​Watch the TED talk of our Founder & Personality Coach Maurice Zondag, at TEDx Targu Mures, Romania (2017) about the 5 Sources of Happiness.

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​Transcript of the TEDx talk:

5 years ago I was standing at a crossroad. In front of me, there was a very well lit, straight, well-paved road ahead. Clean, bright, well projected and very clear. It wasn’t very inspiring, but it was clear and obvious.

5 years ago I was standing at a crossroad. In front of me, there was a very well lit, straight, well-paved road ahead. Clean, bright, well projected and very clear. It wasn’t very inspiring, but it was clear and obvious.

To the left, there was this forest. The wind blowing softly through the leaves, the sounds of nature whispering in my ear. The path was dirty, with rocks, mud and sand, and led straight into the forest. Far in the distance, I could see a bright light flickering, through the leaves. It looked exciting this dirt road, but also very scary.

While standing there watching the dirt road and comparing it to the well-paved road in front of me, I told my wife about this crossroad. We were together for most of our adult life, married for more than 7 years and lead a regular life like so many couples do.When she was standing next to me at the crossroad, something amazing happened. It was terrifying at first, but would later be the most important and life-changing moment in my life. We decided to change course and go our separate ways.

We got divorced, and there I was. All of a sudden in this forest, with thick leaves, rain and storms, cold and dirt. Was this what I really wanted? The flickering light in the distance was already gone. I was there all alone, in a wild place, I didn’t know. Suddenly the well-paved road wasn’t so bad at all, non-inspiring as it was, it did feel safe.

I was far away from my comfort zone and was forced to reinvent my life. Who am I? What are my values? What do I like? What makes me… happy?I dug deep, read many books, watched hours of YouTube video’s, inspiring TED talks, talked to many people, I learned so much, that on one day it all fell into its place.

I wanted to be happy. Just that. Is that too much to ask for? I wanted to take control over my own happiness. I know that being unhappy is part of everyone’s life. There can’t be happiness if you’ve never felt unhappy. But I wanted to find a way so I would be always able to create and find my own happiness. How little or big it was.

I realized that I wasn’t alone in my search. In a matter of fact, we all strive for happiness. Rich or poor, young or old. Man or woman. We all have a different perspective on what that should mean, but we all strive for that feeling of happiness. And yet, we’ve never learned how to be happy. There wasn’t a happiness class in high school or university.We’ve been told things like, “go to school, go to university, get a good job and career, start a family and you will be happy”. Well, is that really the case? It wasn’t for me. So I knew I had to dig deeper, to find my answers.

We need to find the fundamentals of our being to discover our happiness. We need to go back to the root of our being to know what is able to create our happiness. Without filling in the blanks for everyone specific, I searched for the source of what makes us happy. I discovered these next 5 sources of happiness, that I will gladly share with you.

The first source is Love. Of course, love. We all want to be loved and we all want to give love. Love is so fundamental, that it is burned in our core system. We search for love in all aspects of life. So knowing how to love, how to find love and how to perceive love, will make us happy.

The second source is Effective Communication. We want to connect to the world around us. And we do that by communicating. Through our words, our language, our body language, and our behavior. If I could learn the right skills so I can connect effectively to my surrounding world, I can find happiness!

The third source of happiness is finding your masculinity or your femininity. So for men that means, how to be a man in a world that is changed to a feminist-minded world, and for women, how to be a woman in this masculine world? If you are able to understand your own being, you are better capable of giving the world it needs. You must learn to know yourself in being the man or woman you are. Which will make you happy. As if the fog has been vaporized from your personality. You can finally be ‘yourself’.

The fourth source is your personal growth. The world around you changes all the time. You need to keep learning to keep up and to create your own spot in the world. By growing mentally, you will find answers to the bigger questions in life. You’ll try to discover your faith, your path, and the big picture. Focusing on your personal growth will give you the tools to be able to combine from the past, the present and the future. It’s remembering, awareness and prediction that will make you grow.

And the last one, the fifth source of happiness, was searching for balance. Balance is a law of nature. There is balance everywhere. But balance is never a clear state. You’re never done. Because once you find yourself in balance, something might happen that will kick you and gets you off balance. Searching balance in your life will keep you sharp, focused and stay in contact with the world you live in ‘today’.

Now, these sources of happiness, love, communication, discovering your masculinity or femininity, personal growth and searching for balance are the 5 areas where you can develop yourself and build your tools that will give you your capability to create your own happiness.So what tools could that be? Good question.

For example, I discovered that for many men there is a particular subject in the source of Love they want to improve on. Which was: “How on earth do I seduce a woman I like?“

It was one of my own questions as well after my arrival in the forest. So I decided to study the men that were good in seducing women and I modeled their skills for me to implement them. And by doing so, I learned the skill as well. And the great extra thing was, that it helped me not only on my source: of Love, it also helped me in discovering who I am as a man. And also in my personal growth. So creating a tool like this in one area can affect other areas as well.

So, how can you learn to be happy? In the darkest days in your life, you might discover you’re having a scarcity of the needed tools to create your happiness, just like I did, arriving in my forest.

Well, the answer is simple. You have to create abundance. An abundance of these tools in your life. Abundance in your capabilities, your growth potential, your peace, your health, wealth, love and then you can create abundance in your happiness.Now, I don’t know where you are in your life at this moment in time. So I honestly cannot tell you what would make you happy.

No one, but you, yourself, can make you happy.

What I can do is take you on your trip to discover your tools in the 5 sources. [How to find the love of your life? How to nail your corporate presentation? How do you improve your dominance as a man, or how do you manage your feelings as a woman? How can you learn how to philosophize? How do you build your daily routine so you find the balance between yourself-time and time to spend on others?

Let me finish my story how I came to my epiphany to the 5 sources. So there I was. Wondering through my forest. I’ve been there for almost two years. Spend all seasons in the forest. I saw the seeds I planted grow into the most beautiful flowers, seen the cold and felt the loneliness. But also the company of many new friends. But sill, I was looking for the bright, flickering light I once saw standing at the crossroad. Did I find it? Well, let me tell you what I found.

On one day I discovered this clear path that lead me to the border of my forest. I was standing there and looked at what was right in front of me. It was a valley with the greenest grass you’ve ever seen, as far as the eye could see, a clear blue sky with the sun shining flickering bright. Inviting me to enter my new path, where I could go anywhere I wanted. Into the light. I realized I had found the tools that helped me through my forest and I was ready to create my new world. So I lifted my foot and stepped into my future, one step at a time.

When you learn the skills, your tools, in all five sources of happiness, you will be able to find your path, to control your life in any aspect. You decide how the tools are created on a path similar as mine. Through a tough, cold and wet forest, or in whatever way you describe your situation. Out of your comfort zone. That changed to a new world where I was inspired by the 5 sources, that grew my comfort zone and lead me to the bright, flickering light.

You learn about Love and Effective Communication, You find your masculinity or femininity, Pursue your Personal growth and keep searching for your Balance. And you will build your tools that will help you to find and create happiness, in every moment of your life.

©Maurice Zondag – February 2017