Some friends and I were talking recently about being happy.


I guess it’s safe to say I don’t know what I want but I can’t wait forever.

My friends and I talked about how happiness takes work. I think there’s probably multiple kinds of happiness and ways to be happy. I think there’s at least two different preconditions for at least some kinds of happiness and they both involve hard work. One kind of work involved in at least some kinds of happiness is preparation, in the sense of discipline. Like, say, playing a musical instrument, or a sport. Doing those things requires a measure of capacity cultivated by training. And that can have a kind of cost – the time spent on that is time not spent on something else. Getting something requires giving up something else.

You don’t know what you will give up.
You don’t know what you want, it may take you years to find out. You don’t know what you need, it’s something that may never come to you.

I think the other kind of work involved in at least some kinds of happiness is commitment to a positive attitude: a decision to be happy. I think at least some of the time the discipline and training required for some kinds of happiness is a kind of a striving, a push forward into the future. I think the other kind involves at least some measure of not striving, a willingness to let the present be enough.

At least for me, this requires it’s own kind of training. It takes practice and cultivating of habits.

And it doesn’t hurt to listen to more music.

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