want nothing + do anything = have everything
that’s the subtitle from Neil Pasricha's The Happiness Equation. i haven’t read the book yet. but i've carried that simple addition in my head since finding it in Ryan Holiday's monthly reading list email.
on the whole, i shy away from anything claiming to provide happiness. it sounds…dubious. like you’ll be a static happy entity forever, a doll with a smile permanently painted across your face. right now that’s a minor speed bump keeping me from the book. but i'll read it.
regardless, using “happiness” in a book title is wise and the equation is striking. let’s break it down into pieces, like algebra:
means you have no expectations or attachments. how? because you know you’ll wrangle up what you need. this makes you unconsumed with longing. instead, you expect what you want, in the mildest way possible.
you're content as you continue working, because looking forward to your inevitable improvement feels great. in essence, it’s the life philosophy of a Brazilian i dated long-ago—“no stress!”
has two parts, both excellent. one is an “i’ll do whatever it takes!” mentality, which features sacrifice, willingness, and direction.
you’re also flexible. because the other half is an attitude of “i’ll do whatever’s cool!” filled with lightheartedness, you break the routine to seize opportunities.
this balance between drive (what it takes) and adaptability (what’s cool) keeps you moving…peacefully.
yay! you made it.
here are the results of being assured but striving, focused but malleable.
so many apparent contradictions. isn’t having everything an exaggeration? perhaps. per. haps. but this isn’t literal. it’s a mindset, a sensation of satisfaction and abundance. you’re open, flexible, dedicated. and even if you don’t officially have everything under your thumb, you can procure it...by wanting nothing and doing anything.
what do you think of Pasricha's philosophy? let me know in the comments!
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