Skip to main content

Finding Happiness

I listen to a lot of podcasts. They are great for entertainment as well as education. I finished listening to a recent podcast by Tim Ferris in which he interviews Naval Ravikant. The entire podcast was great, but one part really jumped out at me. You can find the podcast here, and I have detailed below what I found so enlightening.

“Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.” – Naval Ravikant

This is the pull quote for the podcast, so it must have struck Tim in a similar way that it struck me.

I have experienced this, but haven't been able to see this wisdom before. When I want something really badly, it consumes my every thought. Then of course, once I actually obtain whatever it was, it doesn't actually make me happy. At least not to the extent that I was unhappy before I got it. Thinking about a desire with this mindset really changes the desire's affect on you.

Naval then continues with, "In any situation in life you have 3 options: you can change it, you can accept it, or you can leave it. What is not a good option is to sit around wishing you could change it, but not changing it. Wishing you could leave it, but not leaving it. And not accepting it"

So he reminds himself anytime that he is unhappy that he needs to just accept.

I cannot recall the number of times I have thought to myself, or heard someone else "wish" that a thing had happened differently. "I really wish that X, which happened very long ago, had been different."

You have no ability to change what has happened in the past. Spending any energy or thought on it is just a waste. It's a waste that holds you back from moving on. The only thing that you have power to change, is what is right in front of you now.

If you have something that you have been holding onto for a long time: think about it, examine it, understand it, and then MOVE ON from it. It is over now. You can't do anything to change it.

When you are next faced with a difficult situation: think about it, examine it, understand it, and then chose to either change it, accept it, or leave it. Once you have made a decision, stick with it and move on without "wishing" changes in the future.


  1. Yeah, I know people who regularly beat themselves up over poor decisions that happened years ago, too. They analyzed it every way possible, it changed the way they approached other things in life, and they became stronger because of it. But despite that, they continue to wonder "what if..."

    Introspection is very important, but so is accepting it and moving on. Good advice. That's a great quote too... I'll have to remember that.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. I try to share everything I come across that really strikes a cord with me.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Converting a Large AngularJS Application to TypeScript Part 1

I work on a project that uses AngularJS heavily. Recently we wondered if using a preprocesser like CoffeeScript or TypeScript for our JavaScript would be beneficial. If our team is going to switch languages, we would need to be able to convert existing code over without much pain and we would have to find enough value in switching that it would be worth the conversion.

I had read an article that stated that because TypeScript is a SuperSet of JavaScript, you could convert a plain JavaScript file to TypeScript by changing the extension to .ts and not much else would need to change. I wanted to test out this claim, so I took a file that I was familiar with, an Angular Controller, and tried to convert it to TypeScript to see how much effort it would take and then try to figure out where we would benefit from using TypeScript.

This is what the controller JavaScript file looked like to start out with:
(function () { 'use strict'; angular .module('app') …

Converting a Large AngularJS Application to TypeScript Part 2

In part 1 I was able to take an Angular controller written in JavaScript and convert it to a TypeScript file while doing very little to change the code. In this post I am going to explore transitioning that same controller to actually use the features provided in TypeScript. This is how I left off my controller:
declare var angular: any; (function () { 'use strict'; var controller: any = function($scope){ ... } angular .module('app') .controller('controller', controller); controller.$inject = ["$scope"]; })();
While performing the translation from JavaScript to TypeScript, I would make sure at every step that the functionality I expected still worked, so if anything I did broke the system I would change it back and try again with another approach. Also if something seemed like it worked too easily, I would break it on purpose to make sure I wasn't getting a false result through browser caching a previously working fil…

Gamify TDD

I like it when things that would not normally be associated with games add concepts from games as a way to incentives you to accomplish things. Why simply go for a run if you can have an app that will track you and give you a gold star if you do better than you did the last time? Why go to the coffee shop that only gives you coffee if the other one will give you points that you can redeem for free drinks eventually?

I was recently introduced to CodeSchool, an online training system similar to PluralSight, it has video courses and challenges you can take to prove that you retained what the video taught. CodeSchool also adds badges and tracks to your learning, so as you complete a video and its challenges you get a badge. Complete a collection of courses within a specific discipline and you become a master of that discipline.

Some of these incentives are not tangible and really don't mean much in the real world, but they tend to work for me. If I start working towards a large goal a…