I grew up watching tons of Disney movies. I still do. And I got the idea, through these movies, that happiness is a "thing" to be "achieved", and once you have it, you don't have to work for it anymore, and then you'll just be happy.
It didn't happen.
And I didn't know why.
Until I read the wonderful book (and I read it BEFORE it was famous!) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, and I vividly remember one sentence that put into words, feelings I've been feeling for a long, long time:
Happiness does not mean having zero problems.
Happiness comes from solving problems, usually solving them well.
And for me (I added this), self fulfillment comes from having the ability to solve the problems YOU choose. Not the problems the world throws at you.
What exactly do I mean by that?
When I was living the pre-determined life path (as was determined by society and most notably, my parents) of military service-bachelor's-masters-grown up job, I was miserable. I kept thinking that the next phase of my life will be the one I'll be happy in. As I said, it didn't happen.
In each phase, I had to deal with problems that the environment threw at me: in my bachelors I had to pass my courses with good grades, in my master's I had to do research and write a thesis, and in my grown up job I had to deal with working as team member and dealing with companies, patients and doctors.I managed to deal and solve these problems, I did it well, but I didn't feel gratification.
Two years ago, when I changed my life path to one that matches my own values rather then society's, I suddenly had new problems to solve. How do I bring customers? How do I manage social media as a marketing tool? How do I produce an international twerking competition? How do I create products that answer customer's real needs? How do I market them?
And these, my friends, were problems I was happy to solve. Well, not happy, but when I did solve them, I felt gratification, satisfaction, and happiness. I felt accomplished. And proud
Before I quit and started my own twerking business I thought that the minute I'll "do what I love" I'll be happy. And generally, I'm a much happier person now. But, now I know that every choice in life has its own consequences and brings its own set of problems.
The secret is, choosing what problems you want to solve.
Once I realized this, I understood happiness is not one continuous state, but rather small moments in life. Happiness is successfully filling up my twerk courses, filling up my twerkshops abroad, is crossing off 80% at most off my to do list, is being proud of myself for finally trying a new dance class, is implementing a new time management tool, and generally- it's solving the problems I chose to solve.
We all have problems to solve. And we will always, always and forever have problems. That's great, because a person without a single problem is someone who's really disconnected from reality.
Question is, what problems do you choose to solve?
In this picture, I'm solving my problem of "I have my own business and I can't work from home bc then I'm not productive" by working at my friend's home 💗