29 Apr The hidden costs of happiness (but they’re costs worth paying!)
I very much like this article from Mark Manson on the hidden costs of happiness and invite you to read and seriously consider the points he makes.
As I hope you'll see, there are costs to happiness but…they're costs definitely worth paying!
So read on and ponder…
by Mark Manson
In today’s happiness-obsessed culture, most pursue just the opposite: happiness with no costs, all benefits. We want the rewards without the risks, the gain without the pain.
But ironically, it’s this unwillingness to sacrifice anything, to give up anything, that makes us more miserable.
As with anything else, happiness has costs. It is not free. And despite what Cover Girl or Tony Robbins or the Dalai Lama once told you, it’s not always easy breezy either.
1. YOU MUST ACCEPT IMPERFECTION AND FLAWS
Many people believe that if they just collect a house, a spouse, a car, and 2.5 children, everything will be “perfect.” Life has a checklist. You check each item off, you get to be happy and old for a couple decades, then you die.
But life doesn’t work that way. Problems don’t go away — they change and evolve. Today’s perfection becomes tomorrow’s swampy cesspool of shit, and the quicker we accept that the point of life is progress and not perfection, the sooner we can all order a pizza and go home.
Perfection is an idealization. It’s something that is approached but never reached. Whatever your conception of “perfect” is in your pretty little head, it is, in itself, an imperfect conception.
There is no perfect. There is only what you wish in your head.
We don’t get to decide what perfection is. We don’t know. All we can know is what is better or worse than what is now. And even then we’re often wrong.
When we let go of our conception of what is perfect and what “should” be, we relieve ourselves of the stress and frustration of living up to some arbitrary standard. And usually this standard isn’t even ours! It’s a standard we adopted from other people.
Accepting imperfection is hard because it forces us to accept that we have to live with things we don’t like. We don’t want to give that up. We want to hold on to control and let the whole world know how Canadian democracy should be and why the season finale to Breaking Bad was all messed up.
But life will never conform to all of our desires. Ever. And we will always be wrong about something, in some way. Ironically, it’s the acceptance of this that allows us to be happy with it, allowing us to appreciate the flaws in ourselves and in others. And that, my friends, is a good thing.
2. YOU MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR PROBLEMS
Blaming the world for our problems is the easy way out. It’s tempting and it can even be satisfying. We’re the victims and we get to be all emo and indignant at all of the terrible injustices that have been inflicted upon us. We wallow in our imagined victimhood so as to make ourselves feel unique and special in ways in which we never got to feel unique and special anywhere else.
But our problems are not unique. And we are not special.
The beauty of accepting the imperfection of your own knowledge is that you can no longer be certain that you’re not to blame for your own problems. Are you really late because of traffic? Or could you have left earlier? Is your ex really a selfish asshole? Or were you manipulative and overly demanding towards him? Is it really the incompetence of your manager that lost you your promotion? Or was there something more you could have done?
The truth is usually somewhere around “both,” — although it varies from situation to situation. But the point is that you can only fix your own imperfections and not the imperfections of others. So you may as well get to work on them.
Sure, shit happens. It’s not your fault a drunk driver hit you and you lost your leg to a botched surgery. But it’s your responsibility to recover from that loss, both physically and emotionally. So get recovering.
Blaming others for the problems in your life may give you a smidgen of short-term relief, but ultimately it implies something entirely insidious: that you are incapable of controlling your own fate. And that’s the most depressing assumption of all to live with…
…keep reading the full article HERE