How Two Friends Are Helping People Discover More Than Just Happiness

Ever wondered the secret to happiness? In today’s go-go-go society, finding that raw, unfiltered bliss is often easier said than done—if we can stop long enough to realize when it’s happening. A recent study even found focusing on trying to be happy can actually delay happiness, or even worse, make you more miserable. But two chiropractors claim they’ve found the golden ticket to finding your own joy.

Now they’re setting out to change the world with just one word: oola.

The oola guys bus tour
(The Oola Guys)
The Oola Movement started by Troy Amdahl and David Braun stems from the phrase “ooh-la-la,” which they’re defining as a “state of awesomeness.” And to achieve that, “oolaseekers” should strive to balance seven key areas of life: fitness, finance, family, career, faith, friends and fun. It’s about focusing on a perpetual state of balance rather than constant happiness, which is unattainable. But how? According to Amdahl and Braun, also known as The Oola Guys, it’s focusing on doing good in the world in pursuit of goals and dreams.

“Nothing is more Oola than giving,” Amdahl and Braun say in their book Oola: Find Balance in an Unbalanced World. “It doesn’t have to be money, it can be giving of your time or your talent. By giving, with no conditions, you will get a glimpse of the good in the world.”

the oola guys tour
(The Oola Guys)
Practicing what they preach, they’re traveling across the U.S. helping people confess their dreams and goals to strive for oola—all by way of a 1970s VW bus, which is playing a crucial role in their philosophy. At each stop, locals write one of their dreams on a sticker and post it directly to the side of the bus, which is now covered with dreams from across the country.

Well on their way to a goal of collecting 1 million dreams to decorate the bus, Amdahl and Braun also launched OolaTea, a line of loose-leaf organic teas infused with essential oils. Each bag of tea purchased provides a meal to a child in need. Like their 1 million dreams goal, they’ve set a goal to provide 1 million meals.

The duo shares more on how the movement got started and why it’s gaining traction in this excerpt from Oola: Find Balance in an Unbalanced World.

“I see people pursuing happiness around me all the time. They are laughing at the bar and smiling with shopping bags as they exit the store. Every commercial is trying to convince me that if I buy this or that I will be happy, or if not happy, I will be sexy, and that will make me happy.

As cool as happy feels, happiness to me seems transient and superficial. We are led to believe that it is possible to maintain a constant level of happiness. If you believe this to be true, that every Christmas is a Norman Rockwell moment, and every day of marriage is awesome, and that raising kids comes without challenges, and that every year will be financially better than the year previous, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of perpetual disappointment.

That is why I do not pursue happiness. I pursue Oola. The funny thing is, I meet “happy” routinely on my pursuit of Oola. Happiness is a pleasant and frequent side effect in the pursuit of an OolaLife.

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