If You Aren't Happy Now
“When the time comes, when I finally get what I want… then I’ll be happy”. We hear it all the time. People often tie their happiness to a precise moment, like a time or place or reward. We treat it like a commodity that only can be attained once what they want in life is met and then wonder why it’s so hard to keep.
People are always searching for happiness at some future time or in some new thing, or some new set of circumstances, in which they someday expect to find themselves. But the fact is, if happiness isn’t now found now, where we are, there is little chance of it ever being found. There is a great deal more happiness around us day by day than we can ever seek or find.
Self-mastery is about creating happiness, or at least, knowing it’s in front of you. You can’t progress, you can’t know, either of yourself or your mission if you don’t realise you can be happy from the start. To cultivate the art of living, you cultivate the art of extracting sweetness and comfort from what you already have, like a bee when it goes from flower to flower, extracting nectar and pollen.
“Both happiness and unhappiness arise from our present state of mind. Our happiness lies not in the future; nor the present. We’ve seen that the past is but a present memory. The future is but a present, often fearsome anticipation of what is yet to come. The future depends on entirely what happens now—so why skip it? Why ignore it? For some of us, the present is too brief to grasp and hold. Even now, it’s already in the past.”
You cannot be happy later, but you can be happy now! This present moment, right now, is the original face of human happiness. Happiness is a choice. It is a default state. It is the sense of nothing missing.
Most people trap themselves in their web of desires. When you're happy, your mind can shut down or slow down and stop running into the past or future to regret or plan something. Happiness in the now creates internal silence, where you can finally feel content.
And this way of happiness might not be for everybody. Feel free to disagree. But to me, happiness is a choice we can choose today. If I try to attach happiness to my desires, I’m guaranteed to fall out of it sometime after getting what I want. Happiness is a skill, and really, when you realise you can have it now, you get peace. Neutrality. No positive or negative thoughts or desires. Just presence.
And that is enough.
What I’ve Learned This Week
Giving up Is a Choice, Never a Necessity
I wrote about it before, but I really grasped the idea this week (and for many weeks, really) that we never have to give up. The great thing is it’s cheaper (easier, lower risk) to keep going than to quit on your goals. There are fewer downsides and more upsides to trying again. Video games were proof that kids are willing to work hard. The concept doesn’t solely apply to them. Today, almost anything you do hardly poses serious immediate harm to your well-being, whereas in the past, this wasn’t perhaps the case.
The ELI5 Rule
Speaking with complexity and jargon might sound impressive. But in actuality, it often masks a lack of true understanding. If you can’t explain an idea to a child, in that they clearly understand, you probably don’t understand it either. People often use complexity either to impress or intimidate (or both) someone else. Of course, not everything can be explained simply, but most things can. Simple explanations often reveal the highest form of understanding.
The Rising Tide Lifts All The Boats
The right environment has people who can be truly happy for your success, especially when they aren’t experiencing success. What I think we must grasp is that there is always room in the water for everyone. Competition is unnecessary. You can easily be successful and happy for others or unsuccessful and happy for others. The best sign of character is the ability to ride the wave with others and be genuinely happy for them, without envy, angst or negativity. Because when the tide arises, everyone is lifted.
What’s on My Mind
I love what Giannis Antetokounmpo recently said in his press conference.
“When you focus on the past, that’s your ego. When I focus on the future, that’s my pride. I try to focus in the moment, in the present. That’s humility, that’s being humble.”
“I’m no biohacker, but I’m always fascinated by finding new ways to improve my health, productivity, or just the way I’m feeling. Health is an underappreciated topic in productivity and performance. It is strange, considering eating is essential to life, especially if you’re very active, through work means or exercise.”
“My grandfather is a SuperAger. Though he’s in his eighties, he’s still designing buildings (because he wants to), solving ninja-level sudokus, and dancing at every party. He’s an example of how aging doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.”
“Think like an artist.
Execute like a machine.
Rest like an athlete.”
— Shane Parrish
My Favourite Things This Week
Simone Biles - a thread on just how incredible Simone Biles’ career has been.
The magic of the internet - a moment that put a smile on my face.
Book - I’ll be reading Show Your Work by Austin Kleon soon. I’ve heard a lot about it, and a copy was gifted to me, which was amazing. I can’t wait to start!
A Question For You
What has inspired you recently?
I hope you achieve every goal you have this week.
Until next time!
PS: Here’s a friendly reminder to drink plenty of water this week.