Tag Archives: happiness

Success following my change in attitude

Hey, everybody. I haven’t posted in a while, because everything has been good. Since I pledged to become a more people-friendly person, I’ve found an awesome job editing books, and my photography has begun to take off. I’m finding success doing the things that I like the most, and it’s all because I stopped tilting at windmills.

Some of you might remember those old, negative posts. Some of you might have even been fans of them, seeing the anger that mirrored your own dissatisfaction with life. I liked seeing other people’s anger, too. It made me feel justified in my own negative attitude, and it convinced me that my lack of success in life was the result of outside forces working against me.

There’s no shortage of potential boogeymen, both real and imaginary. It’s very easy for a person to become convinced that the Islamic Illuminati lizard men are out to keep them down. It’s a lot easier than connecting their lack of success to their own behavior and attitudes, because that requires them to take responsibility for wrongs done in moments of anger. Regret can be one of the most long-lasting pains a person can endure. I know I’ll always carry regrets for the way I treated people while I was refusing to act my age. I caused a great deal of pain because I was too immature to let go of anger that was masking pain from my childhood.

But I’ve truly changed, and while my metamorphosis isn’t yet complete and may never be, I am much better off, and so are the people around me. I’m looking forward to a bright future where my talents and work are recognized and appreciated. Anyone can make these changes to their life. It just requires self-honesty and eyes toward the future.

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Back from the deep end

Let me tell you about the most obnoxious person I’ve ever met.  He liked to argue, and he always had to be right.  He could combine words so well, even clear-thinking people with perfectly sound minds would become unsure of their position.  He was a troll and a bit of a bully, and he was headed down a path that could only end in loneliness.  That person, as you may have already guessed, was me.

I’ve been paying close attention to the Elliot Rodger incident that happened last weekend.  I’ve seen all of his videos, including the chilling final one where he discussed his “day of retribution”.  As I listen to what he has to say, I can’t help but recognize a little of myself.  I wasn’t as crazy as he was, but who knows what could have happened if I had kept going on the way that I was?

To clarify things a bit to certain people who might be reading this, I no longer label myself an anarchist.  My anti-government ravings were not well thought out and the product of a lot of very misplaced anger.  I wasn’t wrong about everything, but anything I was right about, I was right about for the wrong reasons.  I don’t think totally throwing out the government is a good idea at all.  People need to come together, not split apart.  Peace can only be achieved by people listening to each other.

It’s so easy to go through life without considering yourself from other people’s points of view, and it seems like most people do that.  They react to things without thinking, they misunderstand, they get angry, and they seek satisfaction rather than resolution.  I don’t want to be like that.  I’ve managed to take a look at myself from the outside a few times in my life, and about a year ago, I did it for the first time in quite a while and realized that something was seriously wrong.  I had forgotten to value my relationships.  I saw valuing the opinions and feelings of others as a weakness.  Then Michelle reminded me that only from the outside can you get an accurate overview of what most people see when they look at you.  I silenced my ego, I opened my eyes, and my world changed for the better.

It does you no good to go around hurting people and cutting yourself off from caring about the suffering you cause, because as humans, we need each other’s help to have a happy life.  Societies thrive on harmony.  Productive members of society are the ones who facilitate harmony through peaceful interactions.  That’s what I want to do.

Michelle

I’ve been struggling for the past several months with a tendency that I have to be extremely insensitive and turn my anger at myself outward when I am feeling hurt.  I’m not sure I can control it, but I’m trying.  I don’t want to hurt the people closest to me any more, especially Michelle, who has refused to give up on me even though doing so would have probably been good for her.

I’ve been uncovering old writings of mine that, when I read them, seem to point a finger at me and convict me of crimes that I knew better than to commit at the time that I wrote them.  How did I forget how to treat people well?  How did I become such a hypocrite?  Apparently, behaving myself is something that will take some real effort on my part, and I am committed to that effort because I want to commit myself to Michelle.  I can only be happy with her, and I have a chance to rebuild what we had.  One day I hope to deserve it.

In order to remind myself of what’s really important, I want to write down just what Michelle means to me and how I feel about her so that in the future I have another arrow pointing me in the right direction if I get turned around again.

The happiest time in my life is when I referred to her as my Michelle, stealing from a Guns ‘N Roses song.  I loved hearing her call me her Josh.  She once told me that I was her world.  I want that back again.  I want to be the person she loved so much because that’s how much I love her.  I’m willing to give up my fruitless crusade against the government for the sake of living more harmoniously with her and with myself.  She is everything I’ve ever wanted out of life.  We all seek to do something with our lives that we’ll be remembered for, but I think a much greater aspiration is to find happiness and peace within one’s own mind and life.  Michelle is the key to that for me.  Making her happy is the best thing I can achieve in my life, and that is what I want to do for myself.  It’s the only way I can be happy.

I can do many things.  I can navigate the internet like it’s my own backyard.  I can create an image of the sky that takes even my breath away.  I can write books, one of which has been described as addictive, and create entire universes within them.  But none of that does any more than occupy my time and amuse me.  It’s all empty without Michelle in my life.  She does for me what the power of a god cannot.  She makes me happy, and the best thing I could ever do is make her happy in return.

Inner Peace


This is what inner peace looks like. Well, sorta. Okay, no it isn’t, but it’s still a peaceful image.

Yeah, I would go so far as to say that I’ve achieved inner peace. My thoughts and feelings are no longer in conflict, and I can think with a clarity that I don’t think many people can imagine. The solution was remarkably simple, so it won’t take long for you to read here. Implementing it is another story.

When there is a problem or an emergency, the first thing that anyone who knows what to do will advise is don’t panic. Panic is an emotional reaction that makes it impossible to think clearly and very likely that one will do the wrong thing. There are exceptions, of course. If you are being chased by a lion, panic. When something wants to eat you, the most sensible thing to do is run away unless you are Captain Superman or Chuck Norris. The best guideline for how clearly you need to think is how much time you have to react. Panic is an instant reaction, and it comes most naturally to those who are either chased by lions on a regular basis or not in the habit of thinking things through. Most people tend to feel their way through things, even math tests.

1+1=2, not because it feels right, but because it makes logical sense. Problems that can be solved logically should not involve the emotions, even when emotions are the problem to begin with.

And that, my dear reader, is what I have found, time and time again, to be my problem throughout my youth. Emotions polluted my thinking, and I felt my way through situations when I should have been thinking. My intellect did not dominate my emotions, and as a result, I ended up getting hurt emotionally a lot more than I should have. If you take only one lesson from this blog, let it be this. Emotions dull the intellect.

Everyone wants to feel as good as they can as often as they can for as long as they can. Happiness could be defined as an overall pleasing balance of emotional and physical sensations. Everything a person does is for the purpose of increasing his or her level of happiness, increasing someone else’s level of happiness, or increasing the time he, she, or others have to experience happiness. One fundamental requirement for an individual’s happiness is freedom. Freedom is the absence of limits. Authorities exist to place limits on freedom, so naturally, the rejection of authority is necessary to achieve happiness on an individual level.

It could be said that security is also necessary for happiness, but don’t people enjoy activities like skydiving and bungee jumping? Don’t some people even watch horror movies for the purpose of feeling afraid? Safety is not a requirement for happiness, not universally anyway. Where fun is concerned, it is best to disregard safety. One can be happy without having fun, but one cannot have fun without being happy. Freedom must increase, and safety must decrease in order for fun to be maximized.

In the same way, fear must be overcome in order to maximize happiness and freedom. Fear places limits on what we do and think. It seeks to control us by making us seek safety. One cannot be afraid and happy at the same time. When I began to challenge and overcome my fears, it introduced me to a lifestyle of using my mind to overcome my emotions. Courage proved to be the ultimate weapon on my mind’s side of the inner struggle. I can still recognize situations that might threaten my safety, but I use my intellect to decide whether or not to take the risk. I decide what I do and how I live.