Why 5 Steps to Achieve Happiness Aren’t Going to Serve You!

The thing is, there aren't steps to happiness, less stress, more love, more peace, or anything else.

Everybody's always looking for 5 Steps for tackling stress, anxiety (or whatever else it is they want to ‘fix’). As a society, we are always seeking answers as to how to become more peaceful, how to access more joy, how to experience more love — the list is endless. What strikes me is that we all want the same things.

I came to realise, that it's so tempting, as a writer, to just write for what people want to hear.

Because we want the easy route, don't we? ‘5 Steps to Happy' would be really great if we could just follow five simple things and be instantly sorted. However, I’m going to be bold here, and say that I categorically just can't write that: because not only is the route to happiness not accessible in ‘5 Steps,’ but the thing about happiness is it isn't external!

You see, there's absolutely nothing you can “do”, or change in the external, to be happier, more peaceful, or less stressed and anxious. Now, before you get too depressed about that, hear me out, because what I am going to tell you instead is the profound truth of how you can have anything you want, without following any steps at all!

Whatever You Look to Achieve is Already Your True Nature

The thing is, there aren't steps to happiness, less stress, more love, more peace, or anything else. Why? Because the truth is that these things already exist within you. These things are your innate, default state.

Now you’re curious, right, because you don't understand how if this is true that you aren't feeling wonderful?! There's some resistance in you that says this is a load of nonsense… Pass me the 5 Steps — they were easier!

Perhaps… But when did the ‘5 Steps’ ever truly serve you? Have they helped? Are you happier from decluttering, quitting your job, using a meditation app, goal-setting, running more, or wearing a purple hat (I don’t know that was serious, I made that one up!)? No! You’re not — because there is nothing external that can ‘make’ you happy! Let me explain…

The Truth: There’s Only One Thing to Understand!

The truth is actually far simpler than any external tips can even be. There is actually just one thing to understand, and you can have access to whatever it is that you want — without even trying! 

This one thing is to simply understand that our whole experience of life is entirely thought created. Our entire experience of reality comes from our thinking; our feelings come entirely from thought, and we entirely create our own reality via thought. Underneath all of this thinking, we are already whole and perfect, happy, joyful, peaceful, creative, connected and pure love; it is simply that thought got in the way of you seeing this! The implications of this ‘knowing’ are that in the space of total understanding of this fact, you begin to see not only your own infinite potential, but the whole world’s beauty.

Get Rid of the ‘Steps’: There is Nothing to Do

Now if you’re used to ‘doing’, then you might have heard that we have to change our thinking to be happier — but even that is not true. This insight isn’t about changing our thoughts: it is simply about seeing the fact that we think. All that we need to allow is for ourselves to be conscious of this fact that we think.

The great news about this is that once you can see this wisdom, you see that there is absolutely nothing to do, but understand that this is how life works; via thought! This is the only thing that can help you see the truth and tap back into whatever it is that you want, because it is already there — sitting simply underneath your thinking that it isn’t!

When you sit in the space of knowing that our thoughts are just thought, and that our experience is just our experience, moment to moment, moving through us, and that underneath all of that, we are already perfect, whole and complete — just as we were born — there is a freedom that helps us remember who we really are. There are no ‘steps’ to happiness; there is only one understanding — and it is more profoundly life-changing than any amount of other external advice!


Nicole Barton

Nicole Barton is a passionate Wellbeing Ambassador, adoring all things holistic and natural, with a particular passion for the innovative field of inspirational thought.

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Pammie Day
Pammie Day

I love this Nicole! You are so correct. Sometimes the simpleness of finding your own peace and contentment is the most glorious way. It is not something systematic and regimented. Sometimes the answers lie quietly within ourselves and in being peaceful. Beautiful insight.

Nicole Barton
Nicole Barton

Thanks Pammie. So glad you heard so much much you resonated with in it! That’s so perfect, thank you for sharing.


Great article! Thanks Nicole, so true, once we take ownership of our whole experience, we reclaim our joy!

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