To be happy means to be self-sufficient. ~ Aristotle
Ordinary people think merely how they should spend their time; a man of any talent tries to use it. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
I woke up this morning at 5am, walked downstairs to my reading chair, opened a book, and popped a dose of Man Brain.
Because it’s a boxing day I’m not doing the 16 minutes on the airbike that I do on weight training days…
So it’s silence and reading for an hour.
Re Cardio: Some hate it. I hate it. But I also love it. When I haven’t done it in my life I’ve felt slower, more lethargic, less finely tuned. I’ll get an email done soon on exactly what I do, why I do it, and what I suggest you do.
There isn’t a noise in the entire house. The pace is deliberate, slow.
Man Brain supercharges my mind. Even in the earliest hours of the morning, after what was a horrible sleep, I’m able to focus on some deep, powerful words from Schopenhauer to start my day.
It’s forced me to cut my coffee intake because it’s so much more powerful and potent than a cup of coffee which, if you know me, is crazy because of how much I love espresso.
I’ve been devouring philosophy lately, from Schopenhauer to Anthony De Mello to the Stoics, essentially figuring out how to think, what happiness is, how to live as best I can.
What I have realized is that we are all, indeed, alone.
That isn’t to say we don’t have loved ones and family, people that support us and encourage us, but that it’s who we are that matters more than anything external, including who we choose to spend our time with.
I mean alone by the fact that our happiness, how we think, our degree of success, even our body composition, are things that fall squarely on our shoulders.
A strong man is happy in prison. A weak man in unhappy in a mansion where he has all he needs and could ever want.
Humans are also naturally happy. It’s our labels, our thought patterns, our culture, religion, upbringing, and society that teach us how to be unhappy.
Give a child a gift and he’s as happy with the bubble wrap as he is with the gift.
The labels we add to things, the hierarchy of what’s valuable and what isn’t valuable has yet to invade his brain.
We can be the same.
I agree that we need nothing to be happy, but being human doesn’t mean wanting nothing, it certainly doesn’t mean pursuing nothing.
It’s the pursuit of your talents that is the expression of who you are. It’s in work that we enjoy that we’re at our happiest.
It’s in the pain of a workout where we don’t relent that we feel a deep, powerful sense of joy that cannot and will never be matched in pure pleasure.
And yet, the root of depression is wanting something you do not have.
So there’s clearly a balance that has to be found.
Without a healthy mind, that balance can never exist.
The health of the mind is created by nutrition, by activity, and by identifying good thoughts from bad ones, useful thoughts from useless ones.
You have everything you need. That thing you want that you think will make you happy won’t make you happy.
Those obstacles you face that you think you’d be happier without are challenges that, when conquered or even faced, will bring you more pride and happiness than their avoidance…
…And yet, you don’t even need those for happiness.
Being great in your own sense, your own lane, your own life, devoid of the influences, rules, perceptions, or labels of anything or anyone else, is how you ought to live.
You’re alone in this quest.
You’re alone trying to figure out what this is.
Here’s what to do:
Read. Read often.
Cultivate a love for reading by reading things you enjoy, the topic doesn’t matter. As you continue to read your interests will become more sophisticated.
When you’re walking around, be aware of the judgements you make and the labels you attach to people, things, ideas. Question them. Are they real or are they because of some external force, upbringing, religion, culture, whatever.
Do cardio, weight training, something active every single day. Make health habitual.
Taking Man Brain helps you focus in the moment, which helps you make clearer decisions, better decisions, which helps you live better.
I love it. I take it daily. And it’s having a big impact.