MYTH: If I pursue happiness, I will find happiness.
TRUTH: If I pursue happiness, I will find misery, rejection, and uttermost failure…THEN happiness.
The dumb thing is that we all know this is true: no truly good thing comes easily. But we live the exact opposite. Perhaps it’s just human nature once again telling us that pain=bad-bad-run-away-kill-it-with-fire. And like all good lies, this one is true. If you touch a burning stove and feel pain, please obey your instincts and remove your hand from the stove. But we have this idiotic idea that all pain is bad and should be avoided. But it’s not.
Many times, pain is the process by which joy is found. Other times, pain is simply the cost of admission. Yes, some things do come free and easy, and that’s okay, too. But the more I look at the world, the more I see a race that is bent on comfort and convenience rather than true strength or character. Great things come through pain.
And don’t buy that bull crap that “it won’t hurt because you’re focused on the goal.” That’s a lie. It will hurt. BIG TIME. Focus and drive do not eliminate pain, they put it into perspective. They remind you that the pain is worth it. We should not expect an easy life, especially when we’re trying to grasp anything good.
If you want happiness, prepare for misery.
If you want a good marriage, prepare to fight with your spouse.
If you want a good friendship, prepare for harsh disagreements.
If you want to lose weight, prepare to gasp and wheeze and ache.
If you want to become strong, prepare to face your weaknesses.
If you want honesty, prepare for deep cuts.
If you want to change into something better, prepare to leave some things behind.
If you want to be rich, prepare to live poorly.
If you want success, prepare for failure.
If you want acceptance, prepare for rejection.
If you want to conquer fear, prepare to face that exact fear.
If you want to overcome a painful past, prepare to relive it.
If you want to pursue a dream, prepare to lose a lot of time, sleep, and money.
If you want to rise above, prepare to fight your jealous peers.
Why do I say this? Because I’m a pessimist? No, just a realist. Nothing worth having comes easily. Sure, you can get a burger at McDonald’s for a dollar, but it’s not real meat. Sure, you can take antidepressants, but chemicals can’t give you true happiness. Sure, you can take a diet pill, but if your habits don’t change, the weight will return. Sure, you can win the lottery, but if you don’t know how to manage your money, you’ll lose it.
When things come too easily, they can be lost just as easily. Only through blood, sweat, and tears do you really learn to value anything. Only when it costs something do you really appreciate it. Even if it’s not you paying the cost (soldiers in past wars, parents who sacrificed so you could get an education, a friend who took a bullet for you), it’s enough to realize the value of the things given to you, the value of happiness.
It only comes by fighting for it. And it’s only worth it when you do.
5 thoughts on “You Want Happiness? Prepare for Misery”
This is real wisdom, Mike.
I just heard a sting that is similar to your post. It was “from misery comes ministry” I think it’s similar because we find joy and purpose when through our experience we can help another.
Fantastic. Love the way you write as well, your wisdom comes across so clear.
Well, thank you very much. I’m glad I can share wisdom with others.
One other thing. You must suffer freely at the hands of others. Tormenting yourself earns you nothing. It only weakens you, and makes the necessary pain of the world unbearable.