Happiness is not a consumable product. It is not something you find by searching for it. It is a naturally arising byproduct of a fulfilling, well-lived life.
A well-lived life has more to do with perspective than anything else. As long as you can laugh, there is hope.
There are big, hard-to-implement, habits. And then there are small, easy-to-implement, habits. I love both but it’s clear the latter ones are easier to add to our already (seemingly) busy life.
All things considered, they are also life-changing in the very long run. The only difficulty with those is how hidden their impact is. It’s easy to drop them because you don’t see how useful they are. Keep at them for long enough and your life will improve.
You can start changing your life. You can be happier with tiny changes. Hey, you can even start today.
One day you’ll wake up and shake your head and wonder where all that time went. Then you’ll ask “did I make the most of it?” And, with your whole heart, you’ll want the answer to be yes.
Do what you can now to get to yes.
It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, is poor.
“Anything that costs you your health, relationships, or happiness isn’t really a success.”
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new.”
- Barack Obama
Quite often, we allow others to dictate how we should live and behave instead of listening to our deepest desires.
Answering the following questions might help you get closer to the person you want to be.
Who am I when I don’t follow others’ expectations?
Am I holding on to something I need to let go of?
What matters most in my life?
How do I want to live, knowing I will die?
Does it matter what others think about me?
What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?
“So long as an opinion is strongly rooted in the feelings, it gains rather than loses stability by having a preponderating weight of argument against it.” -John Mill
Our rationales are dangerously burdened by our emotions and sense of identity.
The lottery is a tax on people who can’t do the math. Arguing on the internet is a tax on people who don’t value their time.
Every human is a walking science experiment. We are composed of chemicals that swirl and change based on the thousands of decisions we make each day. When people act in reckless disregard for their chemical nature, it poisons any happiness initiative. They take up meditation but then they binge drink. They manage their work-life balance but stay in dysfunctional relationships. They eat healthy but stay up until 3 AM on their phone every night.
Avoid deal-breaker habits.
It might feel good at the moment to break the rules. But mark my words, there’s a sinking feeling that comes later on.
Be willing to say no when it is most difficult.
“The best fighter is never angry.” ― Lao Tzu
Most of us are so used to complaining and negative thinking that we don’t even realize how these habits are holding us back from living a great life.
But here’s the truth: The more you complain, the more negativity you’ll find.
We’re all human and it’s okay to experience negative situations and emotions, but we can always choose how we react to them.
And the reality is that you always have two choices: You can either complain about something or look for a solution.
If you can change the situation, do it.
If you can’t do anything about it, move on and focus on the next best thing.
You teach people how to treat you by showing them how you treat yourself.
In today’s fast-paced world, most people feel stressed before there’s anything to stress about. They’re so used to being overwhelmed that they don’t even expect their lives to be easy and enjoyable.
And that’s exactly the problem: You attract what you expect. If you expect difficulty, you’ll find it. If you expect beautiful experiences, your focus will shift and you’ll discover more of them.
And the reality is that most of our negative feelings are caused by a lack of mindfulness. You barely feel stressed about something that’s happening right now.
Social media can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you choose to use it. It’s neither good nor bad, it’s just a tool and you can decide how to integrate it into your life.
Whatever you do, don’t allow it to mess up with your inner world. Instead, make sure you get to see what you want to see. If you’re careful about your usage, social media can indeed help you become a better and happier person.
And don’t forget that social media is just a TINY excerpt of reality.
The best response is often “You’re probably right.”
Nothing is gained by arguing with someone over something that doesn’t matter.
When it comes to making decisions, your environment matters. Just as it’s hard to eat healthy if your kitchen is full of junk food, it’s hard to make good decisions when you’re too busy to think. Just as the kitchen influences what you eat, your office/environment influences how you make decisions.
Most of us make decisions in an environment where it is very hard for us to behave rationally.
Leave it better than you found it. Just because you struggled doesn’t mean everyone needs to.
It can be anything: code, ideas, person.
We often talk about everything we have to do on a given day. You have to wake up early for work. You have to make another sales call for your business. You have to cook dinner for your family.
Now, imagine changing just one word: You don’t “have” to. You “get” to.
You “get” to wake up early for work. You “get” to make another sales call for your business. You “get” to cook dinner for your family.
“You are a jigsaw puzzle piece of a certain shape. You could change your shape to fit an existing hole in the world. That was the traditional plan. But there’s another way that can often be better for you and for the world: to grow a new puzzle around you.”
Why do I get angry when I am insulted?
A: Because you entertain the verity of the insult.
“One lesson I’ve learned is that if the job I do were easy, I wouldn’t derive so much satisfaction from it. The thrill of winning is in direct proportion to the effort I put in before. I also know, from long experience, that if you make an effort in training when you don’t especially feel like making it, the payoff is that you will win games when you are not feeling your best. That is how you win championships, that is what separates the great player from the merely good player. The difference lies in how well you’ve prepared.”
— Rafael Nadal
In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep it to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous,
In governing, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
When you are content to be simply yourself
And don’t compare or compete,
Everybody will respect you.
It is hard to have a phone. I mean, yeah, it is also fun to have a phone, but you know how addicted you are to it. You realize that it is pulling you all the time. And when it pulls you, it sometimes tells you something that you don’t want to hear: You get a mean email from a friend or a conflict-y text or not enough people liked your Instagram post or someone thinks something is wrong with your Instagram post and has commented about it and their comment has gone semi-viral. Then you have to stop everything and deal with that. It is exhausting. It is a lot. If, right now, you can let yourself put your phone away for the next 90 minutes, that would be a gift you could give yourself.
You would be letting yourself be present.
The right solution is expensive. The wrong one costs a fortune.
In a society that is obsessed with hard work and career success,
seeking boredom is an act of rebellion.
The best way to change your entire life is by not changing your entire life. Instead, it is best to focus on one specific habit, work on it until you master it, and make it an automatic part of your daily life. Then, repeat the process for the next habit.
A big problem is just a bunch of small problems combined. Learn to separate them out.
It’s all a matter of approach.
“I try to write using ordinary words and simple sentences. That kind of writing is easier to read, and the easier something is to read, the more deeply readers will engage with it. The less energy they expend on your prose, the more they’ll have left for your ideas.” — Write Simply
“I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me ‘I love you.’ … There is an African saying which is: ‘Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.’” — Maya Angelou
“[T]here’s just the status quo bias that naturally ensues from “well, we have a working system; that system naturally resists change”. The period of the early twentieth century was an era of building in the broadest sense, from universities to government agencies to cities to highways. The byproduct of this period of building is maintenance and we haven’t figured out how to meta-maintain – that is, how to avoid emergent sclerosis in the stuff we build. … The “enemy”, such as it is, is the calcification that follows from an existing install base. And all cultural questions aside, the US simply has a very large existing install base of aged institutions and systems.” — Patrick Collison