Are You Are Asking Yourself The Wrong Question About Happiness and Success?
What if I asked you, “What do you want out of life”. What would you say? Have you even thought about it (you would be surprised how many people haven’t)? Most people would answer with some version of the following; I want to be happy and have a great job and an amazing partner. Typical, right?
Yeah, those things are great, everybody wants those things. Everybody wants to feel good. Everybody wants an amazing body, a powerful high-paying job, an amazing relationship with mind-blowing sex, amazing vacations that make all of our Instagram friends jealous, and to command respect and admiration from the people around us. Everyone wants to be what our culture defines as successful. It’s human nature. It’s what dreams are made of.
The problem is, it’s easy to want those things, but wanting doesn’t mean anything. Wanting those things does absolutely fucking nothing for actually obtaining those things. If you sit on your couch and hope to become the next CEO of Apple or look like the Rock, does that make it happen? Hardly.
Yet many of us drift through life, going through the motions, hoping it will all work out. Hoping that our dreams will come true. LIFE DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY PEOPLE.
If I just described you, you have two options:
1. Get used to disappointment
2. Start asking yourself the right question(s)
If you prefer the first option, feel free to stop reading this and resume watching Netflix for the fifth straight hour. On the other hand, if you’re tired of not being any closer to your dreams than last year or the year before, listen up.
Most people dream and dream and never even come close to achieving what they want. One of the biggest reasons why, is because we are thinking about it the wrong way. We are asking ourselves the wrong question.
The question you need to be asking yourself is not what would make you happy. Instead, it’s what pain and suffering are you willing to endure.
Wait for it….
"We get what we tolerate." - Tony Robbins
What if I asked you, “What kind of pain do you want in your life? How much struggling are you willing to tolerate?” Would you know how to answer? A little tougher right? Most of us haven’t thought about our lives or happiness in this way. Yet this is precisely how we need to think. This question is a much better determinant of how our lives will turn out.
Most forms of happiness require pain and struggling. Real, lifelong fulfillment has to be earned. Nothing is free. Behind all the amazing and inspiring success stories of the people you admire is an absolute shit show. Struggle. Frustration. Rejection. Blood, sweat and tears. No exceptions.
If you want the corner office or to be the sexy entrepreneur, you don’t think you first have to suffer through the soul-crushing long hours, the bullshit corporate hierarchies, and the horrible bosses?
If you want an amazing body, you don’t think you need to struggle through getting out of bed at 5am or peeling yourself off the couch, or endure the physical pain of hard workouts and smelly gyms?
If you want to attract the most amazing partner, you don’t think you first have to weather some rejections or shitty relationships, or put yourself in emotionally vulnerable positions?
Of course, you do.
You see, it’s much easier to fall in love with the result. Instead, we need to fall in love with the process. The process is how the result happens. The process is full of pain and struggle. It’s the day in and day out grind. It’s the work.
This is the part you need to embrace. Stop thinking about it as the necessary evil and instead as the necessary perk. You get to work on yourself every day. You have the privilege of learning, spending time on something you are interested in. You have an opportunity to make a dent in the universe.
Trust me, most people on this planet are not so fortunate. If you were one of the billions surviving on less than a dollar a day, there would be a very different pain and struggle on top of mind: survival.
If you have the time and resources to read this blog, you are one of the lucky ones. Don’t let it go to waste. Fall in love with that privilege. Fall in love with the work. Fall in love with the pain. Let it make you feel strong, proud, disciplined.
Remember the no pain no gain idiom? Make this your mantra and get high off it. I promise you, if you do the work, you will get results. All those shiny, amazing dreams will come true by default.
“Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.” – Mark Manson
What will you choose? Illusions of unfounded plans for happiness, or what pain and suffering you’re willing to deal with? Your answer will determine the probability of your success.