Happiness = Pain
“No offense, but you’re never going to change the world.”
“Are you stupid enough to believe you’ll be able to make an impact?”
“You’re not special. Stop fantasizing and do what the normal kids do.”
Some people suck. They really really really do. Why do humans scorn on each other's visions/dreams? It makes no sense.
Turns out it’s emotional. And having emotions is not the problem (they make life exciting!), but it’s our lack of control of our feelings that become a problem.
I’ve learned that unhappy people hate on other people to take their happiness. No happy person cares about what anyone else is doing, and they won’t make snarky comments because… they’re too busy being happy.
Unhappy people are unhappy for a magnitude of reasons, but I think one of the most prevalent is the “I’ll just do it tomorrow mindset” combined with childish values of pleasure/pain.
If you’re not growing as a person life is no fun. Ray Dalio’s book principles taught me this. 😍
Why people are unhappy p.1: I’ll just do it tomorrow mindset
When I was like 4, my biggest concern was playing with my barbies and making sure I had the newest set of stickers. Oh, I also really wanted to be a ninja princess. Life was good back then. Why? Who the heck is going to tell a 4-year old that she’ll never be a ninja princess?
I just got to spend my time minding my own business and having fun.
If you said something like “Isabella stop being unrealistic, being a ninja princess is not an option” I probably would have gone all ninja-princess on you and threw a barbie in your face.
All of a sudden, being 15 now when I want to do big exciting things, [and I am doing tons of cool stuff] people think it’s ok to interfere with that.
Now, I’m also a big girl so I don’t really care about what people say, but I think there’s a meta-lesson behind it. I feel like I just used the word meta wrong but it makes me feel like Buddha so moving on 🤗.
People are scared of being themselves, so they do the next best thing: making other people feel worse
Except, somehow we have this universal rule that you never want to make a 4-year-old upset, but once that kid’s in their double-digits shitting on their dreams is a-okay.
I think this all revolves around happiness. My boy Aristotle argued that the greatest human need is happiness. We’re all searching for that. We think things will bring happiness (money, starting a company, vacation, etc) but newsflash, happiness comes from within.
Also, it’s a journey, not a state.
One monkey study found that when showing a monkey at a banana, it was more excited looking at the banana (+ imagining eating it) than actually eating it.
For me, a few months ago I was in Arizona and as a tourist, we were like let’s go to a big canyon. We decided to go to the grandest one 😋… and boy was it overrated! It was more fun anticipating the canyon than actually being there. I looked at it and thought: “wow this is identical to the pictures online!!!!” Then we left.
The process is better than the end result.
If people are always looking for a destination, they’re never going to find happiness because it’s a journey. Just like, you can’t go to the grocery store looking to buy a new minivan, and you can’t hop on a flight to NY and expect to land in Tokyo.
But this is where we run into a problem: people aren’t happy because they’re not enjoying their journies, because they’re not doing what they love, because there’s always tomorrow to do that.
To be happy = to enjoy everything.
Death is real!!!!!!
We have this “I’ll work on it later” mindset because death feels #fake.
Personally, can’t really voice my opinions on what dying’s like. But it feels impossible. I feel immortal!
But, I will die. I will. I will. I will. Nope, still feels unreal.
Not living life to the fullest, because you think you have unlimited time is a problem. And this, my friends, is the cause of mediocracy!
It’s why people end up in some suburban house with way too many cats.
I recently read the book The top 5 regrets of the dying, which I conveniently included the link for. Yes, you can google the regrets, in fact, I’ll do you one better, I’ll include them right here:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
But I still urge you to read the book because the storytelling is powerful and makes these ideas come to life.
In order to be happy, we need to live for a greater mission, surround ourselves with dope people and have tons of kerfuffles. Fun fact: kerfuffle is a word that means balderdash/nonsense — essentially, make life fun! You don’t need money, bigass boats or fancy oysters. Happiness is about enjoying the journey + having fun.
But for some freaking reason, we have made people think their lives are unlimited. So, we procrastinate everything, even the kerfuffles.
We’ll deal with the hard stuff tomorrow, we’ll start working on our passion tomorrow, we’ll call our friend and tell them how much they mean to us tomorrow, we’ll quit our job tomorrow. Well, newsflash tomorrow never comes. We’re always living right now.
The only thing procrastination is good for is memes.
The reason we procrastinate so much is… drumroll!!!!!
Why people are unhappy p.2: Pleasure/Pain.
Pleasure?!?! Bear with me.
Mark Manson talks about the three stages of values in his book, everything is f*cked, which, again, I linked up for you. I’m such a great ambassador!
The first and most common stage of values are childish ones — aka pleasure and pain.
4-year-olds have big ambitious dreams, but they’re also exploratory. They learn from pleasure/pain. E.g. If you push Johnny off the monkey bars, and he scraps his knee, you’re going to go to the naughty corner. But the naughty corner’s no fun! So, you learn it’s painful to sit in the corner, therefore you don’t push anyone off the monkey bars so you don’t endure the pain again.
That’s OK for a 4-year-old. But if we’re always doing stuff that’s pleasureful and avoiding pain, we aren’t going to live a very fulfilled life.
The struggle makes the result more worth it. For ex. if your values are childish, you’ll never want to eat healthy, workout, tell the honest truth or take risks because that would be doing stuff that’s painful.
Basically, people gotta grow up and realize the world is more than mini dopamine shots.
People that love pain and actually do what they’re passionate about that are happy. The rest get jealous.
Being happy = falling in love with pain. How many times do I gotta say it man? 😫
We only get one life
It’s cliché, I know. But, it’s crazy how most people live their lives as if they’re infinite.
Ask yourself these questions:
- If you were going to die tomorrow, how would you spend your time?
- If you had 5 more years, what would you do?
- If you had $10B bucks in the bank, how would you spend your time?
How different is the delta between what you’re doing now, and what your answer to these questions is? If it’s insanely different then gobbledygook! (Yes, it’s a word). Why aren’t you living your life to the fullest right now?
Tomorrow will never come, yesterday is gone forever, what could be more important than right now? Inspirational I know 😘
If everyone had this ‘enjoy right now’ mindset, we’d all be high on life, rather than high on drugs, anger, and mediocracy.
Reading the top 5 regrets of the dying just emphasized the importance of not settling for mediocracy, in any case.
Life is like cereal, don’t settle for Oat Bran, grab something fun like fruity pebbles or cocoa crisp. 😎
You know what they say…
Nothing in life is certain except death and taxes.
Yes, there are some smart people working on fancy cell stuff to increase longevity. Maybe they’ll crack immortality. But we can’t sit here and cross our fingers that we won’t die. The key to happiness is to live every day as if it’s your last.
Acknowledging death = forgetting ego
Forgotten ego = free to do whatever the heck you want
Having Courage + Honesty = Good values
These things aren’t always painless, or pleasureful.
If you have them, you can do things that make you happy. Too many people die thinking:
“I wanted to do something for me too, I just didn’t have the courage”.
It’s easy to assume that everything will be ok eventually, that things will work out, maybe. But life doesn’t always work that way brother.
It’s easy to always want more in life.
For a long time, I was very bumfuzzled. People were always super negative about my big ass dreams. They still are. Reading the top 5 regrets of the dying made me understand/empathize with people who hate.
I learned that if someone gives you a gift, and you chose not to take it, the gift belongs to the giver.
Life’s too short to be bumfuzzled by people’s BS.
Maybe, if we talked about dying, people would feel more urgency in their lives. Maybe, people would have the courage to quit their 9–5s and do what makes them excited. Maybe we would spend more time on the problems we care about.
We’d be like this guy:
We’re living our lives so ineffectively right now. We all want to be happy, surround ourselves with good people and eat lots of donuts.
We can do 1/3 of those things super well. But humans suck at finding happiness, similarily goats are awful software engineers. We can’t give a goat a MacBook and expect it to code the next snapchat. They don’t have the skills.
Maybe we need to give people the skills to find happiness?
It stems from within
“One who believes in himself has no need to convince others.”
We’re so consumed by everyone else, that we forget about ourselves. Come on dude, dying people are saying stuff like “I wished I spent more time on myself”.
If you’re searching for external validation or find yourself getting jealous of other people, it’s likely because you don’t feel like your inner self is good enough.
If you can’t be kind to yourself, you won’t be able to be kind to others.
I’ve been learning about happiness for a hot minute. I’ve been obsessed with philosophy and meditation. All these smart people come back to the same damn idea. Yourself.
For me, personally, I’ve started to be more intentional about the people and energy I surround myself with. I’m trying to remember to enjoy right now because one day it’ll be gone.
I’ll never be able to fulfill my childhood ambition of being a ninja princess. But I’m glad I read the top 5 regrets of the dying because I don’t want to let other people determine my happiness. I guess changing the world is pretty cool too.
And doing crazy stuff is possible.
More about me: www.isabellagrandic.com
Questions? Shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
AND you can sign up for my monthly newsletter.