Tag Archives: love

The Source of Happiness

When, after twenty years of mar­riage, Laura Munson’s hus­band told her “I don’t love you any­more. I’m not sure I ever did.”, she chose to not believe him. Not because it didn’t hurt or that she wasn’t tak­ing it per­son­ally, but because this wasn’t about her – it was about unmet expect­a­tions.

In yet anoth­er touch­ing Mod­ern Love column (is there any oth­er type?), Mun­son tells an enthralling story of mar­it­al and famili­al dis­quiet, but also man­ages to cut to the core of hap­pi­ness: that the source is not to be found through extern­al val­id­a­tion.

I’d finally man­aged to exile the voices in my head that told me my per­son­al hap­pi­ness was only as good as my out­ward suc­cess, rooted in things that were often out­side my con­trol. I’d seen the insan­ity of that equa­tion and decided to take respons­ib­il­ity for my own hap­pi­ness. And I mean all of it.

My hus­band hadn’t yet come to this under­stand­ing with him­self. He had enjoyed many years of hard work, and its rewards had sup­por­ted our fam­ily of four all along. But his new endeavor hadn’t been going so well, and his abil­ity to be the bread­win­ner was in rap­id decline. He’d been miser­able about this, felt use­less, was los­ing him­self emo­tion­ally and let­ting him­self go phys­ic­ally. And now he wanted out of our mar­riage; to be done with our fam­ily. […]

I saw what had been miss­ing: pride. He’d lost pride in him­self. Maybe that’s what hap­pens when our egos take a hit in mid­life and we real­ize we’re not as young and golden any­more.

When life’s knocked us around. And our child­hood myths reveal them­selves to be just that. The truth feels like the biggest suck­er-punch of them all: it’s not a spouse or land or a job or money that brings us hap­pi­ness. Those achieve­ments, those rela­tion­ships, can enhance our hap­pi­ness, yes, but hap­pi­ness has to start from with­in. Rely­ing on any oth­er equa­tion can be leth­al.

My hus­band had become lost in the myth.

Life Advice

Not from a life coach, per­son­al devel­op­ment guru, or some oth­er self-pro­fessed expert on life, but from those whose advice I think it’s actu­ally worth pay­ing atten­tion to: those older than you.

First is Life Advice From Old People (via Kot­tke)–a video blog con­tain­ing noth­ing but inter­views with a wide range of ‘old’ people, includ­ing Farm­er Tom, Jon Voight and Errol Mor­ris.

Some more col­our­ful advice comes from The Musty Man (via Ben Cas­nocha) who, on his 30th birth­day, decided to offer some no-non­sense advice to those liv­ing in their 20’s. The best of the Musty Man’s advice I’ve read is on rela­tion­ships, although it’s all great.

As is the stand­ard at MeFi, the advice offered to this recent gradu­ate is more func­tion­al and emin­ently use­ful. This is one piece of advice I sub­scribe to whole­heartedly:

Make your bed every day – as soon as you get up. Some­thing about that one small thing sets the tone for the rest of the day; are you going to be lazy, or are you going to get some­thing done?

More con­cisely, this list of 30 pieces of advice for young men from an old man is fairly good, espe­cially the last item:

97% of all advice is worth­less. Take what you can use, and trash the rest.

As for advice from meta-career­ists; Ben Casnocha’s thoughts mir­ror mine per­fectly:

The best advice on net­work­ing will come from someone who is not a pro­fes­sion­al net­work­er. The best advice on entre­pren­eur­ship will come someone whose entre­pren­eur­ship is not selling books and work­shops about entre­pren­eur­ship. Writers who write about any­thing oth­er than writ­ing for a liv­ing usu­ally have the best advice on writ­ing.

Like many oth­ers in my situ­ation (someone attempt­ing to fig­ure out the dir­ec­tion they want their life to go in) I love hear­ing advice from a diverse range of people. If you have some, or even just a choice quote, please offer it up in the com­ments. I would appre­ci­ate it more than you can ima­gine.

Letting Go of Love

Worldly advice from Ask Meta­Fil­ter.

How do you let go of love? […] For an added level of dif­fi­culty, this is a rela­tion­ship that you don’t really have any bad memor­ies of, so you can’t use those to change the dir­ec­tion of your thoughts.

One piece of advice from me? Ori­gin­ally writ­ten as advice on pur­ging book clut­ter, this is a pro­found state­ment that has already helped me in many areas of my life:

De-clut­ter­ing involves recog­niz­ing that regret is part of life, and being OK with that. Yes, I’ve giv­en away books that I now often wish I still owned. But I’ve also screwed up rela­tion­ships, made iffy career choices, etc. — you suck it up and move on. If you try to cling to every single thing (mater­i­al, spir­itu­al, or emo­tion­al) that you might need one day in the totally hypo­thet­ic­al future, you’re going to end up bogged down in a lot of stuff.

via Life­hack­er