Happiness & Success is On the Other Side of Sadness & Failure
That’s why it’s so hard.
That’s why, despite being told the “secrets” to success a million times, we still can’t break through.
Ignorance is not holding us back. We don’t need any more information. We need to be let loose, and how to do that is different for everyone. It depends on where you are in your journey, what things you’ve repressed from childhood, and countless other factors.
Your potential would be monumental if you were let loose completely.
You can’t push the pendulum towards happiness and success. What you pursue eludes you But you can push it towards pain and failure, and allow it to swing the other way.
This happens with the little things in life too. To have the pleasure of eating a sandwich, you need to go through the effort of making it first.
We have many things in modern life that someone else toiled over, like a shop sandwich. In that case, the effort (or “pain”) has been displaced to an earlier time — when you earned the money.
The pain is separated from the pleasure, and the emotional centres of our brains can’t put the two events together. Therefore, you need to develop a pleasure within the pain itself. Like Darren Hardy, you must re-frame the failure into a game, a point of pride, and a reason to celebrate.
That’s the kind of work culture the world needs (minus all the zaniness).
And besides work, I believe a big part of most people’s general sense of sadness in life comes from avoiding it.
In the clip below, Louis C.K. describes a beautiful moment of healing repressed pain that he had been holding on to since he was a teenager.
“Because we don’t want that first bit of sad, we push it away… You never feel completely sad or completely happy.”
I like the way he explains it. With no context to make sense of such an experience, he says the joyful ending was due to happiness “antibodies” to meet the sadness. In other words, the brain protects itself against sad by flooding itself with happy.
But that’s not quite true. If it were, all sadness would be punctuated by joy.
It was the acceptance of the sadness that did it. He surrendered to it, held it with a sense of gratitude.
I see a stark similarity between Louis’ story and Darren Hardy’s reframe of failure, don’t you? Total acceptance of what is.
No complaining, no wishing it were any different. Only the faith that you can:
- Handle any amount of failure if you truly embrace it and reframe it as badass.
- Handle any amount of sadness if you truly embrace it and reframe it in gratitude.
Originally posted on my blog.