Chapter #2 : Happiness is a Problem
Happiness comes from solving problems
Happiness is not something you can order on Amazon. In the age of instant gratification, we have become impatient and that is why this truth is hard to swallow. So, instead of doing something that requires us to fail and learn, we procrastinate and take refugee on Facebook or Netflix. Sadly, this avoidance of problems makes us miserable.
Pain is necessary because it sure that we do not repeat a mistake. Pain is what stops you from burning your hand. The pain of rejection and failure, in a similar manner, helps make you a better person. In our culture, due to constant exposure to huge successes, we mistake progress for something easy while it is not.
“Life is essentially an endless series of problems. The solution to one problem is merely the creation of the next one.”
Doing something difficult is painful, emotionally and psychologically. It requires you to close that episode that you are watching and get to work. Procrastination, on the other hand, is easy and feels good. But we all know the frustration we go through when we have to do something in one night which was supposed to be done in a week.
When we avoid our problems or feel that we can’t solve them, we end up feeling miserable. We feel not in control. That is why the key to happiness is solving your problems.
You will find people denying the existence of problems when everyone tells them otherwise. You will also find people blaming others for their problems. Maybe you are guilty of it as well. When we do this, it feels good, it feels good to be innocent when you are not. On the other hand, facing your fears and solving your problems is hard. That is why so many people procrastinate.
Emotions are overrated
Emotions are suggestions that our neurobiology gives us. Negative emotions are a call to action telling us to do something while positive emotions are rewards from taking action.
Emotions don’t last and whatever makes you happy today may not work for you some time later. We think that we can achieve ultimate happiness and solve our problems once and for all but that is just not possible. The funny thing is that the dream job you take is the job you stress over. The person you marry is the person you will fight with. That is why we should look at problems as the norm and not the exception.
That is why simply relying on your emotions all the time is not a wise strategy. You may end up becoming indifferent or chasing highs all the time, trying to ward off negative feelings.
Choose your struggle
Success in life is not only determined by what you want in your life but also the pain you are ready to sustain to get those things.
Everyone wants to be successful, have a huge bank account and look attractive but very few are ready to work for these things day in and day out. Millions of people make new year resolutions but forget about them by the time January is over. Success is obtained from persistent effort.
In the end, life rewards those who fall in love with the pain of the process. Our struggle determines our successes. It is a never ending spiral and the joy is in the climb because as you solve your smaller problems, they transform into better and more enjoyable problems.