Being Happy

I love this link from Naval.

This Happy Philosopher might be on to something with his ‘life is a single player game‘.

A bunch of my friends have had babies recently.

They are happy.

I imagine all the babies are happy.

Can that moment of happiness be stretched and learned and loved?

I am in a happy place most of the time these days, but nobody taught me how to be happy.

I would like to blame my parents, and I did…but it was expensive.

I definitely did not teach my kids how to be happy as the post discusses, but I think I can better help them after reading this post.

My biggest takeaway and luckily something I have practiced more and more the last few years:

Stop playing

I’ve noticed that the happiest people I know have opted out of many of the multi-player games. They use internal metrics. There is no competition with anyone to be happy. They don’t compare themselves to others or experience jealousy. They treat success as a byproduct of happiness, not as an addictive drug like most of us do. Happy people think single player.

There are few absolutes in life, and this topic is no exception. We can’t let go of this completely, just as we can’t have total freedom or total happiness. We will keep playing these games because that is what we do. But living a good life is not about perfection, it is when we nudge ourselves closer to the ideal. The more we can realize that the important games we play are all internal, the more we can focus on them and ignore the distractions. We need more signal and less noise in our lives.

Start to slowly disengage from these multiplayer games. Start to care a little less about winning them. They don’t matter all that much. It may feel a little lonely and empty at first. We fear quitting the multiplayer games because this reminds us we are truly alone. Single player brings the existential uneasiness of our loneliness into focus, but paradoxically this is where true contentment lives.

Nurture and support the internal metrics of happiness for yourself. Lean into and push past the uncomfortable feeling of living a more unconventional life.

Have a great Saturday.

Also published on Medium.