“To be happy does not mean to stop feeling pain or sadness. Only psychopaths do that . Or the dead, “says Tal Ben-Shahar Professor of Positive Psychology and Leadership Psychology at Harvard, where he majored in Philosophy, Psychology, and Organizational Behavior, but became world-renowned as the man who gave “courses on happiness”. The professor is not a fan of self-help books, or of those who promise eternal happiness in ten steps.

“It’s not easy to have a happy life,” says Tal Ben-Shahar, in a recent interview  “It’s easy to understand what it takes to have a happier life, but it’s hard to consistently and sustainably apply in personal and professional life. And then there is the question of expectations: what is understood as happiness. Suffering, sadness or pain are also part of life. There are only two types of people who do not feel them. The psychopaths and the dead. Having a happy life does not mean having a life without difficulties or suffering. “

Yet there is no better remedy – for life, for business, and for relationships with others – than to be happy. And that depends almost completely on us and on the way we look, interpret, and deal with reality. Yes, because as the professor says, in a subtle reference to the American bestseller, “there is not one secret to happiness. There are three. Reality. Reality. Reality.” “It is from our reality that we have to start, it is with our reality that we have to live, it is what we have to transform, if necessary, but, however unfavorable it may be, we must focus on what goes well and what works and not on what fails or malfunctions. The way this is done is by focusing on the positive. Always.”

Resilience, is a term from engineering that refers to the ability of materials to return to their original form no matter what the impact they suffer, it’s a word we must enter into our mental dictionary, indeed, in our lives. And the sooner we get in our heads, the better. This resilient mindset is essential for achieving happiness and for this you have to be exposed to setbacks, difficulties and frustrations.

It’s not easy, but it’s possible. And it is another of the secrets, after all there were four, to be happy.