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The Hidden Costs of Happiness

Life is progress, not perfection

It doesn't work like a check-list: You can't check each item off, get to be happy and old for a couple of decades, then you die. Problems don’t go away, they change and evolve. And accepting life's imperfection is hard because it forces us to accept that we have to live with things we don’t like.  

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The Hidden Costs of Happiness

The Hidden Costs of Happiness

https://markmanson.net/hidden-costs-of-happiness

markmanson.net

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Key Ideas

Life is progress, not perfection

It doesn't work like a check-list: You can't check each item off, get to be happy and old for a couple of decades, then you die. Problems don’t go away, they change and evolve. And accepting life's imperfection is hard because it forces us to accept that we have to live with things we don’t like.  

Taking responsibility

Blaming the world for your problems is the easy way out. 

It gives you short-term relief, you lie in your imagined victimhood, but ultimately it implies that you are incapable of controlling your own fate. 

Mark Manson

Mark Manson

"You can only fix your own imperfections and not the imperfections of others. So you may as well get to work on them."

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

Bravery is not the absence of fear 🌪. It's feeling the fear, the doubt, the insecurity, and deciding that something else is more important. 

Progress and happiness

In any venture, failure is required to make progress. Without failure, there is no progress and without progress, there is no happiness.  

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Good relationships

Having good, supportive friendships, a strong marriage or close and loving relationships with our family members will make us much more likely to be happy. 

Action steps: T...

Optimism and self-esteem

These are some of the best indicators of people who lead happy lives. Happy people feel empowered, in control of their lives, and have a positive outlook on life. 

Action steps: Get into the habit of squashing all negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones.

Flow

People find greatest enjoyment not when they’re passively mindless, but when they’re absorbed in a mindful challenge. This is flow, when we're so immersed in our task that we lose track of time. 

Action steps: Find work  and hobbies that you’re passionate about and that fully engage you.

Joy
Joy

It's a feeling of spiritual and emotional wellbeing that includes bliss, elation, ecstasy, exuberance, and euphoria.

It’s an internal affair that is self-exist...

Happiness

It's a personal, external and fleeting feeling. It depends upon external things, situations, and experiences and can be achieved through possessions and experiences.

Happiness includes feelings of gratification, excitement, merriment, playfulness, amusement, and enjoyment.

Peace

It's freedom from disturbance. A state of tranquillity and harmony that can be felt collectively or individually.

Peace and happiness can be entwined, but the circumstances from which they arise are different.

Disease of More

Used in sports to explain why teams who win championships are often ultimately dethroned, not by other, better teams, but by forces from within the organization itself. The players want more: more ...

Our imagined "better"

Regardless of our external circumstances, we live in a constant state of mild-but-not-fully-satisfying happiness. Things are pretty much always fine. But they could also always be better. And that's why most of us live most of our lives constantly chasing our imagined "better".

The hedonic treadmill

It's the constant chasing of pleasure. 

People who are constantly striving for a “better life” end up expending a ton of effort only to end up in the same place.

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Think of Yourself Less

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.  - CS Lewis

Self-esteem that is bound to external success can lead to small spurts of happiness but is no...

Be Busy, but Not Rushed

Research shows that feeling “rushed” is a one-way street to stress and unhappiness. Too much boredom can be burdensome. 

To find a balance, learn to say "no" to opportunities that do not excite you.

Be Proactive About Your Relationships

Do:

  • Check-in regularly with good friends (around 2 weeks for very close friends).
  • Celebrate the good things in their life; let them know through active and constructive listening. 
  • Studies show people love hearing themselves talk and talking about themselves, so let them.

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Joy

It's the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of succeeding. It’s a simple and light-hearted spark that transcends through your body and leaves fee...

Happiness

It's a pleasurable emotion brought by a state of well-being and contentment. It’s usually accompanied by an attachment to an idea, a destination or experience. It often weighs profoundly heavier on our subconscious. 

Happiness Is a Destination; Joy An Attitude

The vision of the life you desire is a destination you shouldn’t ignore as it’s key to understanding your happy place.

If happiness is the destination, joy is the milestone that leads there. Joy comes and passes through without the heaviness of it being a “final destination” because joy is an attitude.

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3 kinds of happiness that don’t ever last
  • Rock Star Happiness: Rock star happiness is all about getting what you want. And we think it will make us happy. 
  • Lowered Expectations: Perhaps happine...
If you aren’t growing, you are dying
Happiness that is true and lasting is quite simply this: progress. Progress = Happiness! If you are moving forward in your life, if you are progressing personally, professionally, emotionally, spiritually — you will be happy. It is only in stagnation that we wilt.
What you write, you learn

The key to learning is to stop passively consuming information and start actively engaging with the ideas we encounter.

One effective way researchers have found to reinforce learning is th...

What you write, you control
  • Recording your thoughts in a medium outside your own head helps your mind to become quieter: It stops returning to the same worn-out mental loops over and over. 
  • When you recount and reflect upon your thoughts and experiences you are, in effect, telling your own story. Journaling helps us clarify, edit, and find new meaning in these narratives.
Journaling and personal goals
Journaling about your goals helps you clarify what you want and encourages you to consider the why and how not just the what

It serves as a tool for identifying what you should prioritize on a daily basis, and what you should let go of. And it also gives you a record of the progress you’ve made toward your goals to keep you motivated.

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Criticizing or Listening

Do you tend to hear your partner out when she’s sharing his or her perspective or do you jump in quickly to point out the problems with their views? 

Try listening and giving your par...

Blaming vs. Supporting

When things go wrong for your partner—on the job, with friends, or personally—do you tend to identify the faults in them that may have led to their difficulties or do you offer support and a willing ear? 

Tearing down your partner when the world is doing a good job of this already does no good for your relationship.

Complaining or Encouraging

If your partner is taking on a new challenge or trying to solve a problem or fix something that’s broken, do you complain about their success and pace or do you offer encouragement and act as a cheerleader? 

Improve your partner’s chance of success by giving them space and positive encouragement. You should view yourselves as a team, not as rivals.

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Worrying about the future

Worrying is the mental habit of trying to solve a problem that either can’t be solved or isn’t really a problem. 

It gives us the illusion of control. Worrying about i...

Isolating yourself

When we hide our pain and isolate ourselves, we throw away the most powerful antidepressant: loving support from people who care about us.

You don’t need coping strategies when you’re sad discouraged, or helpless. You need people. You need support. You need someone to give you a hug and listen carefully to your story.

Keeping quiet

Most of us hesitate to push back and stand up for ourselves because we’re afraid of being perceived as aggressive or rude. And so we default to being passive.

But there’s a middle road between being passive and aggressive: You can be assertive. It means standing up for your own wants, needs, and values, in an honest and respectful way.

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Diffuse the fear of being rejected

... by acknowledging and expecting it can and will hurt.

To overcome the sting of rejection, stop trying to avoid feeling that stings. Stop pretending your unaffect...

Interrupting rumination

Make a contract with your partner, family, and friends allowing them to catch you in the throes of verbal diarrhea when you were unfairly treated.

Work out three or four different activities that will distract you and turn your attention to something productive. 

Regulate the number of rejection opportunities

 ... you expose yourself to.

We all have a different threshold of the amount of rejection we can handle. Wisely considering how much more you can handle is essential. 

Before you take another step forward, ask yourself if you have the right resources and support in place to catch you.

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