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Happiness is a Decision – Nerdful Mind #86

September 5, 2021 by Simon Mannes

Happiness is a decision, not a destination.

Why Happiness is Not a Destination

Thinking “once I have this, I'll be happy” is a trap. There's always more. More to desire, and more to look forward to.

After we've covered the basics, everything else is a bonus.

There's so much to want out there, a garden, more vacations, and more time to dance, that I often forget how much I already have. A job I like. Great friends. A home I enjoy staying in. And a loving wife.

All the stuff out there I could have shouldn't prevent me from being happy now.

This brings me to the second part.

Why Happiness is a Decision

If nothing out there gives me lasting happiness, it can only exist in the present moment, and only within myself.

When I've got my bare necessities covered, being happy is just up to me. It's my decision to step aside from my inner battle of the past and the future over the now.

This does not mean to stop working; eating ice cream all day while watching Netflix. It's about recognizing that you need nothing of that to be happy. Otherwise you're just indulging the hedonic treadmill.

That doesn't mean I should give up my desires and ambition either, but I don't want them to rule my life. You can do great work while you are happy.

After all, what's the point of working towards something our whole life if we don't let ourselves enjoy the journey?

“Cause let me tell you something, little britches

If you act like that bee acts – uh-uh

You're working too hard

And don't spend your time lookin' around

For something you want that can't be found"

When you find out you can live without it

And go along not thinkin' about it

I'll tell you something true

The bare necessities of life will come to you”

— Song The Bare Necessities (The Jungle Book, emphasis mine)

Reading Recommendations

What Is Mindful Walking Meditation and How Can It Impact Your Life?

“The evocatively named forest bathing (or shinrin-yoku) surfaced in Japan in the 1980s as both a treatment for burned-out technology workers and a way to reconnect the population with the country’s extensive network of forests.”

What to Do (And Not Do) When Someone Tells You About Their Mental Illness

“You talk with them all the time, but now that you're aware they live with mental illness, you may be at a loss for what to say or do. Get a personal primer on the do's and don'ts, so your care comes through.”

How mature is your DevOps? – Some thoughts on measuring progress

“How do you measure DevOps maturity? Is there some sort of maturity model or a required skill set? These questions are beside the point.”

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

Take a few minutes and think about someone close to you. Imagine them extremely happy wherever they are right now.

See how content they are and hear how calm they breathe.

Enjoy their happiness.

End Note

If you enjoy this newsletter, please share it with someone you know. Just forward them this email.

Have a great week

Simon

PS: What do you think about this? Please hit reply and let me know. I'm curious!

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