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The Purpose Of Life Is Not Happiness: It’s Usefulness

Let’s just accept that. Most people love to analyze why people are not happy or don’t live fulfilling lives. I don’t necessarily care about the why.

I care more about how we can change.

Just a few short years ago, I did everything to chase happiness.

  • You buy something, and you think that makes you happy.
  • You hook up with people, and think that makes you happy.
  • You get a well-paying job you don’t like, and think that makes you happy.
  • You go on holiday, and you think that makes you happy.

But at the end of the day, you’re lying in your bed (alone or next to your spouse), and you think: “What’s next in this endless pursuit of happiness?”

Well, I can tell you what’s next: You, chasing something random that you believe makes you happy.

It’s all a façade. A hoax. A story that’s been made up.

More here – Medium

Old School Cool

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ON POWER LAWS AND TIME

 

The most precious commodity in life is TIME. We never have enough of it.

I personally squandered a lot of time in my twenties and thirties doing all sorts of random things. I was just busy being busy.

It wasn’t until I turned 40 that I realized a couple of big things about TIME.

 

Here’s a simple idea that made my life simpler and created time:

Find the key 20% in anything I do that is key.

Focus and execute well on that key 20%.

Completely ignore the rest.

More here – What I Learnt On Wall Street

Success

Someone bounced me the schematic below. I have no idea of its origin so cannot quote its source or even begin to consider its veracity. However, it does contain some points worth commenting on.

Success

 

This is a fairly blunt form of analysis and it does seem to simply look at the extremity of views for each loosely defined group. What you see is a polarization of opinion, there is very little nuance involved. But we can work with that. My initial impression was that this sort of schematic is designed to conform to the politics of envy. Particularly by highlighting that the poor (however they are defined) view success as something that is acquired through immoral or lucky means. By extension those who are successful have somehow acquired their success by borderline criminal activity. I have certainly run into this view.

However, just as the poor appear to ascribe success to negative traits in others the successful believe their success to be a result of positive traits they see in themselves. Most obviously they underestimate the role of luck. Luck is an intriguing thing because when you are the recipient of it you assume that it is simply part of the natural order. For example, in terms of luck I won the lottery. I was born in a time of the greatest economic expansion in history, I was born white, male and had a private school education. In Australia you dont get much luckier than that.

Implicit within this is the value of education and if you doubt the value of education consider the simple fact that some 75% of Australia rich 200 as nominated by BRW hold tertiary degrees. And the number of STEM degrees held by the successful will only increase simply because the way wealth is generated is changing. Education is highly correlated with a vast array of life outcomes from the amount of money you make during your life to how long you live. If you can get a good education the better off you will be in all aspects of your life.

I agree it is then up to people to make something of it and I regularly get my old schools magazine and it contains a where are they now section. When I look through this part of the magazine I am constantly amazed at the number of parents who probably hundreds of thousands of dollars on the child’s education to have them do nothing with it. There is nothing quite like a 40 year still living at home with his parents that spells success.

This raises the question of the value of  the above diagram since any form of self reporting is flawed. If I am successful it is natural that I will ascribe my success entirely to me and not some random aggregation of initial conditions. I am going to view myself as an heroic individual who constantly triumphs over adversity and I will view those who do not as being deeply flawed. If I was poor I might look at the success of others and believe it was the result of factors that I dont have access to and in part that is probably right since my view is that successful people grossly underestimate the role of luck in their lives.

However, the truth is probably like most things somewhere in the middle and eventually with a level playing field (which there will probably never be) it comes down to the individual. In part this is why I like trading, it is a reflection of who you truly are, not what your circumstances have made. The market has no ide where you are from, what your social status is, your colour, your religion or your sex. It merely knows whether you have the attributes of a good trader or you dont.

Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster

What Makes A Good Life?

The secret to happiness? Stop trying to be happy.

A few minutes after Neil Pasricha learned his wife Leslie was expecting their first child, he got an idea for a book. They were sitting on a plane returning to Canada from a trip to Asia when a flight attendant handed them a plastic-wrapped muffin with a scrap of paper that read, “Congratulations!” Leslie had been sick toward the end of their vacation, and on a hunch she had picked up a pregnancy test during a layover—and taken it mid-flight. Pasricha’s first thought upon hearing the news: Tell someone! Hence the muffin.

His second thought would require more time and effort to materialize. Pasricha decided to write down everything he knew and was learning about how to be happy: “I couldn’t think of anything I wanted more for my child.” Almost two years later, Pasricha has finished a 275-page book called The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything. Whatever edits the copy has been through, the dedication has remained the same: “To my baby, I wanted you to have this in case I didn’t get a chance to tell you, love Dad.”

Just about every parent can relate to Pasricha’s wish for his child. His mother and father no doubt wanted the same for him. But Pasricha’s struggle to articulate what happiness is and how to achieve it has a particular resonance. This is, after all, coming from the guy who during the past decade, while working as a corporate leadership executive at Wal-Mart, started a blog, 1000AwesomeThings.com, which turned into the bestselling The Book of Awesome, an ode to everyday pleasures, which was spun off into three more Awesome books (plus a journal and five calendars), a popular TED talk and hundreds of other speaking engagements around the world.

Stratospheric professional success aside, Pasricha, 36, has much to be happy about: he owns a home in Toronto, has a loving wife, a young son and now a second baby on the way. Despite all of these accomplishments, and even the wisdom Pasricha imparts in his books, finding happiness has turned out to be as much a maze as a marathon for him. “I don’t feel like I’ve achieved any next-level enlightenment or nirvana,” he says. “I have intense daily, weekly and monthly net struggles.” Especially around how to juggle work and family time. “Dropping my son off [at daycare] and picking him up is really important to me,” says Pasricha, as an example of one thing that’s come under threat. “Seventy-hour weeks in an office [mean] no more breakfasts with my son.” So he recently did what many people who are similarly stretched often fantasize about. Pasricha quit his job at Wal-Mart with one plan in mind: “I’m actually right now in the throes of dedicating myself more fully to happiness.”

More here – Macleans

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