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What's stopping you from being happy?

What does it take to make you happy?

Weird questions, eh?

I ask this because I was thinking about my times struggling when I was a lost soul. And I thought I needed so many things to be happy.

Looking back, I cringe a little.

Because almost everything I thought I needed for happiness was shallow and a poor foundation for happiness.

Because I love my fellow charismatic nerds, I'll share with you some of the things I thought I needed:

  • Uber amounts of money

  • Girlfriend

  • Being the cool guy

  • As muscular as Jay Cutler (without steroids)

  • Brand Clothing

  • One million subscribers

I could keep going, or I could stop embarrassing myself.

The point I want to show you is that I was foolish to think I needed something to complete my happiness.

I never needed all those things, and it took me until therapy to realize that. Therapy showed me that the life I have now is what I make of it. As long as I have my internal issues resolved, I won't get in the way of finding happiness more immediately.

It's funny.

Many of us think we would be happy if we just had that XYZ. But we think this way because we don't understand the value of being alive at this moment.

This very moment, we are breathing and alive.

I know that sounds obvious, but the fact is we don't revel in the wonders of being alive, nor do we understand that it can be gone in a heartbeat.

Sometimes when I watch old sitcoms, I check out how some of these young actors have aged and turned out. And in a few cases, I realized that some of those actors had an early death.

For example, Lamont Bentley died in a car crash at 31; Merlin Santana was murdered at 26. I only mention these two since they are from Moesha, and I'm binge-watching that show.

The point is that death can come at any moment.

It's arrogant to think we have tomorrow guaranteed. That's why making the most of your life now is essential. And I'm not talking about going on a crazy bender with alcohol and strippers.

But to accept the wonders of being alive and enjoy this moment you have today. Forget about the worries of tomorrow. If it comes, you will deal with it. But enjoy your time of being alive now.

Let me share with you a passage (from Philosophy As A Way of Life by Pierre Hadot) that I read to remind myself of this when worries about the future creep up on me:

"Thus pleasure is wholly within present moment, and we need not wait for anything from the future to increase it. Everything we have been saying so far could be summed up in the following verses from Horace: 'Let the soul which is happy with the present learn to hate to worry about what lies ahead.' The happy mind does not look towards the future. If we limit our desires in a reasonable way, we can be happy right now. Not only can we be happy, but we must: happiness must be found immediately, here and now, and in the present. Instead of reflecting about our lives as a whole, calculating our hopes and worries, we must seize happiness within the present moment. The matter is urgent; in the words of an Epicurean saying:

'We are only born once - twice is not

allowed - and it is necessary that we

shall be no more, for all eternity; and

yet you, who are not master of tomorrow,

you keep putting off your joy? Yet

life is vainly consumed in these delays, and

each of us dies without ever having

known peace.'

Once again, we find the echo of this idea in Horace: 'While we are talking, jealous time has fled. So seize the day [carpe diem], and put no trust in tomorrow.' Horace's carpe diem is by no means, as is often believed, the advice of a sensualist playboy; on the contrary, it is an invitation to conversion. We are invited to become aware of the vanity of our immensely vain desires, at the same time as of the imminence of death, the uniqueness of life, and the uniqueness of the present instant. From this perspective, each instant appears as a marvellous gift which fills its recipient with gratitude:

'Believe that each new day that dawns

will be the last for you:

Then each unexpected hour shall come to

you as a delighted gift.'

There is perhaps an echo here of the Epicurean Philodemus: 'Receive each additional moment of time in a manner appropriate to its value; as if one were having an incredible stroke of luck.' "

Dropping some Greek philosophy out of nowhere, haha.

But this is essential to understand.

Whatever you think you need to be happy is not required. You just need to learn to enjoy this very moment now. It's a harsh reality that we can't get a second chance at life.

So why waste the one shot we have?

Trust me, guys, if you're lucky to live long, you will feel it going by fast. So don't waste time daydreaming of a happy life when you can start now. When you can learn to appreciate the present moments of life, you might be surprised in finding yourself happy.

Until next time,


The Charismatic Nerd


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