February 15, 2024

Holding your happiness hostage


Eighty percent of life is doing stuff we don’t want to do.

Not everyone gets exactly what they want.

And we all have to be a little deluded to stay motivated.

But let’s not hold our happiness hostage just because we feel guilty about saying no. Let’s not pretend we love someone or something just because being lonely is the shittier feeling.

Because isn’t better to feel shitty but alive, than to feel nothing at all?

I once had to choose between two compelling job offers. Both organizations had raised lots of money and were about the same size employee wise. Both companies were tech startups hiring for the same role, doing similar work with artificial intelligence.

But they operated in two different verticals.

\Ultimately, despite my best efforts to force myself to love the second one, I simply couldn’t get excited about the industry. Too foreign to me. Too far removed from my core expertise for connect emotionally with the work.

And in my experience, if you have the opportunity to work for a company whose product you’re legitimately excited about, then that’s a good thing.

Excitement will take you far in life. It makes everything less of an uphill battle. If you optimize you work for the currency of positive energy, then every task and project is an order of magnitude easier and faster. Doesn’t mean there won’t still be delays, discouragements and derailments. But the excitement will fuel your resilience.

Whereas if the job you’re doing is an acquired taste, it probably means you’re lying to yourself.

Remember, there is no reason to hold your happiness hostage, just because you feel guilty about saying no. Or just because everyone around you is saying yes.

I understand it’s hard to set boundaries when you’re lonely, horny, desperate and broke.

The good news is, saying no to the wrong things cracks open a possibility for the right ones.

Trust the taste you already have. There is no need to acquire anything.

Do you really love this thing, or do you love not having to feel your feelings about other things?