The True Path: Learning
Learning is the only true path to happiness. I will admit that even writing these posts has greatly increased my mood. Learning about these topics consistently keeps them fresh in your mind and helps you to actually use them in your everyday life. Plus, learning is the only way to realize that there is a problem (unnecessary suffering) at all. Like all subjects, it is best to start at the fundamentals. What happiness is, ways to cultivate it, the fact that it is already inside you at all times, and how to cultivate compassion. There is so much more to learn. To cultivate happiness, there has to be a conviction to change. The path to this change is knowledge. The path to this knowledge is learning.
To keep this mental change permanent it is most important, just as in any other skill, to reinforce the fundamentals. Remembering what happiness is, that gratitude can cultivate it, compassion can cultivate it, and that all of these are conscious choices you can make to enhance your happiness are the mental models that need to be reinforced in your mind. When your mind starts to operate on these basic truths, everything else will find a place within it. This method is not limited to happiness. This is an effective method to increase any skill. Start with the fundamentals, and build up. Then, go back and reinforce the fundamentals. Great athletes practice their fundamentals constantly and consistently, some even obsessively. Simplify the information you take in to a childlike state and it will stay with you longer. And remember, smile for no reason. Faking it really does make it.