The Three Grand Essentials to Happiness..


“The three grand essentials to happiness in life are

something to do, something to love, and 

something to hope for”. 

Joseph Addison

In October 2003, I returned to Australia after living in Tokyo for the best part of 10 years. Over those years, Japan instilled into me much of what I’m most grateful for to this day. I also met the love of my life in Japan and my work afforded me the opportunity to travel a lot in the region. By the end of 2003 though it was time to return home and set down roots. The company I worked for transferred me into an equivalent level role here in the Sydney which was supposed to see me go onwards and upwards.

let the heart guide your path

Let the heart guide your path

From the day I walked into the Sydney office though, I felt like a fish out of water. The corporate environment I had grown accustomed to and had thrived in was completely different to what I encountered here. Reflecting upon it now, my success in Japan had largely been built out of my ability to be accepted by the local business culture and unfortunately my commercial skills in this local market were different and not commensurate with the position I had been given. For the next seven years I fought with myself, not wanting to comes to terms with the fact that I was on the wrong path. At times there was lots of pain and stress as I moved through three job changes realising at 37 that my corporate career had been going backwards and my future prospects weren’t looking great.

Things came to a head not long after when the company I was working for was acquired and my future in the merged entity was uncertain. As painful as it was to go through at the time, I realise now that the universe was actually serving my deepest needs by literally forcing me to take a leap of faith and get out of what I was doing into something more aligned to me. I’ve always had a deep urge to serve, my educational background was in health so somehow I had to find a pathway here.  As I wrote about in The Boda Story, I had an experience 13 years ago at a fasting retreat in Thailand which had planted the seed of what I truly wanted to do one day. My career crisis turned out to be the beginning of new life.

In the 5 years since moving out of the corporate world and into what I do now, the path continues to have highs and lows but I’m at least comforted that I’m on the right path now. When I recently came across Joseph Addison’s quote which I started this post with, I thought about how these “three grand essentials to happiness” applied to me and recognised how taking that leap of faith 5 years ago had positively set in motion actions which have brought much greater happiness.

My own “three grand essentials to happiness”

My “something to do” has been an honouring of my need to express my spirituality. In the past my yoga practice was something that I “fitted in” to my life when I could, but when I took the decision to follow my heart’s path it became really important to start my day with my yoga practice. By doing this, I place my physical, mental and spiritual well-being at the top of my priorities, which in turn gives me access to a state of balance which allows me to enter the world more authentically and offer the best of myself.

My wife and daughter are the absolute loves of my life, but aside from them, I feel fortunate that in my work I’ve now found my “something to love“. It is absolute privilege to have people come to you for support to restore their health and vitality. It’s not always easy to connect but I realise that to be truly effective in what I do I have to love everyone that crosses my path. To the extent that I can reach someones heart determines how effective I am. This requirement offers me a profound opportunity for growth.

Finally, “my something to hope for”  is closest to me in seeing my 8 year old daughter make her way into the world, however I’m also constantly inspired by people I often come into contact with everyday. Some are faced with great challenges but most have commonplace stresses which they’ve chosen to get on top of by taking time out to honour their health. In sharing in their healing and rejuvenation journey I see more self-compassion, which gives me a sense of hope that as we heal and connect more with our hearts,  together we can take that compassion out into the world and resolve our big problems.

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Aaron Travers is the author of The Boda Fast – a three step plan to lower inflammation, maximise fat burning and restore vitality”. Aaron writes at and shares his ideas and experiences on health and wellbeing from his personal life and through working with clients clincally and those doing his “supported fasting” / intermittent fasting diet programs. Every Friday he sends out his newsletter, click below to subscribe. 

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