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How To Make Happiness

This year at SUU, I am completing a project for the EDGE program (Education Designed to Give Experience). It seemed most reasonable to me to expand my experiences in developing happiness. To this end I gathered research, and conjured a program geared towards a practical approach for common folks to use without any kind of extraordinary expense. From the snarky title of “Run Out Of Ideas” the name of this project has evolved into the more direct, “How To Make Happiness“.

How To Make Happiness

Project Proposals:

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“Run Out Of Ideas”: Written proposal:

Annotated Bibliography:

Pulling information from the Bureau of Land Management, books on geology, neurologists, psychiatrists, census data, local recommendations and interviews. Sources cited.

Reflective Analysis Tools:

Order Of The TigerI’ve taken numerous courses on anthropology and sociology over the years, and often discover that I have lost an entire night simply listening to seminars on psychology. This is the stuff that rivets me to a chair, and which drives me forward. In the pursuit of happiness, I have found there are some developmental trends that lend themselves to the discovery and creation of one’s own path in life. Based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and the work of M. Scott Peck, I have been working on a somewhat esoteric approach which predicts benchmarks in individual maturation. This outdoor engagement project is foundational to the process of personal development. It produces the attributes and skills needed to stay afloat and to keep moving forward in the face of an often-overwhelming world. This system is still in development, and is called The Order of The Tiger.
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Adventure Blog:

Cedar City MountainThe answers are simple, not easy. Civilization causes depression and most other mental disorders. The approach of de-domestication is the best. My applied approach has been to hike the local hills and to explore the terrain of Southern Utah, which is wildly diverse geologically, and contains innumerable bizarre features that captivate the mind and ignite the imagination. Come along this visual documentation of glittering pits of crystals in the middle of the desert, lava caves filled with roosting bats, riverbeds and mountaintops, monoliths and lonesome trees. This blog of numerous simple, joy-inducing hikes and other adventures is located here:

Reflection Paper:

This paper includes a list of objectives, skill usage, and applied relevance for the reader. This does not even begin to describe the new world of experience that has opened up to me by virtue of this project; but it is a brisk attempt, and worth the read.
Download document here.


Robert Ennis NewsletterThis publication-ready document highlights key characteristics from the project.

Abstract: “I overcame obesity and depression without repetitive “exercise”, and avoided paying for gyms. I just went outside and enjoyed myself. As the human mind is a differential engine, it can only compare its worst experience with its best experience. By forcing myself into physical challenges, my disagreements and troubles tend to become comparatively minimized, and my outlook is compelled to improve…”
Download document here.

Press Release:

Abstract: Depression is caused by civilization. Research by Stephen S. Ilardi, Ph.D., leads to a troubling perspective: being too civilized can lead to serious mental disorders. The good news is that simply going outside and exploring the wilderness regularly can rapidly resolve this. I’ve tried it myself, and I can attest to incredibly rapid improvements…”
Download document here.


With this set of adventures under my belt, I have updated my résumé.
Download document here.