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The Purpose Of Life Is Usefulness: Not Happiness

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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The Purpose Of Life Is Usefulness: Not Happiness

The Purpose Of Life Is Usefulness: Not Happiness

https://ayomidejohnson.com/purpose-of-life-usefulness/

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Key Ideas

Redefining Happiness

Happiness isn't something you get when you go shopping or go on a vacation. It is a byproduct of doing something meaningful and useful. If we are not making a difference in the world by doing something worthwhile, not adding or creating anything of value, then we cannot achieve happiness just by drinking and getting high.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

The Little Things

  • We can do a lot of things, however small, and still make a difference. Without any grandiose aim of changing the world, even the smallest of things can help make it a better place.
  • We can consider doing an extra-curricular activity in the office, writing a creative article and sharing it, helping someone financially, or even starting a side project that helps our locality.

Just do anything useful, and leave the world a better place than it was before.

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Happiness can’t be a goal in itself. Therefore, it’s not something that’s achievable.

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” - Ralph Waldo Emerso...

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happiness is merely a byproduct of usefulness. You don’t have to change the world or anything. Just make it a little bit better than you were born. When you do little useful things every day, it adds ...

Happiness is merely a byproduct of usefulness. You don’t have to change the world or anything. Just make it a little bit better than you were born. When you do little useful things every day, it adds up to a life that is well lived. A life that mattered.

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Network Effects

Network effects are the unseen forces that are guiding our destiny and exerting a powerful intervention on our lives, creating energy that escorts us down a path that is not always fully our intent...

Zipf's Law

Zipf's law is a mathematical probability that states that in a given set, the most frequently used data value (or word) is used twice as often as the next most common value. This is true in various statistical sets like income distribution in companies, internet traffic, phone calls received, and language.

One of the implications of this law is there are unconscious network forces and mathematical patterns governing our lives, with human beings just being nodes exchanging information.

Dinner Party Mathematics

When six to eight people are conversing at a dinner party, it is easy to focus on one conversation, but if the number is higher (say 15), then two-way conversations are more likely.

When groups get larger, the change is exponential, not linear, affecting one's social experience.

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“The more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know.”

Jeff Goins

"Lifelong learners see Everything as an education."

"Lifelong learners see Everything as an education."

Realize How Little You Know

The more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know. And that’s a humbling realization.

If you want to be a learner, you have to appreciate the fact that you have much to learn. This is not false humility or some kind of feigned status. It is a mindset.

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