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TO THE THINGS.
1. DOES HAPPINESS REQUIRE STRUGGLE
This is an interesting one. Came across it viaÂ David Sawyer’s ZudePRÂ newsletter…
Note: he specifically called it out on it look!
Which was nice.
So yes, first thing first, read the article: ‘Does happiness require struggle?‘
“As the BritishÂ philosopherÂ John Stuart Mill (1806â€“1873) remarked in his bookÂ Utilitarianism: â€œItâ€™s better to be Socrates unsatisfied than to be pig satisfied.â€
People who are content for mundane reasons merely are â€˜happyâ€™ because their ignorance allows them to be. Happiness that is not achieved by completing severe challenges is qualitatively inferior to happiness that was reached thusly (if it is â€˜happinessâ€™ at all).
Personal growth requiresÂ overcoming.”
While I don’t disagree that personal growth requires overcoming, does personal growth / overcomingÂ something meaningful push you to a higher plain of happiness? If you’re a regular reader, you’ve probably detected a sense of this in me over the past few months or so. The struggle, the pain, has helped me reach a new level of acceptance – of who I am, of I am going to be, of howÂ lifeÂ is going to be. And, once that acceptance was realised, it unlocked a kind of peace inside that pushed me towards a new level of happiness. But happiness and being ‘at peace’ are separate things (aren’t they?).
I like the provocation of preferring to be ‘Socrates unsatisfied’ vs ‘pig satisfied’ but, to me at least, that breaks a general rule of never measuring yourself with someone else’s yardstick. In short: your measure (and therefore your definition) of happiness may be completely different to someone else’s.Â And that’s OK.
Happiness is not so binary. Nor is it an ever-lasting feeling that should be attained for every waking moment – this too shall pass, after all. It is a part of life, just as sadness and pain is too. A friend of mine told me once you can’t believe in God if you don’t believe in the devil. And it stayed with me. You need to understand the other side of things. Pain, sadness, struggle – they co-exist alongside happiness and joy. And there is value to be found in each of them. That’s something I’ve come to understand in recent times.
I watched the stunning CALL ME BY YOUR NAME on the plane over to San Francisco. There’s a film that captures happiness, joy, pain, and heartbreak. It gets it SO right. In so many ways. And that last 15mins? Just wow.
Does it get easier? I don’t know.
The question is ‘Does happiness require struggle?’ – I don’t believe it does. I believe as we get older, and life throws its many struggles at us, we act, we respond, and ultimately we make choices. Those choices are based on how we define ourselves and will shape how you define yourself in the future. Happiness, fluid as it may be, flows around those choices. Life can be a struggle. The release of the struggle can be the cause of happiness. But so can many, many other things.
As we age, we benefit from self-awareness and understanding. We know what it means to be sad. A life without struggle is worth no more or less than a life that is struggle-free, and neither is no more or less deserving of happiness.
Your choices define you. They will bring happiness to your life and if you’re not careful, they will bring struggles too.
But to my mind at least, one does not beget the other.
4. CROSSRAIL CURVATURE
At the end of next year, the new 70-mile train line known asÂ CrossrailÂ will open. Connecting Berkshire to Shenfield, via Heathrow, Paddington, Central London, and Canary Wharf, it has been a long road to completion (killing off one of my favourite pubs along the way, RIP The Couch). As the project enters its final leg, IanVisits has been looking at some of the date behind the build (dig?) that will create another addition to the modern marvel that is London’s travel infrastructure.
In short: so large is the scope of the project,Â the tunnels are affected by the curvature of the Earth.
5. OBVIOUS THING IS OBVIOUS
This last section is just another rallying cry for you all to use Facebook Creative Hub. I still (STILL!) have conversations with people who ask how to best mock up their work in Facebook.
‘What will this ad look like?’
‘What ad units are available?’
‘How will this look in-feed?’
IT IS FREE.
Sorry if you already do/have no idea what I’m talking about – it’s a great resource and if you do ANYTHING anywhere near Facebook then you need to know it exists.
Same time again next year, yeah? OK.