“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
- Albert Einstein
The pursuit of happiness is as old as modern civilization. Books, elixers, religions, and philosophies are all devoted to it. Happiness is a quest, an obsession, and a universal aspiration.
But what does it take to be unhappy?
In some ways, it’s easier than happiness itself. New research and much life experience offers a simple recipe for genuine discontent.
Buy things you can’t afford or don’t want. Either choice is a sure fit for unhappiness. When you buy things you can’t afford, you go into debt, which limits the other choices available to you. When you buy things you don’t want, you lie to yourself about the real source of your unhappiness.
Compare yourself to others. The love of comparison is the root of much misery. Therefore, judge your success or worth based on other people, especially those with a different background from you. Do this on a continual basis, always looking for a new idol or competitor in which your ideal unhappiness lies.
Take no joy in the journey. Focus only on the destination without appreciating the ride. Fail to celebrate small successes, and neglect to pause for reflection on how far you’ve come.
Respond instead of initiate. Take no responsibility for your schedule or preferences. Let other people set the agenda for your life. Take the lead for your schedule from your Inbox, voicemail, or someone else’s demands.
Allow other people to determine your values and priorities. Set no compass point for your life. Drift in the wind. For best results, allow your values and priorities to shift as you waver between bosses or role models.
Refuse to challenge yourself. Take it easy and settle into routine. Choose to believe that all stress is bad and seek to live as relaxed a life as possible.
Whine and complain to anyone who will listen. Explain how the world isn’t fair and how you would do things differently if you were in charge. Bonus: this practice also allows you to contribute to other people’s unhappiness.
Focus only on yourself. Refuse to forgive. Hold on to grudges. See the worst in people. Do not give out free lunch.
Settle. Accept things as they are no matter how unsettling they might seem. It could always be worse, right? Live in the complacency of your situation and refuse to fight for something better.
How to get confidence? It is a question that commonly gets asked around here. My usual answer has always been "fake it until you make it." Which in my opinion is a fantastic answer, and it gets results. But if someone had told me this back when I was a struggling beta with no confidence, it would have just blown right past me. Without any traction for it to stick to, it is just a meaningless phrase. So this is for all of the beginners with zero confidence.
Fear/ Self Doubt
When I was in college, I felt like a 15 year old boy amongst 25 year old men. I felt like I didn’t match up to them physically or experience wise. I withdrew from socializing because I felt like people were judging me and it had to be clear to them that I didn’t fit the typical college physique/personality/persona. I was full of self doubt and didn’t think that I could fit in. You see how many times I said "I" in those last 2 sentences? I was the one that was causing all of my self doubt. I was the one that was causing me to withdraw and be anti-social. I was the one that was determining my level of confidence.
People weren’t judging me. I was judging myself through other people’s eye’s. I was determining other people’s opinions of me for them. Are you doing the same thing? Have you ever said to yourself "she won’t like me because I am too tall/short/skinny/fat/nerdy/introverted/ugly/boring/poor/un-athletic? Have you avoided a social situation because you felt like you wouldn’t fit in? If so, you are the one that is defining what other people think of you.
Whenever somebody meets you, you are a blank slate. They don’t know your past, what you did in high school, where you went to college, how many girls you’ve slept with, what job you have, how much money you make, how big your dick is. They can only see what you allow them to see. You create what they see. You have the power to create their perception of you. They don’t know anything about your personality and if you don’t allow them to see it, they will never get a chance to. If you pull yourself out of the game because of your self doubts, they will never get a chance to know you and you will never get a chance to show them.
Stop allowing fear of what others may think of you control who you are. You are the one that controls how people perceive you. How you project yourself is how others will perceive you.