I live an epic life.
I receive as much as I give. I generally fear nothing. And I’m healthy.
Unlike other stories of dudes hitting rock bottom and bouncing back to become Tony Robbins, I’ve been fortunate and have been pretty much ridiculously happy my entire adult life. So how do you get to be super happy all time?
First, stop worrying about what people might think and always speak your mind. Second, do the three things I do everyday.
1. Keep the number of _____s you have to give to the bare minimum.
I live in a state of perpetual, willful ignorance of other people’s affairs because I noticed that people who gave a _____ about everybody else’s business are generally miserable. The key tenet to how my life is run is based on the Zen Buddhist (I’m not) principal of “the fewer the attachments, the less the bullshit.” I believe in goal-based living and have sorted out my universe with one simple circle:
Inside the circle – People, goals and promises I care deeply about.
Outside the circle – Everything else.
Happiness is having the fewest number of moving parts necessary to keep you happy. If the stuff inside the circle is all good, I’m all good. I find that I’m happier the more stuff I cut out; be it things, ideas or people. How is this groundbreaking? It’s not. All happy people block bullshit from entering their lives in the first place. That’s why they’re happy.
2. Work because of a promise, not because of a paycheck.
If you’re working simply to keep the pantry full, whatever it is you do will eventually start to suck. Work because of a promise to yourself and to the guy who hired you. The promise to yourself is a specific and measurable skill-set/network/knowledge base you must acquire during the engagement. (How is taking on this work going to make me better?) The promise to your client/customer/employer is a specific, measurable result you must deliver over a specific time. (How is taking on this work going to make the guy who brought me in better?)
A promise can motivate where a contract cannot (Try it next time you hire a guy – “Can you promise me you’re not going to give up on your day until you achieve A, B and C?). A promise can keep me engaged long after I’ve forgotten what my pay-out is. Happiness comes from knowing why you are doing something and few things make a bro happier than being able to keep a promise – to himself and to the guy who hired him.
3. Drive an M3.
I own an M3. In my opinion, it is the greatest street racer ever bolted together by the serious people from Bavaria. But the point is not to drive an M3 (although if you don’t, you’ll never know the bliss of a machine knowing what you want it to do before you realize it yourself.) The point is, do stuff everyday that makes you foolishly happy. Do it all the time and never feel guilty that you enjoy something. Take the hedonist approach and trust that if it feels good, it’s worth doing. I practice sliding sideways in industrial parks late in the evenings. I downshift near parked cars just to set off their car alarms (and giggle like an idiot when I do). I drive 60 minutes to a different city to buy a cup of coffee late at night because who can watch an episode of Top Gear and resist hopping into their own car to take the first on-ramp as hard as he can? (…possibly everybody except me and the world’s other M3 drivers) Happiness is not having to justify a damn thing to anybody about playing if you’ve earn it.
Happiness is not a zero-sum game. Your happiness does not take away from someone else’s (unless that someone else is an envious cretin). If you can read this, you’re probably living in a Western Democracy with more freedom and opportunity than two-thirds of the people on the planet. Whatever it is that’s bad right now, it all ultimately passes. Remember the bell curve.
Be simple. Be accountable. Be silly.
That’s how you can be ridiculously happy.