I’ve come to believe that to be happy you cannot be lazy, dumb, or afraid.

All of my failures and bad decisions can be attributed to one or more of those three flaws.

I love being lazy, I’m hate being afraid, can I can’t help be dumb most times.

So every day is a struggle to fight off one or more of these tendencies.


Lazy can manifest itself in many places.

Whether I look for the shortest/easiest way to get something done. Or whether I’m hoping other people can do things I need done.

Often times I don’t listen, don’t pay attention cause I’m too lazy to care.
There are other factors at work, but the overall theme in my actions is “minimal effort”.

That unfortunately often reflects on the results. Whether ideas get half built or relationships become unbalanced.

Things don’t get done, and I’m left wondering why things never work out.


Dumb is the most difficult to track because it’s the hardest to see.

It’s not just about me saying/doing stupid things. It’s about my high degree of confidence in subject matters or situations I’m inept to handle.

That’s the issue with dumb, its inversely proportional to confidence.

Becoming self aware that — maybe your thoughts and actions need more objectivity, is like a fish suddenly becoming aware of the water that surrounds it.

You live in this construct of a world that you’ve reasoned into existence. Only to one day realize the world only make sense to you because that’s how you constructed it. Essentially you flip cause and effect and you get a sinking feeling in your gut when you suddenly become aware of the world around you, matrix style.

Being dumb is about a willful ignorance that you choose to accept and indulge instead of question and fight.


Afraid is my biggest driving force.

So many of my decisions and actions have been based on being afraid.

Afraid of the consequences.
Afraid of what happens if I don’t take action.
Afraid of how I will be perceived.
Afraid I’m being a hypocrite.
Afraid I overthink things.
Afraid I’ll get stuck.
Afraid I’ll close doors.
Afraid I’ll make someone mad.

In essence, afraid is the reason why I choose something other than what I truly wanted.

I wish I could tell you that choosing things not in my best interest were noble gestures from a humbled heart. Instead, more often than not it was fear that lead me to that action.

My only true talent then is disguising my motives in more heroic context.


So what’s the point of all this?

The point is its taken me some time to realize that these three factors have been wreaking havoc in my life to various extents.

I’ve realized that in order to have better relationships, or even personal success I had to be proactive. I had to put effort into caring.

Caring deeper about my personal and professional connections. Effort into reflecting caring in my actions.

Realizing that caring about thing outside myself was in my self interest. Realizing that caring without effort is not really caring.


I realized that I don’t know it all, in fact I know way too little.

The more confident I am about anything, the more I should question it.

I’m dumb. But dumb is everybody’s starting point. I don’t see it as a weakness, I see it as a signal to focus and grow. I now look for areas of ignorance and am happy to explore and share blunders.

Not being dumb doesn’t mean being smart. It doesn’t mean knowing the answers.

It means being aware.

Being cognizant of your own mental and emotional states. Knowing that you don’t know means you should question what you do know or are confident in.


I realized there are no room for cowards in this world.

If you are afraid to get hurt, you’re life will be a sum of reactions to other people taking charge.

A lot of that is just adopting a willingness to fight for thing, and not masking you insecurities as more sociably acceptable motives.

Sometimes things will be ugly. But “doing the right thing” because your afraid to speak up is really just you lying. Just because you are lying to yourself it doesn’t make it any less of a lie.

To not be afraid you have to embrace. Embrace the truth boldly in spite of it coming at a great cost. Embrace consequences. Embrace being wrong. Embrace being yourself at the risk of losing long established relations and norms.

Letting to this idea that you can control everything. Embrace that you are on a ride that you can only make the best out of if you push forward.

Living in fear is living a lie. And living a lie is not living at all.


Happiness is a factor of Effort/ Aware /Embrace

It’s not E=mc2, but I hope it helps someone as much as it helps me.

Rulian Estivalletti

Written by

Highly opinionated software developer. Unimpressed by Puritan engineering philosophies. Writes about learning how Business is completely counter intuitive.

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