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Virtus Blog #35 – Happiness is overrated, seek adaptation.

“One of the enemies of happiness is adaptation” // Thomas Gilovich

Most of us want more – Good.

Most of us want to appreciate and be grateful for who and what we have – Good.

Most of us want to improve and grow – Good.

Most of us want to be happy – Good.

We are very steadfast when it comes to what we want. That’s great, but we need to be more fluid. More adaptable. What we want should depend on our current state. Where we are in our evolution.

“I learned that if you work hard and creatively, you can have just about anything you want, but not everything you want. Maturity is the ability to reject good alternatives in order to pursue even better ones.” 
― Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work

Unfortunately, as Ray Dalio so beautifully puts it. We can’t have everything we want, At some point we need to choose what is truly important to us and get on with it.

This depends entirely on the point in time that you’re talking about. There will be times when you seek comfort and stability. There will be times where you will seek challenge and adventure. The challenge is identifying what you desire, and making a decision to chase it.

Until you are grateful for what you have, you will always be searching for more, never satisfied, never content.

Life is like climbing a series of mountains.

You can stand back and enjoy the view, but true fulfillment will come from climbing the damn thing.

The decision to start walking may be the hardest one to make, but once you start it is almost impossible to stop climbing.

On the ascent, you’ll struggle. You’ll trip, you fall, you’ll be frustrated, you’‘ll question why you started, but inevitably you keep going.

Stay on track for long enough and eventually you’ll reach the summit. You’ll spend time enjoying the feeling of accomplishment. You’ll take it all in, enjoy it, appreciate the work you’ve put in, and then what happens?

Adaptation occurs. That mountain which once seemed like an immense task is now conquerable.

Your mind drifts too to the next mountain, the next challenge.

it’s a little bit higher, a little more dangerous and going to take a little bit more of you to complete.

You’ll feel dissatisfied with the first mountain, even though you thought that conquering it would fulfill you.

What you may not have realised is that that feeling of fulfillment. Of happiness. Of satisfaction. It was only temporary. Now you want to chase the next one.

My point: If you desire to grow, happiness may have to take a back seat. You’ll be uncomfortable, you might suffer, you’ll feel like you’re drowning at times, but at the end of the season of growth, you’ll be able to look back and appreciate all the shit you had to go through to get to where you are.

To your adaptation & unhappiness.


PS. Happiness isn’t overrated, it is everything it’s cracked up to be, as long as we have the discomfort and pain to compare it to.

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