The worth of happiness.

Everybody wants what feels good. Everyone wants to live a care-free, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room.

Everybody wants that — it’s easy to want that.

If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” and you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything.

Everyone wants that. So what’s the point?

What’s more interesting to me is what pain do you want? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives end up.

Everybody wants to have an amazing job and financial independence — but not everyone is willing to suffer through 60-hour work weeks, long commutes, obnoxious paperwork, to navigate arbitrary corporate hierarchies and the blasé confines of an infinite cubicle hell. People want to be rich without the risk, with the delayed gratification necessary to accumulate wealth.

Everybody wants to have great sex and an awesome relationship — but not everyone is willing to go through the tough communication, the awkward silences, the hurt feelings and the emotional psychodrama to get there. And so they settle. They settle and wonder “What if?” for years and years and until the question morphs from “What if?” into “What for?” And when the lawyers go home and the alimony check is in the mail they say, “What was it all for?” If not for their lowered standards and expectations for themselves 20 years prior, then what for?

Because happiness requires struggle. You can only avoid pain for so long before it comes roaring back to life.

At the core of all human behavior, the good feelings we all want are more or less the same. Therefore what we get out of life is not determined by the good feelings we desire but by what bad feelings we’re willing to sustain.

“Nothing good in life comes easy,” we’ve been told that a hundred times before. The good things in life we accomplish are defined by where we enjoy the suffering, where we enjoy the struggle.

People want an amazing physique. But you don’t end up with one unless you legitimately love the pain and physical stress that comes with living inside a gym for hour upon hour, unless you love calculating and calibrating the food you eat, planning your life out in tiny plate-sized portions.

People want to start their own business or become financially independent. But you don’t end up a successful entrepreneur unless you find a way to love the risk, the uncertainty, the repeated failures, and working insane hours on something you have no idea whether will be successful or not. Some people are wired for that sort of pain, and those are the ones who succeed.

People want a boyfriend or girlfriend. But you don’t end up attracting amazing people without loving the emotional turbulence that comes with weathering rejections, building the sexual tension that never gets released, and staring blankly at a phone that never rings. It’s part of the game of love. You can’t win if you don’t play.

What determines your success is “What pain do you want to sustain?”
I am willing to live out of a suitcase for months on end, to stammer around in a foreign language for hours with people who speak no English to try and buy a cell phone, to get lost in new cities over and over and over again. Because that’s the sort of pain and stress I enjoy sustaining. That’s where my passion lies, not just in the pleasures, but in the stress and pain.

There’s a lot of self development advice out there that says, “You’ve just got to want it enough!”

That’s only partly true. Everybody wants something. And everybody wants something badly enough. They just aren’t being honest with themselves about what they actually want that bad.

If you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs. If you want the six pack, you have to want the sweat, the soreness, the early mornings, and the hunger pangs. If you want the yacht, you have to also want the late nights, the risky business moves, and the possibility of pissing off a person or ten.

If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all.

So I ask you, “How are you willing to suffer?”

Because you have to choose something. You can’t have a pain-free life. It can’t all be roses and unicorns.

Choose how you are willing to suffer.

Because that’s the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have the same answer.

The more interesting question is the pain. What is the pain that you want to sustain?

Because that answer will actually get you somewhere. It’s the question that can change your life. It’s what makes me me and you you. It’s what defines us and separates us and ultimately brings us together.

So what’s it going to be?

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Being alone…

When I have found myself, being alone is a privilege, not a punishment. 

All the good work that i’ve done comes when i am alone.

All my dreams are dreamed alone.

My best ideas are conceived in solitude.

My dream of a better world and the contribution i’ll make to it will also come when i am alone.

My creations and inventions, my solutions to the problems that most vex me, all comes to me in isolation.

It is only when i am by myself that I can be receptive to the stillness of my inner voice.

This is the voice that tells me what I need to know, the inner directive, the heart of my soul given words.

This solitude is the place from which my originality and specialness issue.

In my aloneness I hear music and see art more clearly. only when I am alone can I receive the gifts the world presents. 

In my aloneness I am in touch with the energy that runs the world.

It is the place here God speaks to me.

The things I take from this place fortify my spirit with grace, forgive myself and fill myself with new resolve.

Learning to love being with myself. it is the highest place to which I aspire.

 

The wisdom of Feelings

During the last few months, I have been trying to heal the emotional self, and I’ve realized the power of feelings…

In feelings there is wisdom, for the simplest feelings speak the greatest truth.

Pain in life comes from avoiding the truth that your feelings tell.

Any road that avoids feelings cannot be right.

Hiding from your feelings only makes you go in circles. (Been hiding for 5 years, and I did go round and round in pain. And now, I’m in the healing process).

Become comfortable with your feelings, because your feelings are your life.

Trust your feelings. They’re the only true guidance you’ll ever get.

If you know what you’re feeling, you know what the world is revealing to you.

If you cannot be true to your feelings, you cannot be true to yourself.

Trust your feelings, but first you have to know what you really feel.

when you find out when a feeling started, you also find out why.

The feelings you are afraid to release cause you to hold onto other things…

Stay up to date with your feelings. Don’t store them. When a feeling ages, it becomes less honest.

The more immediately you express your hurt, the more completely it resolves.

Stand up for your feelings and you’re free to be yourself.

You have to be able to cry to live fully, for tears in the right place cause healing..

Your feelings are explanation enough. Let them speak.

The greatest credential is the human heart…

Make mistakes.

Why should I be afraid to make mistakes?? I will only learn from my own mistakes.

My successes does not teach me very much. Life is always changing. My success could have been a blessing.

I’m sure to fail if I only try to imitate old successes and never risk enough to make mistakes.

My biggest successes evolve through my failures.

I can learn from the mistakes of others, but I only grow through making my own.

My mistakes point out my flaws, teach me to have confidence in my strengths and have a healthy respect for my humanness.

My mistakes makes me accessible to myself. It is easzier to review my life and make a powerful change during a mistake than it is during a success. Success lures me into believing I am better that I am.

While makin a mistake can be deflatin, it also reconnects me to my promise to myself. I want the people I love most when the leave me. I want the work situation most when I have lost it.

When I am disappointed, my goals seem clearer.

I make my own mistakes on the road to my own goals.

I’ll loosen up, take a chance, run the risk of growing again.

The mistake I make could just be the new beginning I’ve been looking for…

Be a little selfish.

If we sacrifice ourselves hoping that others will reward us, we are only fooling ourselves and setting up other people to disappoint us.

If you do not do what you need to do to make yourself happy, who should?

If you are not a happy person and are waiting for something to happen to make your life better, you will wait a long time.

Our job, your job is to make your life happy.

There is something that you want to do that you can do right now.

Do it!

Other people wont think you are selfish.

Other people probably wont even notice.

If they do notice, most likely they will envy you.

Besides, what do you owe anyone who argues with you for making yourself happy?

If someone is going to hate you no matter what you do, you might as well do whatever you want…

Too close for comfort.

I almost lost everything.

But the car stayed on the road.

The deal came through.
My loved one pulled through!
I got a second chance.
I feel relief when I feel safe.

The danger is past; now I can think about what almost happened.
I kept my false bravery aside. Perhaps I didn’t even know I was at risk. Perhaps I didn’t know what really mattered.

My relief always reflects a hidden fear.
My relief measures my fear and denial.

Perhaps I had too much at stake to face it all at once.

When I was in danger, I had to protect myself by minimizing my risk. Now I lowered my defences and looked at reality without even pretending.

I can admit how much losing really meant to me.

Relief is the beginning of self-knowledge.
Relief lets me feel my attachments and know how much I care.

Knowing what I really love is finding my strength.

Success.

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

Success is liking how I feel about what I do. Any success makes me feel successful when I accept myself.

When I don’t, nothing makes a difference.

Where your passion lies, there too lies your success.

So do your best what makes you happy. No one can ask more, and you wont be satisfies with less.

For me, success is a lonely place, because true success is mastery over yourself. You climb to the top of your talent and survey the world through your own eyes. No one can share your perspective. No one’s praise means much, but anyone’s criticism can touch you, for success makes you open to the slightest weakness in yourself.

I’ve realized that to win the greatest success, I don’t need to use power, but my vulnerability, for true success makes me humble.

And I came to understand that only if I can fail well can I succeed. When we succeed, we know that failure, like success, is always just behind the next door.

The only failure is fearing to risk…