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Everyone and their TV commercial want you to believe that the key to a good life is a more admirable job, a more rugged car, a prettier girlfriend, or a hot tub with an inflatable pool for the kids. The world constantly tells you that the path to a better life is more, more, more—buy more, own more, make more, f*ck more, be more. You are constantly bombarded with messages to give a f*ck about everything, all the time. Give a f*ck about a new TV. Give a f*ck about having a better vacation than your coworkers. Give a f*ck about buying that new lawn ornament. Give a f*ck about the latest gadget.
“My guess: because giving a f*ck about more stuff is good for their business.
And while there’s nothing wrong with good business, the problem is that giving too many f*cks is bad for your mental peace & health. It causes you to become overly attached to the superficial and fake, to dedicate your life to chasing a mirage of happiness and satisfaction.
The key to a good life is not giving a f*ck about more; it’s giving a f*ck about less, giving a f*ck about only what is true and immediate and important.”
Life itself is a form of suffering.
The rich suffer because of their riches.
The poor suffer because of their poverty.
People without a family suffer because they have no family.
People with a family suffer because of their family.
People who pursue worldly pleasures suffer because of their worldly pleasures.
People who abstain from worldly pleasures suffer because of their abstention.
This isn’t to say that all suffering is equal. Some suffering is certainly more painful than other suffering. But we all must suffer nonetheless.
Happiness comes from solving problems. The keyword here is “solving.” If you’re avoiding your problems or feel like you don’t have any problems, then you’re going to make yourself miserable. If you feel like you have problems that you can’t solve, you will likewise make yourself miserable. The secret sauce is in the solving of the problems, not in not having problems in the first place.
To be happy we need something to solve. Happiness is therefore a form of action; it’s an activity, not something that is passively awarded to you, not something that you magically discover in a top G-articles.
Happiness is a constant work-in-progress, because solving problems is a constant work-in-progress—the solutions to today’s problems will lay the foundation for “tomorrow’s problems, and so on. True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving.
Sometimes those problems are simple: eating good food, traveling to some new place, winning at the new video game you just bought. Other times those problems are abstract and complicated: fixing your relationship with your mother, finding a career you can feel good about, developing better friendships.
Truth is that there’s no such thing as a personal problem. If you’ve got a problem, chances are millions of other people have had it in the past, have it now, and are going to have it in the future. Likely people you know too. That doesn’t minimize the problem or mean that it shouldn’t hurt. It doesn’t mean you aren’t legitimately a victim in some circumstances.
It just means that you’re not special.
The rare people who do become truly exceptional at something do so not because they believe they’re exceptional. On the contrary, they become amazing because they’re obsessed with improvement. And that obsession with improvement stems from an unerring belief that they are, in fact, not that great at all.
People who become great at something become great because they understand that they’re not already great—they are mediocre, they are average—and that they could be so much better.
Consumer culture is very good at making us want more & more. Underneath all the hype & marketing is the implication that more is always better. I bought into this idea for years. Make more money, visit more countries, and have more experiences.
More is not always better. In fact, the opposite is true. We are actually often happier with less. When we’re overloaded with options, we suffer from what psychologists call the paradox of choice.
The more options we’re given, the less satisfied we become with whatever we choose because we’re aware of all the other options we’re potentially forfeiting.
Just another homo-sapien
A counterintuitive Approach to a good life, Helps us to be Happier, Stronger. Stop trying to be positive all the time.
Curious about different takes? Check out our The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck Summary book page to explore multiple unique summaries written by Deepstash users.
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