Ripples #1246: Happy Here, Happy Now


Beware of destination addiction, a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, and with the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.
-Robert Holden, shared by Jack in Buffalo, NY


There are so many things in our lives we likely wish were different or, if we had a do-over that we would change. It’s harder and it takes longer to reach a place of acceptance—to really undergo this change in perspective and make peace with the fact that things aren’t perfect. When you’re able to internalize a message like that and apply it to other parts of your life, it does give you a sense of peace.
-John Hendrickson, shared by Sara in Madison, WI via Life on Delay


One of the most useful life tips that guided me through the pandemic is that it is possible to be happy even when things aren’t going perfectly. This turns out to be a really good thing, since things are often going less than perfectly.

I’d even go further and say that a kind of happiness that requires certain external conditions to be met and maintained is going to be elusive and temporary.

I’ve been raving about Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals quite a bit lately. The author encourages us to embrace our finitude, to recognize that we have a limited amount of time on this planet (around 4,000 weeks if we live to be ~80 years old). While I thought the book was quite accessible and totally worth reading, you can also get a sense of the key points by spending some time on this clever summary website or watching this 11-minute summary video.

A central premise of the book is that most efforts at time management are about getting ready for some future that probably isn’t going to arrive in the way you think it will. Burkeman thinks a really key piece of finding peace amid productivity is recognizing the inevitable imperfection of your life and your systems and really everything that is happening around you.

Once you confront, accept, and even embrace the limited time you have to experience your life, it gets a little easier to remember the best (only?) way to enjoy it is to see if you can be happy here, happy now.

How about we give it a shot this week and just see how it goes?


P.S. I’m super jazzed to see people enjoying our nifty website where we post a quote each day. If you visit, feel free to use the contact links that are included just below the quote to share feedback or just say hello.

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