Exploring Happiness |Q&A With Author of Happiness Power Ed McCormick

Exploring Happiness |Q&A With Author of Happiness Power Ed McCormick

While searching online, I found Ed McCormick and his book Happiness Power. Ed McCormick is an author, publisher, entrepreneur, and businessperson. He is best known for the ArtMolds Journal, a monthly glossy magazine on art and sculpture that he published for four years. Mr. McCormick has written several non-fiction books and articles on subjects ranging from teaching, crafts, and hobbies, and self-help cooking and personal finance. His current book, “Happiness Power,” describes the powers that happiness provides those that experience it.

I listened to Happiness Power and it boosted my mood. This book has helped me to reevaluate and work on learning to focus on positive aspects that lead to happiness.

Be opened and invite positivity in because it can lead to happiness.

Angel


Q: Thank you for taking your time out to answer some questions.  

A: It is always my pleasure to speak about such an important topic as our happiness.

Q: I must say, listening to your audible book Happiness Power boosted my mood. I wasn’t unhappy but, hearing about happiness made me more happy. I appreciate you taking the time to do this interview. You did a lot of research about happiness was there anything that you were surprised to learn?

A: My biggest surprise can be found in the last chapter of Happiness Power. The chapter is titled, “Surprise Ending.” It reviews the research that determined that happiness cannot be found directly. It is only found by not seeking it for itself. In fact, if you seek happiness directly, you will fail. With failure you will become unhappier. So, seeking happiness results in just the opposite of what you want. Happiness, joy, and fulfillment come to you by seeking your purpose, giving to others, developing a circle of friends, being kind to yourself and so on. I have a chapter which discusses each element in detail. Following this not-so-difficult elements leads to your own happiness – and you do not need them all to feel happy.



Q: What inspired you to write Happiness Power?

A: I was dumfounded after reading that the 2020 World Happiness Report found that the USA was the unhappiest it had been in twenty years. At first I was curious as to why. I began using Google to find answers only to discover hundreds of academic studies on happiness created over the years. I decided then it was worth a book to help explain how we can regain our happiness in life.


Q: Where are you from? What was your childhood like? Did you have a happy childhood?

A: I was born in Cook County hospital in Chicago. I grew up in Westchester County, New York. I was an ill behave child and was sent to military school for my education. I was not a happy person taking order and forced into such a disciplined regimen.



Q: Were you always the Tigger type or did something happen to motivate you to change from Eeyore to Tigger?

A: I was always a Eeyore type – optimistic about life and events. It helped me through difficult times in my life. Optimists are generally happier. But the good news is that research has shown that pessimists can learn to be optimists.



Q: Bruce Lee said ” Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” Is it possible to find happiness through life’s journey if you are constantly praying for strength to endure?

A: Like the muscles in our body that strengthen over time with when stress and hard work, so does our mind develop strength with stress as it overcomes difficulties. Yet everyone experiences hardship, grief, and pain. Some experience more hardship than others in this unjust world. Practice savoring the positive, focusing on it and keeping it in consciousness longer. 



Q: In chapter one you wrote about the Declaration of Independence being based on happiness as it states life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. How can one identify with this happiness when our history and many things happening today are unjust to some people?

A: This is an apolitical book. In the last two-three years many of our citizens have become overly sensitized to look for things that offend them. It is a new phenomenon world-wide. It is one that will defeat our own happiness. Look instead for the positives and not the negatives. The truth is, throughout ancient history from the Chinese to the Greeks Roman and African tribes, people have harmed each other, enslaved them, and created grave injustice. In my opinion this will not change now or in the future by throwing epithets at other. It will only change by good works. I have many opinions on this subject, but since I am aware of the raw insensitivity that we are experiencing it is best to leave these comments alone.

In practice goodness destroys evil. One cannot practice evil and expect goodness.



Q: When I looked deeper into things, I found lots of corruption. For example the government, food industry, school system, and the massive divide between the wealthy and everyone else who are in a rat race but don’t realize it. The American dream makes people work like crazy and seek materialistic things. Knowing all the evil and corruption going on, do you think genuine happiness is possible in the American system? 

A: We Americans are responsible for the state of the country. A great many of us are apathetic citizens – apathy allows corruption. For example, in the last presidential election 1/3rd did not vote. Americans aged 18 to 24 are less interested in politics and less informed.

Happiness is not only possible it is achieved by caring and informed people.

Q: How can you learn to achieve happiness? 

A: That is an easy question. I have a book about that, Happiness Power.


Q: In your chapter about gratitude, you mention the concept of fake it until you make it. For the Eeyore’s of the world, do you have tips to fake having gratitude until you feel and become grateful?

A: Millennials are suffering a serious lack of social etiquette, because of their dependence on the all-pervasive smartphone. They have lost their ability to thank others. Many are entitled – the opposite of grateful.

A simple internal thank you repeated to yourself for about a minute will repair that over several weeks. Aim your thanks to those that have helped you. Teachers, parents, friends. Thank will build a habit – gratitude builds your happiness.



Q: You reference Buddhism a few times. Do you find that the Buddhist philosophy helps people to live a more present and happier life?

A: THIMPHU, Bhutan (RNS) In a country that prides itself on measuring quality of life in terms of “Gross National Happiness,” this small Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas seems to have a problem: at least half its citizens aren’t happy, according to its own measurements.

While more than 90 percent of the 7,142 respondents said they were “happy” in a recent government survey, only 49 percent of people fit the official definition of total happiness by meeting at least six of the survey’s nine criteria.



Q: Each chapter discusses different topics that strengthen your character and lead to happiness. Out of the several topics mentioned in each chapter; physical health, mental health, gratitude, self- kindness, community, giving, and purpose, which do you believe is the most important element to achieve happiness? 

A: I had to look this up this morning: Duke University mechanical engineering professor Adrian Bejan explains that when you are young and experiencing lots of new stimuli—everything is new—time seems to be passing more slowly. As you get older, the production of mental images slows, giving the sense that time passes more rapidly.

Why was I looking that up? I was puzzled. Because the last seven years of my international student hosting seems to have flown by like a bullet, and I wondered how that could be. Ethan, our latest high student we have hosted for the last three years, graduates high school this afternoon and flies back to China tomorrow. It seems like a blur in time hosting students, first Alan, Boja, and now Ethan. Perhaps in part because it was such an enjoyable experience.

In my book on happiness, one chapter describes the importance of giving and how it creates happiness from within. In my case, it certainly did. I find giving to be an important part of building happiness. You wouldn’t think it made the giver happier though would you? But numerous studies shows it does and in my case I can testify that it gives a warm feeling inside knowing you have made others happy, too. And . . . it is so easy to do. Offer someone a stick of gum or an unexpected compliment – that simple giving action produces endorphins in the brain creating a sense of fulfillment and happiness. It doesn’t last long, so you should continue your giving ways.

Angel as a teacher you are a giver. As a giver you are also strengthening your immune system so giving has a magic way of benefiting both the giver and receiver.



Q: When happiness is achieved how do you maintain it through tough times? 

A: As with all emotions, happiness is not constant it comes and goes. However, by practicing those indirect efforts that produce happiness you will maintain far longer than those that do not.

Happiness is not constant – no emotion stays constant. Our happiness ebbs and flows. If we didn’t experience unhappiness, we would never know if we were happy. But to reach happiness if we find we are mood has clouded, we must remember that happiness does do depend upon what we have, but how we feel about what we have. It is time to think about all the good things in your life, your friends, your accomplishments, and our future. By consciously concentrating on those benefit, it will help change your focus. It does not happen all at once, but if you stick with that type of thinking, your mood will slowly change for the better. Of course, if we are talking about clinical depression this must be resolved with outside help. But if you generally find yourself in a funk, play with your dog, take a friend out to dinner – on you (giving), focus on your future dreams and all that negativity will disappear in time.

Use projection. It is amazingly effective. If you find yourself in an unwanted circumstance, project yourself out a week, a month. This too shall pass in that time, and you’ll look back and actually wonder why you thought it was so uncomfortable. Project works. Try it.


Q: You provided a meditation in your book and also stated that a 10 minute meditation can help to stop negative stories before they take hold. Do you have a mantra or a meditation practice that you can share?

A: Here is my favorite mantra:  May my heart be kind, my mind fierce, and my spirit brave.

Q: Please let everyone know how to reach you and where to find your books.

A: My books are available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble also on my website robertgilljr.com. Happiness Power can be found here.


Thank you again for answering these questions Mr. McCormick. Your optimism and happiness is inspiring. I wish you best.


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