Understanding The New Happy with Ashish Kothari and Stephanie Harrison

We know all too well about the “old” concept of happiness. We often define it as that sense of fulfillment after an achievement, a display of perfection, superiority, and being the best one can be. For a long time, we’ve tied our happiness to these external validations, yet we still feel incomplete. 

The truth is the meaning of happiness has evolved over time. It’s no longer about that short joy after getting something we want; it now has a more fulfilling and lasting meaning. In this article, Ashish Kothari and Stephanie Harrison, Founder of The New Happy, introduce the fresh concept of the ‘new happy.’

The new definition of happiness

What is your definition of happiness? Many of us believe that joy is found in things such as accomplishments and belongings. While there is satisfaction in those things, it doesn’t really last long. This is the old concept of happiness.

Ashish points out, “We hustle for worthiness through our achievements, fame, and money. If we get all that, then we feel worthy and, hence, happy. But then, we feel that something is missing.” That is because external validations only give short-term pleasures.

So what is the ‘new happy’? Stephanie believes that true happiness comes from being yourself in service of others. It’s about being part of a community that gives and receives. This ties back to the Hardwired for Happiness practice of community. The more we give, the happier we will be. 

Personal growth through self-discovery

For Stephanie, the ‘new happy’ is about a give and take. That leads us to the question: what can you give to serve others? First, you must know who you are and, from that, serve others. It takes a journey of self-discovery to know who you truly are, and Stephanie shares essential steps that can guide you along the way:

  1. Practice self-acceptance. 

Recognize and accept yourself fully, including your strengths and weaknesses. It means having a positive attitude towards yourself despite your imperfections, failures, and limitations.

  1. Know that there are no conditions for your self-worth.

Your value as a human being is unconditional. It is not based on your achievements, status, physical appearance, or other people’s opinions. Your value doesn’t change just because of the right or wrong things you did.

The more you embody those steps and try to see yourself through the eyes of unconditional self-acceptance, self-worth, and self-love, the more it becomes ingrained within you, and it influences your choices, making it all easier to serve others. 

Discovering your talents

Discovering your unique talents is another crucial aspect of ‘the new happy.’ As you learn to accept yourself fully, you naturally become more aligned with your interests and skills–those things you are not only good at but also enjoy. 

It’s really important for you to continue becoming who you are, which involves recognizing your unique life goals, motivations, and desires and moving toward them. 

We are all attracted to certain pursuits, ideas, or hobbies that light us up or inspire us. The problem arises when we decide those things aren’t good enough for us or they won’t help us to be successful or prove our worthiness.

According to Ashish, it’s not just about doing what you love but also about loving what you do and finding the intersection where your talents and the needs of the world meet. By understanding and nurturing your skills and abilities, you put yourself in a position to serve others effectively.

Serving others with your gifts

The ‘new happy’ suggests that the purpose of life and your growth is found in being of service to others. Stephanie highlights that “helping other people is the secret to happiness. Our failure to widely acknowledge that, despite abundant research showing how powerful it is to be of service to others, is because it’s counterculture to how we’ve been socialized into looking at ourselves and our lives.” 

The essence of a fulfilling life lies not in what we gain for ourselves but in what we give to others. Ashish points out that “if we don’t have that mindset of looking and recognizing our interdependence upon one another, then it just becomes a transactional thing.” The crises our world is facing today only show how much we need each other more than ever. 

With all the challenges we’re tackling in this new era, it’s not enough to be there for each other. It’s time to step up, use our unique talents to serve others, and create the ‘new happy’ world we’ve always dreamed of.


When happiness is defined only by personal gain, community bonds can weaken, leading to a more isolated and divided society, and that’s not what we all want. It’s time for the ‘new happy’ to reign. Would you embrace this new meaning of happiness or stick to the old model and miss out on the ‘new happy’ world we’re about to make? 

It’s high time to rethink our ways. So when you’re ready to embrace this change, feel free to join our HAPPINESS SQUAD community, and let’s serve one another by using our unique, individual talents.

Happiness is not just about what you achieve anymore; it’s about who you help and how you connect. In this episode of the HAPPINESS SQUAD Podcast, Ashish Kothari and Stephanie Harrison, Founder of The New Happy, discuss a groundbreaking approach to finding your ‘new happy.’

Learn more about Stephanie at her Instagram.

Listen to the podcast with Ashish and Stephanie below.

Access and subscribe to all of the episodes of the Happiness Squad Podcast here.

Visit the REWIRE Program powered up by the HAPPINESS SQUAD Community and experience your shift within your 30-day risk-free trial today. Cultivate your Self-Awareness, Gratitude, Purpose, Community, and personal growth more through the 9 Hardwired for Happiness practices. Integrate simple and proven micro-practices grounded in the science of happiness and neuroscience of habit formation in 5 minutes a day.

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With the focus on enhancing joy, health, love and meaning in your life, my transformational approach is interdisciplinary and integrates learnings from spiritual wisdom traditions, philosophy, positive psychology, neuroscience and organizational development.

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