If we whittle life down to one concept, one commodity, it's energy so imagine your happiness is measured by the amount of fuel, i.e. energy, you have in your happiness tank. Any level above half is considered a degree of happiness. Anything below half a tank is a level of unhappiness growing more unhappy the lower this level falls, 49% being almost happy and 1% feeling dead inside. Surprisingly, a lot of people live closer to 50% than they realize. At first glance, most people seem reasonably happy going about their day, but as soon as one little thing happens we find out just how happy they really are. If a person is running too close to 50%, it doesn't take much for them to drop below half and go from happy to unhappy in a matter of seconds. Then we see a very different side of them. Sound familiar? One second they seem nice. The next, you are the enemy and they're declaring war on you. It wasn't until I became a happy person that I realized just how many people in my life weren't happy even though they had more money and material wealth than I did. The easier someone is to anger the closer they live to half a tank, or far below it.
Some people can live on almost nothing as long as they maintain complete control over their world and never allow anything from the outside to change it -despite the fact that this impossible. With a little success at over-controlling, they can convince themselves or, at least, others that they're happy, but as soon as something alters their world in the slightest bit, the reality of the situation takes over and they become a very difficult entity to deal with. Because we have built an entire world contrary to the formula for life (yet still dependent on it), very unhappy people can easily live, even become "successful" in this world because a person needs little to no personal energy to function in it. They can simply consume resources without giving any back in return. This could never be possible in the natural world because by Mother Nature's design if an organism has no energy to participate in the formula for life, it will die. Life requires action. Action requires energy. A simpler way to put it is, our artificial world is breeding a race of useless, unhappy human beings. Sorry, that sounds harsh, but look around. No worries, the happy healthy people will lead the way because they are stronger and those who aren't will eventually have to make themselves useful and start giving not just taking. The beauty of the natural law is when you give your real, actual energy properly you get energy back. This is how one becomes strong in the first place.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the more full a person's tank is the more they can absorb unexpected events. Disappointments and misunderstandings are not the end of the world if a person lives far above 50%. At 75%, when something happens that doesn't go their way and takes a little of their energy, it barely affects them. The fuller their tank the more of a buffer they have from anything changing their mood and happiness. A person's bank account can seem like a perfect analogy for this metaphor, but it is far from it because we are talking about real energy, not an artficial representation of it. All money really is, in terms of energy, is the storage of someone's work, which is often not the person's whose bank account it's in. When you're driving your car with a full tank and get lost, it's no big deal because you've got plenty of gas to make it back to where you started, but if you're running on fumes, things can go from bad to worse very quickly. The point is, the directions on a road map or the instructions in a book, including this one, cannot help a person if they don't have any energy within themselves to do anything about it. If their fears, insecurities, lack of hope or loss of motivation depletes them because they haven't learned how to keep their tank full, it just ends up being one person's rationalization against another's. Logic doesn't make life, or imporve it. Energy does. How to fill your tank and keep it full will be covered in later chapters, but, for now, it's important to apply this tool when interacting with people on a daily basis, including yourself, to know when you're either giving or taking.