The 4 Things You Need for a Happy Life

Lou HoltzSuccessful coaches tend to develop a life philosophy that goes well beyond the sport they coach. The great ones not only teach lessons for success in sports, but they teach lessons for success in life.

Lou Holtz has never been shy about sharing such life lessons. After a legendary coaching career, Holtz is convinced that in order to be happy in life, you need these four things…


First, you have to have something to do. Stories of healthy individuals who die within a few years of retirement are too numerous to list. It’s also true that prisoners serving life sentences sleep for twelve to fourteen hours a day because they have nothing in their lives that compels them to get out of bed.

The second thing you have to have is someone to love. We are put on earth to love other people. Those who don’t have anyone exist without happiness.

Third, you have to have something to believe in. I’ve always said that not believing in a god is not an option. You might not believe in the Heavenly Father, as I do, but everyone has a god. It might be the quest for power or material gains; it might be a cause—environmentalism, conservationism, global socialism, or one of countless other isms; or it might be the search for peace—but everyone has a god.

Finally, you have to have something to look forward to. In his famous book Man’s Search for Meaning, Dr. Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, made some interesting clinical observations in the midst of the horrors of Auschwitz. Dr. Frankl noticed that prisoners who had nothing to live for and nothing to look forward to died quickly of starvation, fatigue, or abuse at the hands of their captors. But those who survived shared one thing in common: they all had something to look forward to. Often the survivors lived for the thought of rejoining a relative, or escaping to another country. Sometimes they hung on in the hopes of exacting revenge on the Nazis. But whatever the reason, those who survived the greatest atrocity in history were those who had something to look forward to.


– Lou Holtz, from his book Wins, Losses, and Lessons

Work, love, faith, and hope. The four things you need for a happy and successful life.

If you’re not happy right now, you’re missing one of those four requirements. Figure out which one you’re missing and make it a priority to bring it into your life.