Impulse and determination: Those two are probably the most important keywords of my life.
I’ve got strong impulses towards easy solutions, towards immediate gratification, and towards pleasure in the here and in the now. But I still try to hold back on those impulses. In fact, being determined enough to take the more difficult roads through life, is my main aspiration as a human being.
Following your impulses too much is likely a road to unhappiness — at least it has been for me. It’s a funny thing: We do many things (out of impulse) in order to feel better, but the net result is often that we feel worse than we did before.
I’m talking about things like eating fast food or hooking up with someone random on a Friday night. As a general rule, the less effort you put into something the less likely you are to get a worthwhile return. Amount of investment equals the amount of return. It’s that simple.
In most areas of life its best not to let impulses control you. Instead, be determined to overcome (a) your most basic fears and (b) your short-term desires. Those are the two pervasive enemies we face as human beings.
Don’t marry someone because you were fascinated by their looks… or by their wits (or by whatever else). Do marry them if your overall values are a match and if they too understand that you can’t get everything you want out of a relationship. Marry someone who are willing to work hard in life – for you and for everything else they might want to achieve. There are no (NONE , ZERO, ZILCH!) shortcuts to happiness — only hard work and a bit of smart thinking.
Don’t work hard in order to get fame, power or respect either. A trophy wife is about the same as having no wife at all. There is no real value there. Same with a corner office executive position at a big company if it is running you down. Such a job can be fulfilling, but only if you are actually enjoying going to work on a everyday basis.
Things — relationships — are only worth it if they fulfill you on a deep, personal level as a human being. And what everybody else thinks? That doesn’t matter. Not now, not ever.
Indeed, “power,” in any form whatsoever, has never and will never directly lead to you being happy. But being determined at making the most out of your life, at making the best use out of every momentwill.
In the end, it all comes down to making smart and deliberate choices. Let nothing be up to chance. Stay in control. Be determined. Make sacrifices. Share love. Improve the world. Enjoy the process. That is all.