him this bracelet… REGGIE: Oh. OPRAH: …to try to help him, remind him to stop complaining. And every time you complain, you’re supposed to change it. Well, he complained so much that he was, like, getting whiplash from changing… REGGIE: Yeah. REGGIE: I just kept it on one arm because I was getting–but you know what? This thing actually helped. OPRAH: Okay. So, what he was just saying… REGGIE: Mm-hmm. OPRAH: …about destination, what did you call it? Destination… DR. HOLDEN: Destination addiction. OPRAH: Okay. So, this is a perfect example. For years, Reggie used to say to me, I just want a house. I want a house. I just want my own house. I want my own house. Yes, I did. So, he said, I want my own house. REGGIE: (Unintelligible). OPRAH: I want my own house, so he gets the house. REGGIE: Right. OPRAH: Big, beautiful house. REGGIE: Beautiful home. OPRAH: Beautiful home. And now, he’s like, I said, but the thing about the house is, you’re gonna have to furnish the house. Well, I don’t care about furniture. I’ll take the furniture I have. I’ll be just as happy… REGGIE: I’ll be just as happy. OPRAH: …just to have my own house, to have my little yard and my front porch. Isn’t that what you said? REGGIE: My back lawn. Yeah. My little porch. OPRAH: That’s what you said. REGGIE: (Unintelligible). OPRAH: Okay. He gets in the house, and then, what is he complaining about? I don’t have any furniture. I don’t have any furniture. OPRAH: You know, I wish my bedroom was done. REGGIE: I’m lonely. I don’t have nobody to live with. (Unintelligible). OPRAH: Okay. And I said, get a dog. Okay. So, when we heard about an unusual new exercise that promises to make people happier, because he is Mr. Destination, happiness… REGGIE: Right. Uh-huh. Addiction. OPRAH: …destination-addicted, we sent Reggie to check it out, Mr. Complainer. REGGIE: Hey, Oprah, what am I getting into now? Oh, my God. I don’t know if I’m afraid or nervous or just plain scared about what’s gonna go on. But let’s see what it’s about. Come on. OPRAH: We sent Reggie, our resident skeptic, to test out laughing yoga, first developed in India by a medical doctor. It is now practiced in 53 countries. REGGIE: Laughing the yoga, can I get rid of this? I hope so. Come on. Oh, look, a little strange to me, almost a little goofy. But you know what? Let me get started. OPRAH: Jeffrey Briar is one of 60 certified laughter yoga instructors in this country. JEFFREY: Thank you for joining us for this session of laughter yoga. What we’re gonna do here is we’re gonna be doing is laughing as a form of exercise. REGGIE: Okay. JEFFREY: We’ll start with nothing, and then we’ll just laugh for absolutely no reason, and watch you feel better. OPRAH: Our resident cynic, my makeup artist, Mr. Reggie Wells, is not quite convinced. REGGIE: What the hell am I doing? JEFFREY: Big breath up. REGGIE: Okay. JEFFREY: And gently relax as you go down (unintelligible). REGGIE: Oh, my God. Oh. JEFFREY: So, this is the one that people do all over the world. We call it lion laughter. Have fun. Ready, pounce. This one is called naughty, naughty. The next laughter exercise we’re gonna do is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. REGGIE: Wow. Look, I’m sweating already. JEFFREY: Laughter relives all the negative effects of stress. It strengthens the abdominal organs. It will help you get those six-pack abs we’re all looking for. REGGIE: I’m exhausted. I’ve been doing this 20 minutes, and I’m exhausted. Oh, my God. OPRAH: Is it possible that Mr. Complainer of all time himself has a change of heart? REGGIE: Oh. it’s a little hot, though. OPRAH: Oh, boy. We’ll talk to Reggie about that experience when we come back. It did look a little goofy to me. REGGIE: It looks goofy at first. OPRAH: It’s goofy at first? REGGIE: First. OPRAH: Okay. We’ll talk about that. ♪♪♪♪ [APPLAUSE] ♪♪♪♪ [APPLAUSE] OPRAH: So, we’re talking about how you can become happier in your life and what is the source of real happiness. It really–you already are. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. OPRAH: Aren’t–but some people may think, I’m really not. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. That’s true, but it’s like-it’s a mistake we make. And actually, we just have to look inside ourselves a bit more to understand that we were created happy. OPRAH: Oh, okay. DR. HOLDEN: That’s the key. Now, that, that takes a bit of practice, maybe laughing yoga does it. OPRAH: Okay. Did laughing yoga do it for you? REGGIE: Laughing did it for me. But what I found out, if we grow up in this world, and we forget how happy we were at one time, you get caught up with everything else, your family, your children, and everything else. I even got caught up in my life, which I thought by having everything would make me feel better. But what I found out is that you can bear your own happiness. There’s a song called “Walking Happy.” OPRAH: Yeah. REGGIE: When you’re walking happy, don’t the whole world look fine? Doesn’t the whole world look fine when you’re walking happy? And I had to walk into that laughter very depressed. OPRAH: You were depressed when you went there? REGGIE: I was very depressed when I went there. It was a Saturday just before Easter. I was lonely. And when I found out I wasn’t lonely. OPRAH: Well, let’s tell the people why you’re so lonely. REGGIE: I’m so lonely because I lost a friend… OPRAH: Yeah. REGGIE: …my friend for 25 years. OPRAH: He had a partner for 25 years. REGGIE: I did. OPRAH: This is the thing, can I say this on television? REGGIE: Go ahead. OPRAH: Okay. The thing was he thought getting the house would make the relationship better. And a lot of people make this mistake. They think having a child will make the relationship better. You go, once we get the big house and we’re living in the suburbs, everything will be perfect. REGGIE: With the drapes, with the nice drapes. OPRAH: With the drapes. He wanted the drapes. OPRAH: With the nice drapes, and everything will be perfect. REGGIE: Right. OPRAH: And what happened is his partner left… REGGIE: Yeah. OPRAH: Because the partner didn’t want the responsibility of the house. JEFFREY: I had noticed when we were signing for the house he was sweating like a (unintelligible). OPRAH: I told you that was gonna happen, though. Who told you? Who told you? Who told you that… REGGIE: You said it. You said it. OPRAH: I said it’s gonna happen because you cannot, you cannot create happiness through material things. And everybody thinks… REGGIE: That’s true. OPRAH: …if I get a bigger house, if I get a bigger this, if I have a bigger car, if I do the thing, I’ll be happier. And he is a perfect example of it. REGGIE: Well, out of that, though… OPRAH: Yeah. REGGIE: …yes, let’s take it a little further. He’s been gone now a year and a half. I have changed. I feel good about myself again. I’m a great person, and I love that. So when I walked in that exercise… REGGIE: Thank you. Thank you. OPRAH: Yes. Yes. No, you’re beginning to see that. REGGIE: I’m beginning to see the light. OPRAH: You’re beginning to see it. REGGIE: I’m beginning to see it. OPRAH: You still have a ways… REGGIE: I have a ways to go. OPRAH: Yeah. REGGIE: And I think a lot of people in this audience have a way to go too. OPRAH: Yeah, absolutely. REGGIE: Let me tell you something about finding happiness is the hardest thing. OPRAH: So, but, then let’s go back to the class. REGGIE: Go back to the–go ahead. OPRAH: Well, it looked a little goofy to us. REGGIE: It was very goofy. OPRAH: All right. REGGIE: It was very goofy. But in the beginning, I found out that these people, if those people were that much into it, you can’t fake a laugh, after a while it gets ridiculous, so once you got into it… REGGIE: …everybody started to move. I was hugging people I never hugged before. I was laying down on the floor… OPRAH: So, did you feel better when you left the class? REGGIE: Oh, it felt so–stress lifted from my soul. OPRAH: Yeah. REGGIE: Just lifted from my body. So Easter Sunday, I e-mailed you… OPRAH: Yes. REGGIE: …and told you how wonderful (unintelligible). OPRAH: What a great day you had. Yeah, you did. REGGIE: …because I felt so much better. OPRAH: Thank you. We’ll be right back. ♪♪♪♪ [APPLAUSE] ♪♪♪♪ [APPLAUSE] OPRAH: I thought you had an interesting thing to say about Reggie. What were you saying? DR. HOLDEN: Yeah, one of the things I noticed about people who are chronic complainers… OPRAH: Yeah. DR. HOLDEN: …is that actually underneath that complaining, there is a fear of happiness. And I call it happycondria . And this fear of happiness is where you actually are afraid if things get so good, there will be a fall, there will be a price, there’s a cost to it. So actually, rather than have everything be perfect and fall, I’ll have it be quite good and complain. Quite good and complain. OPRAH: Yeah. DR. HOLDEN: Quite good and complain. OPRAH: And Reggie falls into that category? DR. HOLDEN: I think so. I think… OPRAH: Yeah. DR. HOLDEN: He falls into that category. Reggie’s got to dare to let life be great. And let it-and trust the– he’s got to trust almost that happiness can happen… OPRAH: Okay. DR. HOLDEN: …and that it can last. OPRAH: Okay. Well, this is- Could you be happy after taking a 90% pay cut? You think you could? You think no. Talk about a leap of faith. It takes a leap of faith to do that. Watch this. LIZ: I was one of the youngest female vice presidents in my division. OPRAH: By the time she was 29, Liz Heinrick was a banking executive on Wall Street. LIZ: I made a lot of money. A traditional definition of success that had a lot to do with material things. OPRAH: But after eight grueling years, Liz says she knew she was not on the road to happiness. LIZ: I felt proud, but the work wasn’t inspiring me. I didn’t have passion for that work. I felt like I had to stifle parts of myself in order to be what Wall Street wanted from me. I felt like I was playing a corporate character, like it wasn’t coming from inside of me who I really am. OPRAH: Liz said she knew that making a big change meant taking an even bigger risk. LIZ: I was about to turn 30 and I realized it was time for me to live the life I wanted for myself, not the life that other people wanted for me. It’s not making me happy to sit here at this desk anymore. I cannot blame anyone else for my unhappiness. I completely believe that life is short, you do not get a second chance. I was standing at an edge, and for me, it was time to jump. OPRAH: And jump she did. And look at what she’s doing now. Look. ♪♪♪♪ [APPLAUSE] ♪♪♪♪ OPRAH: Wow. [APPLAUSE] OPRAH: Oh, Liz, that’s beautiful. That’s beautiful. Beautiful. Great job. LIZ: Thank you. OPRAH: Liz went from being a vice president of a bank, okay, to working full time as a trapeze artist. And she says you’ve never been happier. LIZ: I love it. And I’m so happy. And it was so rough the first year that I came out and it took about a 90% cut in my salary, but what I kind of I realized during this process at the same time is that my salary was a small part of my compensation. And, really, I love being on the trapeze. The feeling of floating in my soul that I get is not just physically being in the air, but it’s–for me, it’s like laughter in my heart. OPRAH: Mm-hmm. LIZ: And it’s hard to quantify that fulfillment that comes with it, but I think it greatly exceeds the compensation that I sacrificed. OPRAH: Really? LIZ: I definitely-I believe that. OPRAH: Greatly exceeds the compensation that you sacrificed. So this is interesting. When you’re holding yourself up like that, are you using your abs to hold yourself up? LIZ: Oh, it’s a lot of core… OPRAH: A lot of core? LIZ: …with some back and some… OPRAH: Yeah. LIZ: And it’s-being involved in trapeze has really helped my body and my fitness and my overall health as well. It’s just a lot less sedentary than sitting in a desk. OPRAH: Would you have thought if this have been, you know, five years ago, when some said to you, you know, if you take a 90% pay cut, you could be happier? Would you thought that possible? LIZ: I definitely believe that there would be a set of circumstances that would exceed the ones that I was in. OPRAH: Really? LIZ: And I felt like I’ve always loved gymnastics and going to the gym… OPRAH: Yeah. LIZ: …and moving around, being in the air, physical activities. So, yeah, I believe it, it’s… OPRAH: Yeah. And speaking of law of attraction-for everybody who’s watching this right now and you are so miserable in your job, that’s what this is here for, is to tell you that you can make a change. We’ll be right back. ♪♪♪♪ [APPLAUSE] ♪♪♪♪ [APPLAUSE] OPRAH: In a study conducted by Nobel Prize winning researchers at Princeton, 900 women were asked to keep a journal of their daily activities and report on how they felt while doing those things. It turns out that the five most positive activities for these women were sex, socializing, relaxing, praying or meditating, and eating. Surprisingly, taking care of children ranked below cooking and only slightly above housework. OPRAH: I was very surprised by that. GROUP (AUDIENCE): Yeah. OPRAH: Weren’t you? Yeah, ’cause I hear so many women complaining about sex but, obviously, they’re liking it. OPRAH: Yeah, and I would have thought that childrearing would have been like high on top of the list, but… DR. HOLDEN: Me, too. OPRAH: Yeah. DR. HOLDEN: But, you know, when it comes to sex-this is difficult for me because I’m British… OPRAH: Yeah. DR. HOLDEN: …and we don’t have sex. OPRAH: Well, that’s the word, anyway. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah, we stopped in Victorian times. OPRAH: In Victorian times, yes. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. We’ve just been outsourcing ever since. OPRAH: Outsourcing. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. So… OPRAH: I love what you had to say about Liz, though. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. Well, Liz just struck me that you made such a courageous decision, which is to really follow your joy. But you know what? As much as it’s a risk to follow your joy, I think it’s more of a risk not to do it because, otherwise, I think we almost die before we die. OPRAH: You, you agree, right? LIZ: Completely. OPRAH: I love that, we die before we die. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. OPRAH: And there are so many people watching us right now who are in positions that take a little bit of their spirit and they die a little bit every day because you’re… DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. OPRAH: …in a job that you hate. You’re dealing with people every day, surrounded by bosses that don’t respect you and treat you badly… DR. HOLDEN: Hmm. OPRAH: …and so you die a little bit. Die before you die, I’ve never heard it put that way before. DR. HOLDEN: Yeah, and I think one of the big keys in the workplace is the key to happiness is not to have a job, it’s to have a purpose. There’s a big difference. OPRAH: Yes. DR. HOLDEN: And actually, you know, if leaders in the workplace were to be really smart, they would make sure that they supported people in having a purpose, rather than just a job. OPRAH: Yeah. DR. HOLDEN: ‘Cause when you’ve got a purpose, I think you feel like you’re making a difference. OPRAH: Right, DR. HOLDEN: And it’s back to the idea of David, it was your point of significance. OPRAH: Yes. DR. HOLDEN: You’ve got a significant life now because you’re making a contribution… OPRAH: Yeah. DR. HOLDEN: …in doing something (unintelligible). OPRAH: Actually, I was speaking at some university once and that was the subject of my speech. I was saying that you should not focus on success, but focus on significance, and focusing on significance. How do you be significant in the world? How do you make significant contributions? First to yourself… DR. HOLDEN: Yeah. OPRAH: …then to your family and community, and then the world. And if you focus on that… DR. HOLDEN: Hmm. OPRAH: …then success automatically comes. DR. HOLDEN: Completely true. OPRAH: Yeah. DR. HOLDEN: And I think also, you know, the key to happiness is when you support other people in being happy. OPRAH: Yeah. DR. HOLDEN: It feels good. OPRAH: That’s right. OPRAH: What can you begin to do today? DR. HOLDEN: Okay. Here’s my philosophy. Anybody who has made it to the age of 30 already has enough reasons to be miserable for the rest of their life. DR. HOLDEN: So what we have to learn to do is we have to learn to let go of our past. We have to give up our all hopes for a perfect past. Let the past go. It’s gone. Here’s the first thing, after that, you know, one thing, take a vow of kindness. OPRAH: A vow of kindness. DR. HOLDEN: A vow of kindness. Be kinder to yourself and to others. OPRAH: Great. DR. HOLDEN: Okay? OPRAH: Okay. Dr. Holden’s book is called “Happiness Now.” Great. Thank you for being on our show today. DR HOLDEN: Thank you. Wonderful. OPRAH: You were wonderful. I’m going to take my pants off.

Author: Kevin Mason

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *