The Anatomy of Extreme Happiness

Extreme happiness seems to creep up on us.  On our best days we recognize that we are experiencing something truly rare but typically it rolls by us we acknowledge it only as a memory.

Watch this next video for two reasons:  1) You want to laugh yourself silly.  2) You want to see what extreme happiness looks like when it is caught on camera and learn how to experience it more frequently.

Extreme Happiness Video Background:

My Norwegian is rusty (aka – non-existent) but here is roughly what transpired.  Aleksander Gamme set out to walk to the South Pole and back.  As he trekked out he left surpluses of supplies along the way marked by flags.  He created a video-diary of portions of his expedition.  This video was shot on day 86 when he arrived at his second to last stash on his route back.

Let’s unpack this video by the numbers.

Extreme happiness is born out of hope

00:28:  Exhausted, weighing dozens of kilos less, Aleksander is willing to accept whatever he finds but there is a sound in his voice and an urgency to his motions to find what he himself left.

Extreme happiness is often the fruits of long and diligent work.

00:38:  Aleksander pauses and takes a second to tell the camera where his efforts brought him.  Whether it was a sporting event that you trained for, putting your child through college, or the passing of an exam.  Supreme satisfaction is the culmination of great effort with no guarantee that you were going to succeed.

Extreme happiness often small, self-created events, not winning the lottery.

00:56:  Cheese Doodles!  The crescendo of the entire video shows Aleksander in awe and disbelief that he has the good fortune of discovering cheese doodles.  His voice exudes the feeling of not being worthy of having such luck.

Extreme happiness leads to uncontrollable physical reactions.

01:02:  When was the last time you screamed at the top of your lungs?  Shook with emotion?  Threw something in the air for no other reason than to throw it?

Extreme happiness has the ability to stop time.

01:17:  Stupefied, minute 01:17 is so perfect because Aleksander appears to be caught in utter disbelief.  It takes a second for it to register that this is really happening to him.  He has to go pick up the Cheese Doodles that he threw to confirm that they are real.

Extreme happiness is self-perpetuating.

Once bitten, a landslide of good feelings can be transferred over to any equally trivial event.  A fruit nut bar (02:12) probably elicits the best scream and candies literally knock him on his back wailing (02:32).  As if this wasn’t enough, the discovery of Mentos equates to proof that God exists.

Extreme Happiness is something we create for ourselves not something that is given to us or done for us.

This is the most important point.  Our collective efforts, while realizing it at the time or not, have the potential of resulting in sudden epiphanies and periods of bliss.  What decisions are you making on a daily or hourly basis that could be the foundation for potential happiness?

Lastly, Extreme Happiness is contagious.

How many times have you watched the video already?  Are you smiling?  Did you forward it to someone?  Extreme happiness offers such a good feeling that we feel the need to perpetuate it and share.

Hallelujah!   Hallelujah!



More on Aleksander Gamme:  Aleksander Gamme, Norwegian Explorer


Scott Prath

Scott has been practicing and teaching tai chi and qigong since 2000. He is a lead instructor for the Austin Chen Tai Chi Association. His interest in the internal martial arts began after traveling in India and Nepal, and he has since traveled to China to train. Scott has published over 100 articles on tai chi with a focus on research showing the benefits of practicing.

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