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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.

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11. A Message From Richard Candle

Thank you for visiting IncreaseHappiness.com. Learning these lessons offers the potential for great Pleasure in your life. Unfortunately, failing to learn these lessons, or learning them the hard way, can involve great Pain.

I grew up in a middle-class family in suburban United States. Our family had the usual amount of ups and downs, until I was sixteen. Then, a losing battle with intoxication resulted in severe financial difficulties for my parents.

I would have preferred to continue a normal life, but I was forced to take care of myself. I worked my way through college, at night. And I resolved to learn everything I could about how to live a Happy life.

I devoured every self-help book I could find. Even though I learned much, I felt there was something missing from all of them. Undaunted, I armed myself as well as I could, and launched myself into the world.

There were several times I thought I had it all figured out, only to learn otherwise. The relentless pursuit of a failed business for too long proved the need to Admit Failure. A partner with Weak Values highlighted the importance of Shared Desires. Mishandling employees confirmed the failure of Junk Help.

I learned some expensive lessons, but in the end I prevailed. I have been fantastically successful in both my business and my personal life. I married a wonderful woman who has been my best friend for decades. We have two children who are now Happy, successful adults.

I was able to retire early to enjoy a life of leisure. I have owned motorcycles, boats, and airplanes. I learned water skiing, snow skiing, and cross-country skiing. I climbed mountains with ropes and dived in the ocean with scuba. But I was always nagged by something missing.

I wanted to know: Why?

Why do people make the same mistakes, throughout time and throughout the world? Why do we bring Pain and unhappiness upon ourselves? Why do we not learn?

For that matter, Why do we enjoy sports? Why do we dance? Why do we repeatedly elect leaders who disappoint us? Why have we always had war?

There must be a consistent, universal force that drives us. I wanted to learn what it is. I resolved to develop a unified theory of humanity.

The search took me many years, and through many self-taught disciplines. Philosophy, Economics, Politics, Psychology, Anthropology. They all explain parts of IncreaseHappiness.com, but none of them explain everything. Guided by a lifetime of experience, I pulled them together.

And I distilled the answer: The Survival Syndrome. Survival is the most universal element of life. Instinctive Survival Desires have led us through eons of development into who we are today. Yet they also limit our progress.

I identified three types of Survival: Physical, Mental, and Species. I established how they affect behavior. And I documented how we can overcome their limitations.

Not that I expect everyone to agree. We know Mental Survival causes people to resist new ideas. And experts in social sciences often disagree.

Regardless of consensus, there is common sense. In many cases, IncreaseHappiness.com only tells you what you already know, but perhaps organizes your thoughts to clarify your thinking.

Hopefully, it also guides you on what you can accomplish.

My desire is to share IncreaseHappiness.com with the world, because that will Increase Happiness for me and hopefully for many of you. I am not looking for personal recognition, which is why I chose a pseudonym for my writing. I already have everything anyone could possibly want.

The heroes of IncreaseHappiness.com need to be all of us. We all need to spread the word. I would like you to join the group of like-minded people who believe the world will be a better place when more people Increase Happiness.

IncreaseHappiness.com is a blueprint. Now it is up to us to build the building. The goal is a community of people, learning, helping, and teaching.

Start by joining the people who have subscribed to the Newsletter. Then ask questions, share your experiences, and spread the word. I won't pretend to know all the ways that IncreaseHappiness.com will grow and influence people's lives. But I will thank you in advance for your help.

Richard Candle

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