Independently Happy

I take happiness seriously. So you don't have to.

Doing vs. Outcome

I’ve been studying Happiness extensively the past few years. I’ve done this partially for myself, but also so I can help those around me who seem to find it increasingly difficult to maintain Happiness. At first, I wanted to prove/disprove the money can’t buy you Happiness claim. Next I should research whether or not I can get away with capitalizing Happiness.

Sunshine Peak

…because hiking is the process you need to do to reach the outcome of the summit…

See that little, bitty me near the top of that ridge?

Process vs. Progress

One theme I struggle with is the notion of Process vs. Progress, or Doing vs. Outcome.

The idea is that by consistently writing over weeks and months, that I’ll develop more lasting Happiness with the consistent process of writing than I will with any progress I might have writing.

Stated differently, I’ll attain more Happiness from the output I’ve completed than I will with the outcome—the rewards–I might get from what I write.

I believe it. It makes sense, especially after what I learned from Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life.

(TRANSPARENCY ALERT:  Those two links to Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life on Amazon are totally Affiliate links!  Yes, I will earn affiliate commission if you purchase from Amazon from those links and for any purchase you make using links to Amazon from my site.  )

We Have to Do the Doing Part

My problem is with the doing part. We have to do the process part first, then get the progress. We have to output something to earn the outcome from it.

For example. I’ve had this idea sitting in my phone notes for over a week now. I’ve been promising myself a Starbucks coffee for writing, and I still haven’t got myself up early enough to write about it. Me, the guy who wrote the short, but sweet Don’t Wait post. How can I expect others to take my advice, if I don’t?

I believe that it is possible, or even likely, yet I don’t get out of bed in the mornings. It just doesn’t hurt much to stay in bed. Getting up can be very tiring, especially at 5:00 in the morning.

Here is what makes it—me—even more ridiculous. For the sake of argument— I love arguing with myself­—let’s say that getting an award or money for writing would bring more Happiness than the process. If I don’t write something, then there is nothing to get an award for.

No output, no money or Happiness. At least not likely.

Find an Excuse to Do

Then I saw an opportunity. My kid needed a ride to the airport for a 6:30am flight. The rest, as they say, just happened a few minutes ago. I somehow got up, took them to the airport, and here I am 309 words in at 6:20am.

That’s the number of words I wrote in total this morning before this sentence. Ok, now it’s 1418, assuming numbers count as words. 1424.

Anybody out there know how to overcome this? I’m open to ideas. We all are. Please share some ideas in the comments below.

Disclosure:  I use the Amazon Affiliate Program, so I will get a small commission from the sales of Rapt Attention and the Focused Life purchased via the above link.

Although Disqus is great, and I recommend registering for it to enjoy its full functionality, you can bypass registration if you click “Start the discussion…,” then Name, and the “I’d rather post as a guest” checkbox appears.

As if by magic.

Try it. I dare you.

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