I just finished reading the book, ‘The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness’ by Eric Jorgenson, which got me thinking about death. Not in the petrified-of-dying kind of way, but in acknowledging the fact that one day, we are all going to die.
We obviously all know this, and it all sounds very morbid, however, acknowledging this fact can actually help us be happier in life. The fact that none of the seven billion individuals who live on this planet will be here in just 100 years’ time makes every decision we make that much lighter.
We often take ourselves and the situations we deal with way too seriously. We tend to forget that we are here only for a very short while, and nothing we are dealing with today will matter in a few years’ time. Nothing, not even us.
Knowing and acknowledging that we are going to die helps us to make sure that we spend the little time we have doing things we enjoy, spending time with the people we love and care about and working on positive changes which will help others.
We sometimes think that we are here to save the world and to change the world into a better place – but rather than starting with the ‘world’, we might want to start with our family, friends and colleagues, and start making their short time on this planet a happier one.
I recently realised that I was spending far too much time on social media, even after work when spending time with my family. I realised that, given the extremely short time I have here, spending an hour a day on social media is a total waste of this time. I stopped using certain social media apps and, apart from giving me more time, I must say that it has made me happier.
Naval mentions that happiness is a lack of desire, and when you remove the sense of something missing in your life. Social media, whether we like it or not, constantly provides us with a sense of desire for more material things, irrespective of how much we already have.
We also tend to take so much for granted, and when we take a moment a look at our lives from an external viewpoint, we can start to understand that life is pretty damn good.
Happiness is not something which just happens, it’s something we all need to work on. We become happy when we make a conscious, regular effort to do the things which make us happy. Exercise, eating well, meditation, yoga, reading, sleeping well – these are all things which help with our happiness. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, so we all need to see what works for us and stick with it. That is why it is important to try out new things and to consistently work on the things which make us happier individuals.
“Doctors won’t make you healthy. Nutritionists won’t make you slim. Teachers won’t make you smart. Gurus won’t make you calm. Mentors won’t make you rich. Trainers won’t make you fit. Ultimately, you have to take responsibility. Save yourself.” – Naval Ravikant
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