Rob’s Formula for Happiness

Life is a complicated thing. But really it’s not that complicated.

As someone who grew up playing “I just lost the game” (you all just lost the game by the way), I’m now proud to tell you that I’ve in fact won the game. That’s because I’ve cracked the formula for happiness, and it is quite simple. It goes as follows:

The Formula

H = EP + BOW + B2O

Whereby H is Happiness, EP is an Elevated Position, BOW is a Body of Water and B2O is beer. I’ll explain in more detail.

Elevated Position

As someone who grew up in the Fens which is all flat and below sea level, I am more susceptible to an Elevated Position than the average person. I get practically giddy the moment I see any form of hill. ‘My God, look at that Elevated Position over there!’ you’ll hear me exclaim. 

An Elevated Position must be at least a rooftop height, the higher the better. However, Elevation must be in relation to your surroundings. For example if you’re sitting on a rooftop terrace of a three storey house, but all the other buildings around you have over five storeys, you’re not in a sufficient Elevated Position. You must be able to look down on the world below you and feel a) superior to fellow beings, and b) inferior to the infinite size and possibilities of this universe, both at the same time. Example positions would be at the top of the Shard, the summit of a mountain, the top of a windmill in the middle of farmlands.

Body of Water

Glass of water? No. Puddle? No. Pond? Better but not quite scratching the itch. Stream or river? Oh yes. A great lake? You’re talking my language. The sea? Behave you little minx you’ve got me all excited. 

A good test is whether you look at the Body of Water and think to yourself ‘I could swim that’ knowing full well you couldn’t. Running water is not essential, but the sound of moving water does have certain soothing qualities. Similar to the Elevated Position, I want my Body of Water to make me feel like part of something bigger. I want to see the horizon in the distance and wonder what’s out there. I like to get a map out and work out where the next piece of land I’d hit were I to cross it in a straight line.


Easy one, beer is beer is beer. Guinness is preferable, pale ale also highly recommended. Christ if the conditions are right I’ll even take a Madri.

So where does that leave us? How do we achieve Happiness?

Happiness is a Beer at an Elevated Position by a Body of Water. It’s that easy. Find that and this Formula guarantees you Happiness.

Here’s an example of mine. The Cliffs of Moher on the West coast of Ireland. I visited them a few years ago and they certainly ticked some boxes. Elevated Position? They’re about 700ft high. Body of Water? Try the Atlantic Ocean on for size. Bonus points because you can play the game of will I hit America or will Greenland get in the way? But I didn’t have a beer. I could have done in theory, but there wasn’t one immediately available to me.

The Dream

There’s one location I have in my dreams that would fully complete this Formula. My dream and my ambition in life. The thing that will dominate my later years in life, where I will waste the fortunes I make in advertising, the obsession that will drive my future wife to leave me, my downfall.

I want to own a pub at the top of a waterfall. One where you can swim in the water and the waterfall acts as an infinity pool. What’s the pub called? The No Eyed Deer.

That is the only correct answer for Happiness.

However, I don’t have it yet. I can only imagine it. But thanks to AI, I can at least start bringing my dream to life. 

First I gave Dall-E 2 by OpenAI a go at it. The results were better than expected, given that I’ve found Dall-E to be pretty limited compared to what you see people create on Midjourney. It gave me some nice looking bars (although a bit too bougie for me, I prefer an old man pub), certainly by some nice waterfalls, but not swim up capability.

So then I took it a step further. I’ve recently been playing with Adobe’s new Photoshop BETA and its Generative Fill function. If you haven’t tried it yet, I recommend you do because it’s amazing. I’m genuinely blown away by it. 

Whilst it struggled to create the ideal pub (it didn’t understand my commands “a traditional Irish pub” or “an old man pub with a nice beer garden”), it did let me specifically add in the swimming capability, and make the pub feel more integrated into the surroundings. 

These were made by simply copying in a photo of a waterfall, then selecting an area I’d like to place the pub in, then giving the right command to allow Photoshop to generate it. In the second photo here I even added in the giant beer bottle on the pub roof and the people in the water. How clever is that how realistic the people in the water look?

So there you have it. Thanks to AI I am able to start visualising my own dreams. 

One day you’ll all lose touch with me. At first you’ll be sad, missing my witty observations and uplifting nature, but then you’ll realise I’m not gone, I’ve just achieved Happiness. I’ll be forever floating on my rubber ring, on top of my waterfall, sipping a cold, creamy Guinness that I poured myself in The No Eyed Deer..

Come join me, first one’s free.

Rob x


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