Don’t Chase Happiness. Recognize It.
A few stories about happiness and the so called "Hustle"
We so often hear the idea of hustling, grinding, and working extremely hard at something for long periods of time. We act as if this is a good thing and sometimes it can be. Say you’ve got an essay due tomorrow, staying up an extra hour to try and get it done might be a good thing, but staying up all night to get something done every night of your life maybe isn’t so great for our health. Ultimately what the so-called “grind” leads to is burnout.
Burnout is a huge issue that I have experienced first-hand when I was making my weekly YouTube videos. I loved making them and seeing people reacting to them, but after a few weeks, when it came to sitting down and talking to a camera I really didn’t like it. Now I’ve stopped my upload schedule and only make projects when I am genuinely passionate about the topic rather than creating content for others. Zach Ramelan made a video about this topic a while back which sums it up:
As WebMD puts it “Burnout is a form of exhaustion caused by constantly feeling swamped.”
So why do we work so hard? Because there is something we want to complete, maybe we think that if we grind, if we make money, if we work so hard that we want to quit, then we’ll be happy.
But happiness doesn’t come from working hard. It comes from smiling, spending time with friends, doing what you love and recognising that happiness is a lot closer than it seems. Of course, you also feel happiness when you complete projects but you’ll always be thinking about the next thing you want to do. Sometimes you just need to sit back and admire how far you’ve come. The video by Jake Frew below sums it up:
For the last part of this newsletter, I thought I’d share a few stories about happiness.
"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy’. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life." - John Lennon
I love this story, it shows that to be successful, it’s not about the grind, it’s about being happy. This story also shows how cool John Lennon is. While there is no concrete evidence that he actually ever said this, I like to believe that it’s true. Finally, I want to share a short story that I heard a while back. It’s a great reminder that happiness is a lot closer than it seems.
One day a fisherman was lying on a beautiful beach, with his fishing pole propped up in the sand and his solitary line cast out into the sparkling blue surf. He was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and the prospect of catching a fish.
About that time, a businessman came walking down the beach trying to relieve some of the stress of his workday. He noticed the fisherman sitting on the beach and decided to find out why this fisherman was fishing instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family. “You aren’t going to catch many fish that way,” said the businessman. “You should be working rather than lying on the beach!”
The fisherman looked up at the businessman, smiled and replied, “And what will my reward be?”
“Well, you can get bigger nets and catch more fish!” was the businessman’s answer.
“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman, still smiling.
The businessman replied, “You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a boat, which will then result in larger catches of fish!”
“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman again.
The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions. “You can buy a bigger boat, and hire some people to work for you!” he said.
“And then what will my reward be?” repeated the fisherman.
The businessman was getting angry. “Don’t you understand? You can build up a fleet of fishing boats, sail all over the world, and let all your employees catch fish for you!”
Once again the fisherman asked, “And then what will my reward be?”
The businessman was red with rage and shouted at the fisherman, “Don’t you understand that you can become so rich that you will never have to work for your living again! You can spend all the rest of your days sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset. You won’t have a care in the world!”
The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “And what do you think I’m doing right now?”
Thanks for reading. I’ll see you next week.