Cultivating Happiness; A 6 Step Guide.


I’m thinking about becoming a farmer….

Cultivating genuine, tangible happiness is not an easy thing to do.

Much like cultivating a plot of land to farm on, to grow and raise crops & livestock, it takes a special process and commitment to create the outcome you’re looking for.

We must open our minds to take on new information. To change our previously held beliefs and to challenge our belief systems. To organise our thoughts and challenges in a way which optimises our outputs in a systematic way.

All farms are built on many little processes and an overarching system . Happy, joyful people are built the same way.

I use the term built because all farms were once just an empty square of land. They had to be cultivated to grow the produce and livestock that we depend on them for. The same goes for our own personal systems of success to build our capacity to live a life of joy. We must cultivate this process with love, care and, above all, patience.

At the end of this short blog post, you’ll have leant the steps required to cultivate happiness, along with the process for cultivating farmland. What you decide to do with this knowledge, is up to you. Knowing is one thing, doing is another.

The 6 Step Process to Farming Happiness:

  1. Identify and prepare the soil – Get to know yourself intimately. Pay attention to how you respond and react to the things that happen to you. Write about it, learn to differentiate between your thoughts, and you. Become aware of who you truly are and what you truly want. Developing awareness is the first step in creating happiness in your life.

  2. Decide on what you’d like to grow – You don’t need a 5 or 10-year plan, but begin to work on your goals and ambitions. Create a direction in which you want to head. Progress isn’t linear, but knowing you’re committing and contributing to something daily will fuel your fire when things get tough.

  3. Prepare the soil for planting – Optimise your awareness by bringing perspective and gratitude to your life. Look at the bigger picture and take some time to learn your craft. Ask questions, reach out to others who are living the life that you want to live and learn from them. Put your ego on the hook; it’ll change how you view the world. Utilise a gratitude practice and when things get tough, focus on what you have, not what you don’t.

  4. Set your boundaries – It’s easy to create momentum by working yourself into the ground, only to slowly burn out and lose all momentum altogether. You’re playing the long game, you’re in this for the rest of your life. You don’t need to take over the world tomorrow, give yourself a couple of years before you give the world domination a crack. Patience is a virtue.

  5. Plant your crops – Now it’s time to take action. Learn by doing, and learn how to fail along the way. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” Not everything you plant will produce a significant yield. But all that you plant will teach you something you did not know before. Reframe how you look at failure and learn by doing.

  6. Optimise your daily process: Milk the cows, clean the pens, plant your crops – The daily routine is your secret weapon for a life of happiness. Jocko Willink reminds us often that Discipline Equals Freedom and he is spot on. But freedom also equals happiness. Being able to choose what you do and how you do it, supported by the daily habits you’ve consistently cultivated.

There you have it, cultivating happiness is less about what you have or where you are, but more about conquering your inner world, taking charge of your life and creating a system for success.

It’s not easy, but it sure is worth it.

A big thanks to Tolstoy (see below) for prompting this blog post