What Makes People Happy

What Makes People Happy

What Makes People Happy

Group of Happy People Playing a Game

Human beings are social animals, hard-wired to connect with others. Research across a wide variety of disciplines consistently demonstrates that social support enhances productivity (we get more done!), psychological well-being (we feel more complete and more fulfilled!), and even physical health (our body breaks down less!). In fact, George Vaillant, Harvard professor of psychiatry, who directed the world’s longest continuous study of physical and mental health, when asked what he had learned from his 40 years of research, said that

“The only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”

This recent science is supported by the legend of Khan Kubrat. Khan Kubrat was born around 600 AD. He was the father of the founder of Bulgaria. According to legend, on his deathbed, Khan Kubrat commanded his sons to gather sticks and bring them to him, which he then bundled together. He commanded his eldest son to break the bundle. His son failed against the strength of the combined sticks, and so did the other sons in turn.

Khan Kubrat undid the bundle and broke each stick separately. He then proclaimed to his sons, “unity makes strength”, which has become a common Bulgarian folk slogan and now appears on the Bulgarian coat of arms.

Your “bundle” is that network of caring relationships which wraps you in support and gives you strength which you do not have alone. It is crucial in life that we take time to identify and then cultivate our bundle, to build partners. Your bundle replenishes you. Your bundle supports you. Your bundle challenges you. Relationships are a crucial key in unlocking your destiny. So, how do we build our bundle?

First, focus on building the bundle of others.

Be others’-first, others’-focused, others’-motivated. Remember that if you are looking for a bundle, so is everyone else! Be a bundle for others and they will return the kindness.

Second, don’t pre-judge your bundle.

Sometimes, bundles come from places we would never guess! Several years ago, I went through a difficult personal season. I remember thinking that my support would come from certain friends I had at the time. Not only was I shocked that the help I needed did not come from those friends, but I was pleasantly surprised when it came from another set of friends, I didn’t think it would come from. True happiness is not about having a large quantity of friends, but about having quality friends. I had pre-judged that some would be in my bundle and others would not. I was wrong. A new bundle began to emerge and thankfully, my new bundle helped me through!

Third, teamwork is crucial.

Nobody owes you or me anything. In other words, every friend we have is a precious treasure and a privilege. The moment we take our friends for granted and lose an attitude of gratitude is the moment that we make it difficult for people to be in our bundle. It is so true that the only way to truly have a quality friend or bundle is to be one.

Part of happiness is working together in teams, and so let’s look at 5 Essential Ingredients of Winning Teams…

The question here is, are we nurturing a winning team, or a losing team? Any group can become a team, but only a special group can become a winning team!

So, what are the “The 5 Essential Ingredients of Winning Teams?

  1. Leadership – “Stepping Up to The Plate”
    Winning teams have this essential quality: Several on the team, besides the coach, step up and motivate the others, acting as leaders. They do not wait for the coach to do it because teams just full of followers never win. Teams full of leaders acting together always win!
  2. Role-Playing – “Knowing & Flowing with Your Role”
    Successful teams are often a healthy balance of several different roles. When people know their role, and flow with their role and execute it, the team is much more likely to win.
  3. Unity – “Working from The Same Playbook”
    An average-talent group that flows together as a team will beat a talent-rich group that all act as individuals EVERY TIME! A team doesn’t win if the players all have a different agenda.
  4. Loyalty – “MY Team”
    Loyalty is that quality of pride, dedication, and commitment that says that THIS TEAM is MY TEAM, and I will do whatever it takes to help it to succeed and win. I call this the “Musketeer’s Mentality”: ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL! We need to develop this “Musketeer’s Mentality” to craft a winning team!
  5. Good Coaching – “Preparation For Opponents”
    To win, teams need good coaching. Great coaches:
    • Believe the Best About Others…
    • See the Best in Others…
    • Speak the Best Over Others…
    • Draw Out the Best in Others…

There can be no doubt that at some point in our lives, something will attempt to break us. Don’t try to stand alone. Cultivate a bundle. The support of a bundle will enable you to stand far longer than you could on your own.


  1. Cindy Matychak on September 29, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Your article is very true and has been very relevant in my life. The team of people and friends that came out of the woodwork were enormous when I needed them the most.

    Always appreciate your blogs and your wisdom,

    Thank you

  2. Jeanice Cummings on September 29, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Very helpful and enlightening article. Building nurturing and long standing relationships appears to be crucial.

    The Bindke image was visualized and felt.
    Thanks much,

  3. Lois Parsons-Young on September 30, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    I enjoyed this What Makes me Happy Great Friends ,my relationship with my husband ,can’t wait for more

  4. Amy Dickerson on October 1, 2019 at 9:56 am

    Working as a team is a concept that has been very important in my life across every function – family, friendships, work, projects, spirit, and entrepreneurship. This article is an excellent viewpoint; it highlights so many great aspects. How it takes more people than just the leader to lead, knowing and flowing in your role, working from the same playbook…when these elements are all at work, the power of that team magnifies! Thank you Abe for synthesizing things that I think we have awareness of, yet do not always pull together to produce the exponential power.

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