May 2 • 4M

VoiceNotes #003

Why so serious? The Pursuit of Happiness

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This audio newsletter explores what happens when you apply a bit more curiosity to life. The art of being curious is spotting the difference between a good question and a great question. As a practice, curiosity embraces the magic of a great query. It takes audacity to say "I don't know" because a search for an answer is so special. Because asking the greater question even is just as valuable as alighting upon an answer. Trading the safety of cynicism that is so prevalent in adulthood for the possibility of adventure is my invitation to you. Consider the possibility that the joy and pleasure of childlike curiosity can move mountains as powerfully as seriousness and pain. Like Alice, I invite you to unabashedly pursue wonder. Doing so means allowing yourself to fall down the rabbit hole.
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Producer’s Commentary

What's the point of life if you're not living it to the fullest? Have you ever felt the weight of someone else's wants and needs pushing down on you? Have you ever taken your own happiness as a given while fighting tooth and nail to make someone else happy? Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, being happy is more important than making someone else happy? If so, let me tell you that these are not selfish thoughts or feelings; they are some of the most selfless thoughts and feelings there are because when we have them, we free ourselves to be who we really are meant to be.

When we live our own happiness, it benefits everyone around us in unimaginable ways. If you're not happy with your work, your love life, your friendships, or the other major factors in your life, it's time to make changes and start living the happiest version of your life that you can imagine. To do this, it's important to be aware of what happiness means to you as an individual. It's important not to confuse what other people want for you with what you want for yourself. If you base your actions on what others think is best for you, or how others define success—rather than doing what feels right in your heart—you'll likely sacrifice something that makes your lived experience unique to you.

As psychologist Dr. Robert Firestone writes, While it's a great idea to ask people what they need from us, no one else can tell us who we are or how we should live our lives. So consider other people's advice carefully, but don't let it dictate your path. You know yourself better than anyone else does. Following your own bliss and happiness requires courage because it could mean disappointing someone else along the way and proceeding anyway.

I Choose Me
In the pursuit of happiness, we assume our choices will always lead to pain for someone we love and care about.--and there are times that it will. More often we'll discover that the people who love us back are rooting for us to live our happiest lives. We cannot choose the reaction of others and learning to let go of wanting to control how others experience us takes work. We can't make those choices for other people. Whatever the situation may be, remember that actions speak louder than words and always do what is best for you first—because when you're happy you truly are better able to help others and be an inspiration rather than a strain on others who care about you.

What if we all did it? What if we chose ourselves first? Isn't life too short not to try new things and experience everything? It's not hyperbole to say the most important person in your life is yourself! You're worth being kind to! You're worth loving! Because no one else can fill those shoes like YOU! If anyone ever tells you differently then walk away-its not worth wasting another minute of your time with them. Life's too short not to live yours with passion and purpose.

Does This Mean Not Taking Care Of Other People?

It's not about doing what you want, ignoring what others need, and never taking care of others—that's an immature, selfish way to look at life. It means not allowing your own feelings to come into conflict with someone else's needs—our family members, partners, or children need love and attention, too. Nurturing our relationships from a place of personal joy and bliss compounds the experience. Watching the people we love thrive is a source of happiness. You have to make sure that you are living for yourself first. If your life doesn't make you happy, then what's the point? You leave your cup empty, or what I see is that we prioritize pain and suffering so much our cups are full of bitter, salty waters--either way --everybody just ends up dehydrated.

Growing up, we're told that we have to be "good" and our lives must fit a certain narrative so we can get things like love and respect from our parents, teachers, and peers. People live their lives doing what others want for fear that it will make them happy or because they think it will give them security. Were celebrated when we live for others, and reject the instinct to do what's right for ourselves. Doing what makes us happy—is often judged as unrighteous, sinful, or immoral. We should only invest in doing things for other people, even if those things make our lives less enjoyable. Because indulging in suffering will turn us into good people. Living a life that is authentic for you doesn't mean it's wrong for others. We all have a right to live our own truths, and it may stir resistance from the people in your life because it doesn't feel comfortable or secure. It takes courage and confidence to live your own truth unapologetically.

Living your own happiness isn't about moving away from people and relationships but toward them. Many of us feel that we live to serve others; our loved ones, friends, colleagues, and even strangers come before us because it brings us joy to make someone else happy. But what happens when we neglect our own needs? What happens when we ignore our own happiness for long enough?