The Testosterone Guide to Happiness T-nation’s TC contains a few important and frequently forgotten lessons about getting and remaining happy. It’s a nice change from his crass and usually accurate accounts of the world or some of its people.
It’s a good list and his suggested actions are fairly effective at addressing some causes. Below are key things I take out of the article:
Happiness barrier #1 – Complexity
Solution – Simplify
Do you know why monks and some nuns shave their heads? It simplifies their lives. They don’t have to worry about straightening out that nasty cowlick, or whether they need Vidal Sassoon mousse with pro-vitamins to add luster or whether their bed head makes them look like a deranged squirrel.
This one works. I need my car so I can work so I view it as a necessity, but after it, my most expensive possession is my bike which I ride almost every day when the weather is nice; I’m on it more than 200 times a year. After that it would be my other bike and then my watch – it has a heart rate monitor on it that I need when I ride. My clothes are functional, our TV is old, and if we were given the chance to move to a different country I think it would take Rachel and me about $2000 to get our standard of living back to what it is now – assuming I brought my bikes and heart rate monitor and Rachel brought her most important items (probably her text books and her AT treatment kit).
Happiness barrier # 3 – Negativity
Solution – Let Go
“Your prison is nothing in comparison with the inner prison of ordinary people: the prison of attachment, the prison of anger, the prison of depression, the prison of pride.”
The Buddhist view is that happiness is achieved by giving up these neurotic obsessions. Rather than obsess on these toxic thoughts, we should observe these emotions “with compassion” and ask ourselves, “What can I do about this?”
This one works too. Rachel is extremely positive and it’s something that has really started to rub off on me. Simply put, the one thing everyone can control is their attitude and if you choose to be happy, you become happy. At 35 I know that there are ups and downs in life and that neither is lasting. Since meeting her, I’ve noticed that I’m able to let things go a lot quicker than I used to. The peaks are not as high and the valleys are not as deep. This is one area in my life that the middle ground is a good thing.
Check out the article for more of TC’s solutions.