And I’m already beating myself up about how I suck at actually doing things. You know… when you have that awesome idea and you tell someone about it and they actually think it’s genius? Well, it’s been shown that when you get the fuzzy warm feeling of someone affirming your idea, you are now suddenly way less likely to implement it.
I am often having moments like this in my life where I say to myself “Wow self, you really suck at this thing!” Then I laugh at my incompetence at that particular task and generally ignore it until I forget about it altogether.
However, I’ve found that a way around this is to do what I am doing right now. To just be like “Oh look, I’m doing it!”
It’s too late to say “Oh, but that sounds hard…” when you’re already doing something. And you often find it’s much easier than you made it out to be in your head.
I am really good at making very good-sounding excuses for the things I put off. The problem with this is, everyone believes them. Even me to a degree! I then have to somehow out myself to a close friend – “So uh, I’m actually avoiding this thing because I’m making up lame excuses, not because it’s the smartest thing to do.” – to try and get them to make me do it. It’s a very complicated process!
I learned today that happiness leads to success in every area of life. And success does NOT lead to happiness! Check out the article here: http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2014/09/be-more-successful/
This makes a lot of intuitive sense to me. The happier I get, the more life seems to suddenly throw all sorts of wonderful opportunities my way. But perhaps more significantly and importantly, I seem to have gotten much better at knowing what I want.
That may seem like it’s not hugely important, but trust me, it’s massive!
I was watching a live stream of a seminar yesterday that focused on applying the Pareto Principle to business, and specifically to working less. One of the first points that was made is, if you’re going to get off the hamster wheel of working day in and day out, you need to have a plan for what you’re actually going to do with all that free time you have on your hands after it works. Because if you don’t, you will go straight back into that miserable rat race!
It sounds insane, and that’s because it is! I have a suspicion that the best of humans often follow the same path to death, simply because they never take the time to figure out what they truly want. School. College. Job. Marry. Kids. Die.
So I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about what I actually want.
I moved back to the country I was born in 2 months ago to the day. Ireland. =D It brings me great joy to feel like I’m finally home again.
Things have also been a bit crazy though. For example – I still have nowhere to call home. The apartment hunt has been a lot more challenging that I had originally expected. I have moved 5 or 6 times since I got here to different family members’ or friends of the family’s houses. Every time I move, it’s to another city where, because of my wonderfully varied food allergies, I have to re-discover the foods I can eat without murdering my insides. o.o It’s a bit stressful to say the least.
But then there’s the excitement of learning to navigate new cities, seeing fresh faces, getting to know some of my cousins for the first time, trying new foods… Even spending entire weekends without internet access!!
I find that I am spending a lot more time just sitting with a journal or reading my Einstein biography (which I HIGHLY recommend if you can handle this guy’s best attempt at layman’s theoretical physics 😉 ) and not feeling any pressure to actually DO something. I am getting a lot more sun because the weather has been absolutely GORGEOUS the entire time I’ve been here.
That time just sitting and reading or writing is so relaxing and feels like it starts to give way to many new ideas and revelations. The struggle happens when I actually pick an idea and decide I might want to implement it… It doesn’t take very long before I start heaping guilt and shame upon my own head at my obvious failure.
Now what I find quite amusing about all this is that I think I am an incredible super genius who will inevitably change the world and get uber-rich along the way. To say I am confident might be an understatement.
But it doesn’t mean I’m invincible.
I am a very happy person in general. Even with my food allergies and other challenges that come my way, I tend to handle them better than the average bear. However, as I looked down at my nails which are currently bitten down to half the height they should be, I realized that I am not invincible to stress.
Believing that stress is illogical is not enough to make it go away. I can change my habits, my mindset, my environment, my choices, or whatever it is, but I cannot wish it away.
I suppose this leads into a more vague but intriguing idea I’ve been pondering lately.
You see, I am sick of touchy-feely “How to be Happy” advice. You know why? It doesn’t work for me. What does work for me is taking a systematic, logical approach to determining what I want in life. Looking at what has made me happy in the past is a MUCH better determiner of what will make me happy in the future than trying to guess at what might make me happy in the future (as much as I’d like to believe those guesses).
This is true in market research as well. You can ask a random person “Would you rather buy the blue one or the green one?” and “Why?” and they will tell you. But the problem is they are making it up. It is VERY hard to guess what you would do in a given situation when the situation is hypothetical, because we have an idea in our head of what we’re like that doesn’t match reality:
If I asked you “Would you help someone on the street if they were hurt?”
You would most likely say “Of course!”
This is because you belive that you are the kind of person that would never turn away someone that really needed help. Unfortunately, put into the actual situation where you are running late for work, you are much more likely to think “someone else will help them” and run on by.
What I am getting at here is, I think there is a way to systematically achieve happiness without needing to read up on gushy vague feel-good stuff and try to figure out how to use it to magically make your life better… when you get around to applying it. That’s another thing I’m hoping to eliminate – I want to find a way to make it so clear and simple to figure out what you want in life, that you don’t put it off the way I put off writing this first blog post.