Four Rules For Happiness
Just got some serious knowledge dropped on me by an extremely intelligent, highly educated, old man with demons of his own.
He starts off the conversation pointing out that there is a significant difference between happiness and success. He also said that he is pretty sure that most of us had never thought to distinguish the two. He said that equating the two is one of the biggest mistakes most people make. He said he had four things to say, and he went straight into them:
1. Be Selfish - He said we should be selfish. He said that he does not mean selfishness in that greedy way, but selfishness in terms of understanding what works for you, both professionally and personally.
- On a professional level, he said that he understands that, as young people, we are under the pressure to be intelligent, and successful in a particular way. He said that to achieve what you want, you must be willing to accept that whatever career you choose may not necessarily be for you, and that that is okay. He said that if you find that a certain career that you chose is not for you, it does not mean that you are a failure or that something is wrong with. What matters is that you figure out what works for you on a personal level and do that; find something that you are passionate about; find something that makes you want to wake up every morning.
- On a personal level, he said that for him those things were his travelling experiences, his multiple pets, and his relationship with his son. He said that everyone does not require the same things, but it is important to find them.
2. Live Like a Student - He said even after you start making money, it is important to continue to live frugally for 5-7 years. He said that the goal should be to pay off loans and save as much as the situation requires. He said that any extra money that you have (after bills and minimum debt payments have been made) should be split into two equal parts, with the first half going to debt reduction, and the second half going into a savings account. He said that life is too unpredictable, and as you embark on the process of figuring out what works for you (both personally and professionally), you need funds stacked away so that once it clicks, you can make the moves that will place you where you want to be. He said that a failure to do this can limit you. He said that you don’t have to live like a pauper, but that you should not be a slave to debt or over-excessive spending.
3. Be Malleable to Change - He said that it is important to understand that the journey will not go as planned. He said that we must understand that we will most likely have to try several different things (both professionally and personally). He said that you will switch jobs at least twice, and that most people get re-married at least once. He said that the point is that the only way to achieve happiness is to be open to change, with the understanding that the journey will never go as planned.
4. Be Nice - To conclude, he said that a failure to do the first three rules leads not only to unhappiness, but also to loneliness. This is because you will become too unpleasant. He said that that unpleasantness that you see in certain people is caused by the pain they are enduring from not being able to achieve happiness. He said that most “jerks” are square pegs trying to fit in circular holes. He said to be nice to everyone, because the same people you see on your way up, are the ones you will see on your way down.
I needed to hear this! I don’t even know what to do with myself after this.