Happiness can be confusing. With Mindfulness on the rise, many are telling us we’ll be happier if we learn to “just be” instead of do. There is no happiness without action. Although mindfulness and meditation are important, you need progress. Overcoming and progressing also make you happy.
America’s first psychology teacher wrapped up all the advice you need in 13 words:
“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”
― William James
Borrowing from the classic Spaghetti Western, I’m going bring them down into The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Not necessarily in that order. And I’m also adding No Action.
That would have been a horrible title: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and No. I’m gonna get No out of the way first.
First, there is no action. Just meditate. That is great advice for about 10 to 120 minutes per day. If you just sit around meditating all day, you’ll be calm and present. But you’ll also put on lots of weight and your car will get repoed.
It sounds like a great life. “I wish I could just sit around and do nothing.” You’ve heard someone say that. That could be great for a day. Maybe a few days, but before long life will lose its meaning.
Accomplishing, creating and overcoming give you the self-esteem that builds your self-confidence that helps you trust yourself more and love yourself more.
“Action May Not Always Bring Happiness”
Some actions are bad or ugly. Then there are the Good Actions that just don’t work out.
That’s okay. “Look beyond the imperfections.”
Taking from others, hurting others, inconveniencing others, gossip. REVENGE!
Those bad actions might seem like they’ll make you feel good, but like cheap tequila that temporary good feeling comes with a hangover.
Doing those bad things to others will erode your trust and your self-trust. If won’t build self-esteem. It will feel great for a few minutes, but it won’t help you love yourself.
There are varying levels of ugly actions. They’re probably interchangeable with the Bad Actions. I just wanted a The Good, the Bad and the Ugly reference!
Don’t just say “No” to drugs. Love yourself too much to put that stuff in your body. I know, not all drugs are created equal. Some are legal in some places. Some have health benefits. Billionaires microdose.
I’m not going to pretend that I won’t try a tiny, little microdosing if I ever become a billionaire.
Love yourself too much to experiment with drugs.
Junk Food, aka, Also Drugs
The exact same thing applies to junk food. The “food” producers make that junk addictive, so I call it drugs too.
Love yourself enough to not put junk food in your body.
It tastes good now. It satisfies the craving for sweet, salty or crunchy. Then it wreaks havoc on your hormones, gives you a crash soon after and eventually stores itself as fat which comes with its own array of ill effects.
It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Right, Eddie?
Like William James said, “Action may not always bring happiness.”
Suggested actions are all over IndependentlyHappy.com, so I won’t repeat them all here. Exercise, nutrition and gratitude won’t always bring you happiness. They’ll put you in a better position, though.
It may not work…