I’m a huge fan of Leo Babuta and Zen Habits. The Power of Less taught me the beauty of minimalism and how to be happier *because* I had fewer things going on.
But Leo just jumped the shark – and I want to call him out on it.
“Quash the urge to improve, to be better. It only makes you feel inadequate.”
“What if instead, we learned to be happy with ourselves? What would happen? Would we stop striving to improve? Would that be horrible, if we were just content and didn’t need to better ourselves every minute of every week? Would we be lazy slobs, or would we instead be happy, and in being happy do things that make us happy rather than make us better?”
I’ll answer that. The world would be a happy shit-hole if we simply accepted our present moment, lived a happy life, and stopped striving for improvement. We would fail to create meaning and intelligence in the universe. I fully agree with TIm Ferriss on this one. Fulfillment = Appreciation + Achievement. Just appreciation falls short.
“Do you know how cocaine works? It’s what’s known as a triple-reuptake inhibitor. It makes some of the happiness chemicals – serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine – cycle out of your brain more slowly, giving you wonderful feelings.
And - so what? You’ve got more happiness chemicals in your brain so you bliss out? How could anyone in their right mind think this is the meaning of life?” ala Sebastian Marshall
What if you achieve happiness naturally but stop giving your gift to the world? Fail.
Deepak Chopra agrees:
The Law of Purpose in Life
“Everyone has a purpose in life . . . a unique
gift or special talent to give to others.
And when we blend this unique talent with service to others,
we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit,
which is the ultimate goal of all goals.“
Love your stuff. Keep giving your gift of mindfulness self improvement, and minimalism to the world. Just don’t tell us that happiness is the meaning of life. It isn’t so.
Let’s also encourage people to strive to improve themselves and the world. And we will all be fulfilled.