10 Habits To Be Happier and More Productive

What a goddamn shitty title. That's the sort of BS that is everywhere on the Internet these days.

Like, someone gets on a pedestal and teaches people how to be happier and then that same person goes to a motel owned by killers and smoke crack with hookers.

Then go to their kids school plays. I know. I've seen it.

People are often happy when something happens outside of themselves that they pre-judged would be "good".

Like: having more money, or having the object of your infatuation fall in love with you. Or getting that big career boost. Or having that lawsuit be over. Or getting out of that relationship you got "stuck" in.

I don't judge. That's fine. But all of that comes and goes. What if the infatuation doesn't like you? Are you then sad? I know I get sad.

We live in the light of a fucking STAR in the middle of the galaxy and we have the nerve to be sad if someone doesn't kiss us back.

Ok, I've been there. I've had that nerve. She didn't kiss back. She said, "I have to go to the bathroom and then I never saw her again."

I want to be my own star. I want the nuclear fusion to come from inside of me. Then I know I can do anything I want.

That doesn't mean: walk on Mars or have 10 private jets. I don't want those.

I just want to do anything I want to do. Freedom. Is this selfish? Maybe it is. Some people think it is. I don't kill people with my freedom. But still...some people correctly think it's selfish.

And what is productivity? It's getting things done in less time. Why should this matter? Because then I have time to do what I want.

Freedom again.

Here's what I do:

WANT LESS

The fewer things I want, the more I love what I have.

SAY NO

Steve Jobs used to ask his man designer Jonny Ive (the designer of your iPhone), "how many times did you say No today?"

DO A LITTLE OF SOMETHING I LOVE A LOT

I love to write. I love to talk to friends. I love to kiss and to hug. I love to read and to laugh. Oh, and I love to play games.

And maybe that's about it. It's nice to make money. But I don't necessarily love it. I lose money also. I don't love that either.

If every day i do a little of something I love a lot, then I feel like inside I'm growing.

A tiny leaf that might grow into a beautiful plant. And then the plant drops more seeds on the ground and more plants grow.

I don't even fucking know what I'm talking about. Do plants even drop seeds? Or is that flowers?

Are plants flowers? Or are they vegetables. Where is Doctor Science when you need her.

READ AN ARCHIVE

Here's what I do each day. Find a blog from someone interesting. Read a post at least a year or five or six years old.

If it's a good post. I send a note and say, "That was a good post".

The archives of yesterday are the secrets of today.

Because people are very busy and they forget and nobody read that old article in the first place.

So I learn something new at the same time I send a nice note to someone at the same time I find material to steal for myself for later.

I plant a seed (see above).

I DO WHAT YOU CAN'T DO

Most people have their own rules about what you can't do.

You can't start two businesses at once. You can't have a certain opinion.

You can't make a movie without experience. You can't start a business with no experience. You can't fall in love with someone "out of your league".

You can't call the President and ask him to be on your podcast. You can't run a marathon without preparing.

I like to do those things. And you know what? Most people are right. I can't do them.

But sometimes people are wrong.

I OVER DELIVER

Give people what they deserve, not what they expect.

Most people have been served shit all of their lives and told, "this is the way it is. Deal with it."

One time I asked for a bonus at job. I knew the bonus was available. But my boss decided to give himself extra. Out of my bonus.

"Welcome to the real world," he said when I asked what happened.

That's not the real world. That's the fear world.

Where people are afraid of running out of things. People are afraid that the world is over unless they take what they can.

Give what you can. Give until you are left with nothing. And even when you are left with nothing, find more to give. You can make someone laugh, even though you started with nothing.

Why does over delivering make me more happy and productive? I have no idea. I do it and it works.

SING, PAINT, LAUGH, WRITE, CELEBRATE

A friend of mine stuttered. But when he sang he didn't stutter.

How come? Because it's two different parts of the brain. Most of the time, we don't activate many parts of the brain.

We activate the part that gets us to the factory, gets us the hammer, and hammers the nail all day long, and then goes home.

I understand. That's what I do most of the time also.

But I like to make my brain super powerful. So I like to do things that activate parts of my brain that are usually dormant and atrophied.

What are the new things you can do that will wake up parts of you that have been long dead.

Welcome to life outside the Matrix.

SHOULDN'T

There are a lot of things you should think, do, feel, believe. We're told all of our lives what is "good" and what is "bad".

Some of those things are political. Some are emotional. Some are religious. Some are taught us so were can fit in and "play well with others".

None of those things are TRUE, in the sense that they are universal facts that are never wrong.

Ants don't care about elections. Elephants don't care about the after-life. Flowers don't care if they fit in with a crowd. They just want the warmth of the sun to kiss them.

I'm not saying, "don't love your family". Or "don't care about nuclear waste".

Just double-check who programmed you. It's ok for you to rewrite the program that makes your brain run every day.

The other day I wrote about why people shouldn't buy houses.

I got some funny comments. One woman said, "James makes some good points here but, anyway, I hate James."

Ok, she is allowed to. Part of the fun for me is getting those comments and telling myself it doesn't matter. Do they hurt? Every single time. But I know it's also foolish to think about it for even a split second.

Feels like practice.

All of the above feels like practice.

Practice for what? I don't know. It doesn't make happy or productive to think about it.

Ugh, there are more things. Like: brush your teeth. Or: sleep more. Or: breathe deep.

I'm going to take a deep breath. I'm scared. Later today and then later this week I have to give a talk. I'm scared of people and talks.

Good thing is: in 10,000 years all of human society will probably be dead and nobody will ever care other than the aliens who are reading the archives.

Kim, I don't know why you hate me. But I can't control you into liking me.

(Photo by Matt Gibson)
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