One free chapter from the book.

‘Beware of destination addiction, a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are
Robert Holden

That quote was nearly a book within itself. I had a writer’s cramp just reading it.

It’s true though, we all sit & think ‘when I justttttt do this thing, then i’ll be happy’ and what do you know? You do that one thing & realise there’s another corner approaching & it’s actually when you get around that one, that’s when you’ll be happy.

Stop right there, idiot. Take a second to think. What even is this happiness? I say it’s our internal opinion of how good we feel about what is going on around us. If I asked you to go fetch me some happiness, you would look at me like i’m stupid (and you might have a point), so why do we think it’s this tangible experience we can touch, feel and live in? We have happy times & unhappy times, if you want to be simplistic, and as it’s me writing this book, it’ll have to be, so sure, we want to maximise the better times & minimise the worse times, but that is just us determining if we agree with what is going on in that moment or not. It’s literally your mind deciding if this is good or not, so as you can see, it is actually you deciding how you feel about everything. If we would rather life be happening in a different way, that’s normally unhappiness. Pure happiness is different to every person on earth, it’s subjective. To me, sitting in a nice chair doing nothing except eating my favourite snacks, could be pure bliss, but to you, that could be hell on earth. We all have to find what makes us uniquely happy and then aim toward it as much as possible. Unfortunately, the system we live in has blurred it out for us and we’re conditioned to accumulate material possessions, status, power, love or whatever else is flavour of the week. What most of us do is go along blindly and strive for all these objectives hoping this weird thing called happiness is in amongst it all somewhere. You don’t need a book like this to tell you it usually isn’t, but i’m writing it anyway.

Life is continually in motion, you’ll never ‘arrive’ at happiness. It’s not even a ‘thing’ you can grab onto, you will never reach a point called ‘happiness’ and then get to ride off into the sunset like it’s the ending of your favourite movie. It doesn’t work that way. You can have moments of happiness, sure, but they are just that, moments. The world keeps turning, those joyous moments will come & go as you move forward & you’ll lose them as quickly as you found them, that is why thinking ‘when I get to that point in the future I will be content & life is solved’ is complete bullshit. Don’t get me wrong here, aiming for a better life and working towards it is still the correct thing to be doing, but by thinking you can hold off feeling happiness now, because you can’t have it until you get to your next goal, is the wrong thing to be doing. When you do this, you’re postponing the enjoyment of life right now, in the present moment, on the bet that you’ll have all the time in the world to enjoy it later on. Again, you are so fucking wrong here you don’t even realise. The key thing to be doing is striving for ‘better’ in your life, but also still appreciating & being grateful for the life you’re having right now, not beating yourself up & holding off feeling good about yourself because you aren’t somewhere else. One day those imaginary future days you’re relying on will cease to exist & you’ll be on your deathbed, looking at your grandkids, your partner & your life’s history thinking ‘I wasted my entire life betting that one day i’d have all my shit in order & then I could sit down & enjoy my life’…but it never happened. There was always something else to be done. We miss out on so much of life going on around us because we’re in a constant state of making sure the future is going to be a better place for us, when you should understand that all we have is right now, life is going on around you, to be lived as it comes, and what you do now has a knock on effect on what happens in the next moment, so why do you think you can spend 10 years in negativity striving for this ‘thing’ that will suddenly turn your world upside down into constant positivity? Grow up. As you’re reading, note that this is the future for the ‘you’ from 5 years ago. Have you reached the happiness destination you were sure you were on the cusp of back then? No you haven’t, you might’ve improved and the younger you might be proud of what you’ve achieved, and that’s lovely, but you’re still not content are you? Even when you level up, you don’t ever get to a point where you think ‘ah this is the sweet spot, this will do until I die’, you’re constantly looking up at the next best thing, and then the next, and this goes on forever. You get a nice car, in 6 months time it’s just your car, the joy has worn off & there’s a newer model out, you think happiness lies in getting that one instead, or you buy your first house & you’re so over the moon about it for 2 years but now you want a bigger house, and when you get that one with the nice garden, that’s when you’ll reach true happiness. Wise up stupid, it never arrives. There is always another destination you think you need to reach before you will feel like you’ve made it. Being happy within yourself isn’t about attaining your desires, it can include that, sure, but happiness is a state of mind you create for yourself in how you interact with the world, that’s why you can find kids in poverty who are genuinely more happy than billionaires.

I’ll use myself as an example for this, when I was 20, I was earning a little over minimum wage & living at home with my mother (no wonder girls didn’t like me), but I always had the idea that if I just earned a few more hundred pound a month, i’m talking £300 or so here, then all my worries could be solved & I’d live happily ever after. Well wouldn’t you know it, fast forward several years & I was earning more than that couple hundred pounds extra that I wished for, but did I ever think ‘well, i’ve arrived, I can kick my feet up & enjoy all the happiness now’? No, I certainly didn’t mate. I was still thinking about earning a bit more and then I’d be able to live even more freely & happily. See the point? Even when you get what you once wished for, it doesn’t solve your problems forever, it solves the old problems, but it also creates new ones, then you’re back on the journey to find happiness ‘over there’ again. When you tell yourself that you can’t feel happiness until you get that new job, that bigger house, that faster car, you think you’re approaching the finish line of the marathon when you achieve one of these things only to realise you’ve been on a treadmill the whole time.

When I was 30, I bought my own house, with no help (apart from living at home with my mother, but I paid half the bills there too so piss off) & that year I moved in was the most depressed I’d ever been in life. It wasn’t money problems, or the house itself causing me grief, luckily enough all that was fine, but I thought buying my first home was me ‘making it’. In one way it was, it’s a nice feeling & achievement to be proud of, but it hasn’t made me feel like i’ve arrived anywhere or that i’m suddenly full of joy every day. It has the opposite effect in fact, when you convince yourself that if you reach a certain point in life, you’ll wake up the next day & suddenly feel different for the rest of your life, you’re mistaken. Tyson Fury became the World Heavyweight Champion in 2015, achieving his sole purpose in life, he achieved the one thing he’d always wanted, yet he said he got back to the locker room & thought ‘is this it? Is this what I’ve been working for my whole life?’ and in the following years he went off the rails & it’s all well documented what he did. He said the very next day, he didn’t care about that Championship belt. Imagine that, 20 years of graft toward the mountain top, and not even 24 hours after getting there, you no longer care about it. What do you do now? Even at that level, becoming number one in the world in his field didn’t bring happiness. There’s numerous other sports stars that all have the same experiences . Players have reached the pinnacle of their sport, done things we can only dream of, have more money than they know what to do with, and they say it didn’t create this ‘Destination: Happiness’. That place is a figment of all of our imaginations.

It sounds like I’m suggesting not even trying to attain goals in life here though doesn’t it? I’m not, goals are really important & can cultivate happiness within you, but the difference is you shouldn’t be convincing yourself that your sole chance of feeling content lies in achieving those goals. You have to bring your own happiness to those achievements. If you postpone enjoying life in the now, thinking that one day you’ll achieve something and then you’ll enjoy it, what if you get there & it hasn’t worked? What if you’re still feeling like there’s more to get, feeling like you should be full of life but you aren’t? You would’ve wasted however many years of your life aiming for this & it’s been for nothing (in terms of how you feel internally, getting more money & security in life is never a bad thing). What we usually do here is fall into the trap of deciding you must’ve got it wrong, it must be the next thing that will bring joy to your life, and on you go chasing that, refusing to enjoy your surroundings here, because you’re hung up chasing it over there. There’s actually a name for this in psychology;

‘The Arrival Fallacy’
“Arrival fallacy is this illusion that once we make it, once we attain our goal or reach our destination, we will reach lasting happiness,


See!? It’s not just me waffling, people who earn money from this stuff came up with it first. Believe them even if you won’t take my word for it. What you have to do is stop thinking of the future as a computer game, meaning we tend to think that once we do something, that’s it, that’s the end of the level reached. Life is chaos, you can never complete the game (until you die), it’s a series of flowing events that you have to continuously navigate. Even if you somehow manage to find a place or situation that brought you this elusive happiness, life doesn’t stop there does it? In time it could all be taken away from you, or the happiness could slowly erode away without you noticing, and then what? Do you get back on the chase for another place that brings the same feeling? That could take you another 30 years, if you manage to find it again at all. Surely it’s far easier to learn how to create a way of thinking that you can always summon happiness from within, no matter what the circumstance. What a superpower to have! If you can have genuine peace & joy, regardless of where you are in life, what can touch you? You’re mentally indestructible, by contrast, if your peace & joy lie in external things, it is out of your control, it can be taken away at any given second, you’ll go to bed every night never completely happy, even if you feel like you are. There will be some internal anxiety due to the fact it can all be taken from you, and you’re in a constant state of unconscious fear about it all going wrong, but if you aren’t reliant on external things, how can you have that fear? Take it from me, I’ll still be okay.

It’s only natural to want nice things I get that, we’re designed that way & so is the system we live in, but as with many other things in this book, it’s not about being perfect in this sense, it’s about reducing the harmful ways as much as possible, we’ll never get to absolute zero negativity & get it all right, no way, but if you can catch yourself from time to time you can steer yourself back in the right direction. Don’t stop aiming as high as you want in life, shoot for the stars, but be happy whilst you’re doing it, enjoy this part of the story too, it’s often the best part. This chapter was going to be called ‘Life is about the journey, not the destination’ but I couldn’t decide which naff poster to give the credit to, so I found something else. The point remains, life is happening now, even if you aren’t where you want to be, it’s important to find positivity in the present, that’s where you live. Don’t waste all this precious time around you. Stop thinking the moment you’re in now is somehow wrong & needs to be changed before you can appreciate it. That breeds negativity and causes you to think a good life can’t be in this moment, it can, it’s on you to shift your mindframe.

True happiness is never something outside of us that you bring inward, you develop it internally and you throw it outward onto the world. It’s here, now, it’s inside of you to find, grow & nurture like a house plant, it’s not a place you arrive at like a petrol station.

And stop looking for a partner thinking once you get that you’ll be complete. If you aren’t happy by yourself then getting a partner will only exaggerate all those problems once the honeymoon period is over.

Remember;

‘Desire is a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.’ – Naval Ravikant

Don’t be a slave to your desires.

Both of those things are how we end up with unwanted kids.

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