top of page
  • Writer's pictureStephen Hart

Hacking Happiness

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

This article was inspired by a process that I discovered recently at a time when I really needed it. It has been instrumental in helping me feel better when I get stuck in a rut and therefore was worth sharing. I hope this helps!


Where your attention goes, grows.

A friend shared this idea with me several years ago, and it made a profound impact on my life. At the time, I was dealing with a very stressful situation, having been ripped off by people that I trusted. I was angrier than I had ever been, and I felt hurt and invalidated.

When something intense happens in your life, it is hard not to think about it. Not thinking about something is almost impossible. Going back to that old psychology trick, “try not to think about a red elephant,” it is impossible not to picture a red elephant.

So, instead of trying not to focus on something and push it out of my awareness, I learned to focus my attention on something else. At the time, my business was on the precipice of success or failure, a real turning point, so instead of focusing on what I had just lost, I put all of my attention into what I had right in front of me. Slowly the anger faded, and I found balance in my emotional well-being once again.

Fast forward 5 years to 2022, when losing my fiancee became the biggest obstacle to my well-being that I’ve ever faced, making this past instance look like a speed bump. The first few stages after the loss were very focused on grieving, recollecting the love energy, and reconfiguring my life to move forward without my person by my side. Then there came a transitionary time where I oscillated back and forth from sadness and disbelief to a sense of normalcy.

It is a confusing and challenging time because some days I felt great, and others I felt terrible. Feeling good, I allowed my life to get busy with work, people, and normal life stuff, instead of on focused daily grieving like over the past several months. Seemingly randomly, these terrible days would sneak up and knock me off track, sink me into a rut, and make me feel like I’ve regressed.

I returned to prioritizing my spiritual practice and discovered exactly what I needed for this new phase of my life. Here is what I’ve learned and have been practicing recently:

We all have different parts of our life that we are happy with and others that we are unhappy with. We might be happy with our relationship but unhappy at work. We might be happy at work but unhappy with our physical appearance. We might be happy with our appearance but unhappy with our family dynamic.

If you are truly happy with every aspect of your life at all times, good for you, you can stop reading here and go enjoy your life. For the rest of us, we are somewhere on the happy-to-unhappy spectrum in all aspects of our life.

Looking at it this way, each side of the spectrum has momentum. If you feel bad about something, there is momentum toward “badness.” For example, if you are single and unhappy with being single, you may have thoughts like “I am unlovable,” “I am unattractive,” “I am unworthy of a partner,” etc. Your mind, the little trickster that it is, will look for reasons to keep you unhappy about being single by stacking negative thinking on top of negative thinking. This creates momentum toward the bad end of the spectrum.

The thing about momentum is that the more you have, the harder it is to shift in the opposite direction. Like a train heading to the east, forcing it to go west on the same track without the ability to slow it down, stop, and then change direction will be very jarring and destructive.

What I’ve discovered is the spectrum of everything in your life is connected to everything else, like a bundle of sticks. Where one side of the bundle is the good side and the other is the bad. The hack that has been groundbreaking for me is to use the energy of other things in my life that feels good to lift the energy of those things in my life that feel bad.

For example, I love soccer. Love it. Played all my life, still do, and I’m pretty good at it. It is my ultimate release, where I feel most alive. Even thinking about it gets me excited. Among other things like my dog, surfing, yoga, and nature, I can always tap into the positive energy I associate with soccer.

At times, I get stuck in a heavy energy about being 35 years old and having to start all over after being so close to having the life and family I wanted with Karina. The momentum starts picking up in the wrong direction, and my mind says things like, “you’ll never find love again,” “you are too damaged to be worthy of a partner,” “you will feel this way forever,” etc.

When I’m self-aware and see this happening, I’m learning to shift my attention to something good. In my case, soccer. I think about how good it feels to play, the joy of scoring a goal, the freedom of running the field, and the athletic creativity I get to express. This way of thinking brings a good energy, a lightness, an excitement into my body.

I’ve learned to shift that good energy onto my relationship spectrum. Doing so helps me to feel confident, secure, and trusting that everything will work out in divine timing. It even brings a sense of excitement to see who the universe will bring me and what I get to learn from meeting new people.

I very much believe in the law of attraction, and positive energy will attract positive energy, so shifting that good energy from soccer to relationships helps to lift my vibration and ultimately aligns me with people who are at that higher vibration.

Understanding and practicing this happiness hack was groundbreaking for me and has been working really well in this phase of my life. All of the ‘good’ things in my life essentially became tools to help all of the ‘bad’ things get better.

It is important to note, however, that this is not a replacement for grieving or the dismissal of negative emotions. As written in my last article, Negative Emotions, negative emotions are vital messengers of our needs. This process is just another tool in the toolbox to help shift energy from negative to positive and enact the law of attraction for any given part of life. It will help shift the momentum towards goodness, especially if you feel stuck or in a rut, and positive momentum is a powerful thing.


If you received any value from this article, please consider making a donation to help Stephen continue this blog and other writing projects. Thank you!



Sign up to receive my weekly post


bottom of page