Table of Contents

The content below was recovered from archive.org
I discovered the amazing increasehappiness.com website in April 2010. When I went back to read it again, I found it was gone and the domain was for sale. So, I purchased it and recreated this website to help others. If you have questions or feedback please email travis at increasehappiness dot com.


1. Increase Happiness

The goal of life is to Increase HAPPINESS, a condition that exists when PLEASURE exceeds PAIN. Pain includes any kind of cost or loss. Pleasure includes any kind of benefit or gain.

How do I Increase Happiness? Make STRONG CHOICES. A Choice is anything you choose to think or do, and you make thousands of Choices daily. Most of them are habitual.

Every Choice is like a basket which contains both Pleasure and Pain. When you pick up the basket, you get everything inside.
A WEAK CHOICE gives you more Pain than Pleasure and reduces your Happiness. A STRONG CHOICE adds more Pleasure than Pain to your life, and Increases your Happiness.

How do I improve my Choices? You can try to change your Choices the hard way – through willpower and determination. Most people have tried that method to lose weight, save money, or break a bad habit. Results are mixed, but often unsuccessful.

A better way to change your Choices is to first change your VALUES. Choices flow from Values. When you improve your Values, you improve your Choices.

You should focus on two types of Values. The first is DESIRES – what kinds of things you like. You instinctively do what you like. Change what you like and you will change what you do.

The second type of Values is EXCUSES. Excuses prevent you from seeing all of the Pains and Pleasures associated with your Choices. Eliminate Excuses and you will see Choices for what they are.

How do I change my Desires? Increase Happiness offers a method to change Desires so you will make Strong Choices. The next step is to AFFIRM DAILY.

What’s the catch? There is a catch and it is part of your nature. It’s the SURVIVAL SYNDROME.

You share something in common with every other living thing: All of your direct ancestors Survived long enough to reproduce. Survival is in your DNA. In fact, Survival is the simplest form of Happiness – to Survive requires more life-helping Pleasure than life-harming Pain.

Survival works on several levels:
SURVIVAL DESIRES are deep-rooted instincts to help meet your needs for Survival. The Survival Syndrome is that even though Survival Desires can Increase Happiness, they can also Decrease Happiness. For example:
The challenge is to change your Desires and overcome the Survival Syndrome. To change your Desires, you need to Affirm Daily.



What kind of Happiness are you talking about? All kinds. Happiness occurs on many levels. You can be Happy about your choice for a snack, or your choice for a spouse. For Choices that affect the rest of your life, the basket contains many Pleasures and Pains that might not be obvious at first. IncreaseHappiness.com will help you recognize opportunities for both shortterm and long-term Happiness.

What if I have a greater goal in life than personal Happiness? Some people are willing to put aside self-gratification for more noble goals. They sacrifice time, money, maybe even personal safety so they might:
Yet, no matter how much Pain you sacrifice, there is always a Pleasure to be gained. The Pleasure might be simply the satisfaction of believing you did the right thing. People who choose great Pains for such Pleasures have admirable Values, but ultimately, they are still in pursuit of their own Happiness.

Many of us are taught that serving others is more important than personal Happiness. What we should have been taught is that serving others is a route to personal Happiness.

What about Choices that involve nothing but Pleasure? Some Choices might seem like pure Pleasure to you, because your Values minimize the Pain. But every Choice involves at least one sacrifice, which is that you could have chosen something else instead. The choice you make will be a reflection of your Values.

What about people who inherit a lot of money? Don’t they get Pleasure without Pain?

Inheriting money is not a Choice. Your life will include various Happy and unhappy events beyond your control. Regardless of your environment, for you to Increase Happiness, you will need to make Strong Choices.

What if I don’t want to be Happy all the time, like when I listen to the Blues? Being Happy is not the same as being giddy. Many people derive Pleasure from melancholy or bitter-sweet emotions. Your Values might be such that even a certain sadness brings you more Pleasure than Pain, and therefore increases a different kind of Happiness.

Does it matter that what is Painful or Pleasurable for one person might not be Painful or Pleasurable for someone else? What you find Painful or Pleasurable also depends on your Values. Regardless of how you compare to anyone else, to Increase Happiness you will need to change your Values by learning to Affirm Daily.

Continue Reading