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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.


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