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On desire, happiness, and success
Muse #180 - the paradox of choices to make
I paused my current read Sand Talk, a book on indigenous thinking to switch to Almanac of Naval Ravikant - a rather quick read so that I could go back my the paused book. The book is free to read and excellent for people who are looking at the material they can empathize with and condenses several ideas from several books into small bite-size summaries.
I was thinking about the paradox of choices between some key elements of life - desire, happiness, and success. To directly quote Naval, I extract some of his quotes (from his chapter on happiness) that point out these paradoxes:
“Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.”
“The fundamental delusion: There is something out there that will make me happy and fulfilled forever.”
“Happiness is being satisfied with what you have. Success comes from dissatisfaction. Choose.”
“We think of ourselves as fixed and the world as malleable, but it’s really we who are malleable, and the world is largely fixed.”
Excerpt From: Eric Jorgenson. “The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness.” Apple Books.
Of course, it is easy for Naval to say this as he calls himself a Rational Buddist, not religious but spiritual. So, it is quite obvious where and how he derives his values from.
For me, it seems to be the balance between adjusting one’s wants and defining what happiness and success are in their unique context. It did set me thinking, so from that perspective, it was certainly worth a read.