How To Counterintuitively Achieve Happiness

Don’t Seek Happiness - Happiness is like an orgasm: if you think about it too much, it goes away. Keep busy and aim to make someone else happy, and you might find you get some as a side effect. We didn’t evolve to be constantly content. Contented Australopithecus Afarensis got eaten before passing on their genes
— Tim Minchin

The above quote is from Tim Minchin’s grad speech a few years ago. It’s fucking brilliant and I urge you — especially young, aspiring millennials — to watch it.

This blog and my (I despise using this term but it’s the only way) “personal brand,” is — down to a fundamental level — about happiness. Where I differ from most, however, is how I pursue happiness.

I’ve tried the whole ‘just be positive and good things will happen’ approach. It failed miserably. In fact, some of my darkest moments occurred during these trials of focused positivity. Hope is not a strategy (Tony Robbins).

Most of the pain I have experienced has been me focusing on me. That is, focusing my attention on what is wrong in my life. Me, me, me, me, me. I guess this could be a side-effect of growing up without siblings. The only child syndrome.

In the book Tribe, by Sebastian Junger, he showed statistically that suicide rates go down when crisis occurs. The London blitz and 9/11 are prime examples. Our fenced up houses and secluded cultural ideals are tearing apart the very fabric we evolved from: community.

The act of needing help and helping in return is critical to happiness. We are hard-wired to be compassionate and give. The secret to living is giving. We grow SO that we CAN give.

Make the next couple of minutes rock in your life by asking the question: “How can I contribute to my surroundings to make it better than I left it.” If everyone made a conscious effort to think like this, the world would be a better place.

Being an ex-average golfer that somehow went to the USA on a scholarship, I was told from a young age by one gentlemen, “Clean the fucking bunkers you little shit and leave them how you found them.” I’ve never forgotten this. It applies to many areas in life.

Bottom-line:

Do Not Seek Happiness. It’s a trap.

Aim to make others happy and don’t expect much, if anything, in return. I promise you, this will pay dividends down the line.