How To Overcome The Need To Compete

We humans, especially men, are wired to compete. In our modern society, the biggest area of competition are our jobs, our careers and what we buy with the money we make. In this article I am going to lay out what I have learned about overcoming unhealthy competitiveness and how it has made me a happier and surprisingly even more motivated.

80% of its function was to get from A to B.


Cars and the effect of competition

Have you ever thought "Why are cars getting so huge? The reason is certainly not, because we have grown, or because we are making good use of the transportation space. No, the reason is also not "it's for safety". The reason is a clear statement of how successful you are in your job. It is meant to be a signal: look, I have competed and I have won. I have made it, financially, and therefore I am a strong and overall successful human being. The automobile industry is one of the biggest industries worldwide. It has shifted it's service away from being a provider of transportation from A to B (that is what the cars were made for  in 1960, see the picture above) to now, where most of the money is made with SUVs (picture below), which get most of their price-tag from the additional use of being a status symbol. Only one that you happen to drive in, how convenient. 

80% of its function is an expression of ego.

The behavior laid out above, is obviously not restricted to cars. It just one of the most expensive areas. And this means, that for us as a global society, this is a huge time-sink. The people, being able to afford those cars are probably not consciously aware of how much human time and potential goes into making such cars. Workers in third world countries are working for very low wages, but make up the majority of the work needed to make such a car. 

Overall, this means, we waste a lot of our potential on this ego-game of one-upmanship. And many of us feel the need to play this game. Therefore I want to address how to break free of this. 

But reading this far, you have already gone through the first step of the process. That is, becoming aware of the fact that you are likely drawn to this game in your life as well. If for you, it's not your car, maybe it's your phone or your clothes. For now, just recognize that you are, at least partly, feeling the need to communicate your self-worth through some material means. Next, realize how much of your personal time is necessary to obtain those objects. To do that, subtract all your ongoing expenses from your monthly income and only look at what you can save each month, and then divide the price by that number. That gives you how many months you have to work for this product. And, as mentioned above, this is only your personal time. If you are in a western country, it is likely that a lot more human time is necessary to make this product, if it is produced in a global supply chain. 

For many that alone is enough to make this behavior unattractive. If you are like me, and you value free time above material possessions, you will quickly realize how much of a time-sink this sort of behavior is. And is it really the best use of your time? If you can come up with better things to do outside of what you do to make money, then you have to decide if it is worth it to you. That is the next question.


Is playing the game fun?

Now that you are consciously aware of your need to display success with material possessions, ask yourself, do I have fun playing this game? And if you are a second-tier thinker, ask: is this game the best use of our global human potential? Can't you/we have something greater as a goal? Something less animalistic and more visionary? These are deep questions. And you need to sit with them, regardless of what you buy with your money. Because it really is about your life and your purpose. 

I have written extensively about this topic and you can find interesting articles in the "Personal Development / Enlightenment"-section on the right. We can in fact develop a higher vision for ourselves. Abraham Maslow called it self-actualization, and everything we need for this is having our human needs met. These are psychological needs, safety needs, love and belonging, and esteem. 

Note that nowhere in this does it say, showing your financial success off to others. It is an attempt to achieve esteem, recognition from others. I would argue that this is only necessary when we lack a deep sense of self-esteem. When we haven't spent time in silence and meditation to really see for ourselves what we truly are. Only then do we feel the need to be a certain way in the eyes of others. Our sense of self is not rooted in our true self, but in the false self. And this illusory self needs to be constantly kept up, through the projections and behavior of others.

People playing this game are sometimes so deeply wrapped up in it, they can't even begin to understand how someone is free of this need. I am not saying you need to become a monk and get rid of every material possession as many of the things we own clearly fulfill functions other than being a status symbol. But whenever you do buy things for reasons beyond their immediate functionality, realize that you are likely participating in this game. And I want you to, at least, make this choice consciously. Because then you can decide how far you want to take this game and how much of your time you want to invest in it. 

And maybe, at some point, you also realize the more direct and sustainable ways to fulfill your needs, than through building up an artificial self in the eyes of others. 




The No.1 Problem With The Carnivore Diet

With this article, I want to prevent you from unknowingly making bad decisions while on the carnivore diet. Some of the promoters of the carnivore diet do already mention that sourcing high-quality meat is important, but I doubt that many follow that advice. 

The majority of the increased meat-consumption will be coming from factory-raised animals. Paying close attention to the quality of the meat is a necessary step in order to make the diet sustainable for the environment though. Consuming grain- and soy-fed animals is only making our own health and the health of the planet worse. And I feel this is not getting enough emphasis within the movement. 

Often times it is even stated that factory-raised beef is not less healthy from a personal standpoint. However, the environmental impact is not mentioned, much less emphasized. Taking the source of the meat into consideration, the majority of people are probably not willing to spend the money necessary to raise those animals in the proper way. Which is the proper way? If ruminants are raised out on pasture and eat only fresh grass, this is a sustainable and even regenerative way. It is indeed possible to sequester more carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the soil long-term, than what is released during the rest of the supply chain, from farm to table. 

I am optimistic that people see this issue with the carnivore diet and put the health of the planet above their personal hopes of achieving improved health, which is in fact very questionable. Many long-lived populations show us that it is possible to live very healthily on a primarily plant-based diet. Not exclusively, but as a large percentage of caloric intake. And if, and this is a big if, those plant calories are sourced locally, seasonally, and from non-mono-cropped fields, they can be cheaper and more sustainable than pasture-raised meats. This of course also requires a huge shift in consumer thinking and habits. This is unlikely to happen in the general population without national/global incentives. 

Consumption of regular meat is the most resource-intensive and environmentally harmful food. Even though many of the claims coming out of the vegan community are largely exaggerated, this type of meat still consumes more resources than eating the grains, legumes, tubers, etc. directly. We can only digest starches and sugar, but ruminants are also able to extract energy from fiber. They can therefore digest the whole plant, which makes the resulting caloric calculation a little more favorable. 

But the biggest negative impact comes from the mono-cropped fields, from tilling the ground and exposing the soil. This is true for grain-fed meat as it is for all other foods grown in this fashion that we consume directly. Therefore, whether you decide to eat meat- or plant-based, you have to ask how the primary plant, that has captured the sunlight and turned it into a stored form of energy, is grown. During this process, is the soil exposed or tilled, are the fields sprayed with pesticides, and is the whole process carbon positive or negative. 

I critique the carnivore movement because it has fallen into a similar trap as the vegan movement. In its thinking it only goes one level deep. But considering the process of growing food holistically is important to make sound food-decisions with consideration of its environmental impact. And for that, it is not enough to just look at the food directly. There are many layers to the impact food can have. A complete analysis includes also the impact of the production of fertilizers and pesticides, the machinery and its gas consumption, processing, shipping, and storage. 

Considering all the above, fresh, local, pasture-raised meat can be one of the most environmentally friendly foods we have. At least in many parts of the world and especially in regions where the climate and soil quality does not allow for crop production. CAFO-raised, imported, corn- and soy-fed (from deforested land) meat on the other hand is the most environmentally harmful food available. Meat is not meat. 

"It's not the cow, it's the how."  - Bobby Gill




Making The Best Of Social Isolation

During these times where communities all around the world are struggling with corona-virus infections, social distancing is one of the measures that we decided to implement. That means more time alone for many people. How can we best deal with this situation? Can true spirituality give us a clue whether there are benefits to time alone and the introspection that it facilitates? 



I believe there is value in time spent alone with oneself without distraction. And even though we might have social distancing rules today, doesn't mean we avoid distraction or communication through online media. In fact, I argue that if we want to gain some spiritual advantage from social isolation, we have to turn off all distractions as well and really spent time with ourselves. 

Those of us who are interested in true spirituality are on the search for the self. If you know your true self, you know the world. Discovering your true being at it's core is the goal of spiritual practice. If you do not want to suffer emotionally from social isolation, dig deeper, do not run away from yourself, and instead use the opportunity to contemplate the self. 

Ask yourself what you are and separate belief from reality. Every one of us starts out in a confused state regarding this matter. For a lifetime we believed we are a person. That we are a human with a personality. But this person is merely the role we act out, for ourselves and especially for others. With social isolation, one guard of the false self, the mask, can drop away. We can let go of the roles we play. And go one level deeper. 

Here we can, maybe for the first time, acknowledge that we do not actually know who or what we are. That we believe, very strongly, that we are human, but that this believe is not truth. For truth, we know directly, without a doubt. You look inward and rest with the question, over and over again, "what am I?" Thoughts, feeling, concepts, world-views… we see all of that pass by in the mental space. Are we one of those things? Are we an explanation? A thought, a concept, a feeling…? 

Observe, acknowledge, let go. Just be with the question and maybe the answer will reveal itself in unexpected ways. And social isolation brought you here. There is no one to isolate from. There is no one being isolated. There is only being. All is experiencing, judging, conceptual grasping. If you believe the thought of social isolation, you are isolated. As you are doing it, you can also stop. It's your choice. I say, go with the truth. 

Reasons You Dislike Meditation

In case you do not have a meditation practice in place yet and dislike the idea of extended periods of regular meditation, this article may help you understand why and how you can fix it. 

Focus is the key to impactful meditation
Blissful, transformative states can be achieved by meditation.


Meditation is in essence the practice of ever-deepening concentration on a subtle part of experience. This can be the breath, a mantra, a bodily sensation, even a question or consciousness/awareness itself. You may have experimented with different meditations only to find you mind wandering and thinking about what you want to do if you get away from this meditation. Maybe your body was aching and you were distracted by pain. Let me tell you, all of this is also going on in seasoned meditators and still, for them, meditation can be the most delightful activity of their life. 

What is the difference in their practice? And why do they naturally come back to this practice over and over again? What are they doing differently that makes it so enjoyable? 

The answer is quite simple and may be surprising. It is not about making the position more comfortable or choosing the right object of concentration, changing around mantras, techniques, etc. The critical step in making a meditation practice enjoyable is to make it harder and more challenging. Your meditation practice has to be so challenging that you cannot let your mind wander and lose its awareness of the present moment. 

How can you make a concentration practice challenging? By becoming engaged with the present moment to the point where 100% of your concentration and focus is right on the subject. If you observe your breath, you are so focused, you notice every distracting thought the split second it arises. And you let it go. Every distracting sensation, you observe from its very origin. You let go of all of it, because your only goal is to be as mindful and aware as possible. You follow down this path of pure concentration with laser-like focus. Like an artist performing live, who cannot be distracted for a single second. 


In meditation, it's even less time than that. You goal should be not be distracted for 1/1000 of a second. For example, a recommended practice for beginners is to focus on the breath. And sometimes even count to ten, to not lose focus and become absorbed in thought. I would argue this is too easy and not actual awareness of the present moment. With this practice it is easy to "meditate" on the concept of the breath. Yes, you are focus, but not on the actual sensation of the breath but with you concept of the breath. You focus on the thought "in-breath", "out-breath"... but you are aware only very shortly at the onset of each change from "in" to "out". With true focus, you would split up every in-breath into sensations that last 1ms, and focus on that, dropping the whole concept that what you experience is part of breathing. 

With increasing ability to focus, you can make the present moment infinitely small, and forget about all concepts surrounding it. When you do that, every 1/1000 of a second, becomes completely new, unknown, in fact unknowable and absolutely blissful. When you connect to this, you will have found your bliss in meditation and become hooked. In this tiniest fraction, that is the actual now, all concepts are gone. There is no you here, there are no problems, no concerns, only pure delightful beingness.


Often times we approach our meditation practice with an attitude of relaxation. But this will only make it harder. We will enjoy our meditation less. The counter-intuitive step is to go at it hard. With the rock-solid commitment to not let go of concentration for a single second and actually focus on the now with ever-increasing clarity, that it becomes infinitely short and infinitely everything at the same time. Meditate like this and you will be blissfully surprised by the places it takes you.

Belief and Knowing

We all know the difference between knowing and not knowing. We try to replace not knowing with knowing. Knowing makes us comfortable and not knowing makes us uncomfortable. Not knowing may feel like a flaw in our character. Why do we not know? We should know! Right?

This notion is very wrong and can lead us into the realm of unconscious believing. Rather than admitting to ourselves, that we do not know, we try to avoid the discomfort by adopting a belief instead. Reading or hearing something from someone else is still not knowing. Believing what we read or hear is believing, but not knowing. 

This may be fine in some areas but is problematic if the benefit of knowing can only be had with true first-hand insight. And avoiding the struggle to know by adopting a belief can leave us without resolving the issue. It may only serves to avoid momentary discomfort and prevent genuine knowing. 


A belief is fundamentally the same as not knowing. Realize this! If you say I believe such and such, it would be more helpful to say, I do not know about such and such. What is the purpose of a belief? In most cases, you will find it has no benefit. Just admit that you do not know and go on. Learn to become comfortable with not knowing. What is the benefit of this? Form a mental place of not knowing you at least create the possibility of true knowing. Whereas when you freely adopt beliefs every time you encounter something you do know, it will prevent you from ever discovering what's actually true directly.

In spirituality, this is especially critical, as spiritual insights cannot be transferred through the adoption of a set of beliefs. Spiritual teachings are meant to give you direction for your practice and ways to generate immediate insight, not give you a new world-view to believe in. If you learn that you are one with the universe, the concept itself will not change anything for you, even if you deeply believe it. Admit that you do not know until you do. This way you create the possibility for the truth to reveal itself to you. Beliefs block it. 


The Necessity And Beauty Of Challenges

Every animal on the planet is almost constantly subjected to the demand of the environment. For survival, animals need to be active most of their day. Every activity serves one of three purposes: gathering food for energy, producing offspring, and avoiding being killed. This puts tremendous pressure on them and they need to be efficient, healthy and strong, otherwise they do not survive.

Cold-Water Swimming
Cold-Water Swimming: A Way Of Deliberate Challenge


Humans in the western world, on the other hand, have reached a standard of living that is too comfortable. And this is very counter-intuitive, as you may actually have the feeling that your life is hard and you feel your work is too much or too challenging. But here is why that is the case and why it is problematic:



We are happier with easier lives. How could that be bad?

We actually feel less happy. When we do not have to struggle with real meaningful survival-based challenges, we seek for happiness in pleasurable activities. This behavior leads to hedonic behavior and the search for ever-greater stimulation. It is the hedonic treadmill, where we have to engage in ever more pleasurable activities to feel the same amount of satisfaction. At the same time, our capacity to deal with challenges decreases and we become less mentally resilient. 


But I can buy a lot of pleasure and entertainment, that is cool! How could that ever be bad?

Pleasure without effort leads to negative side-effects, like desensitizing us to the effects of dopamine. Only when we have to struggle in order to obtain something pleasurable are we in balance from a neurological point of view. 



But hard work sucks, it feels bad and I am happy to life without it. It is a good thing we have eliminated a lot of had labor. This is certainly a good thing. How could it not be?
In the environment, which we have created for ourselves, the struggle and effort we have to exert is too small for the amount of pleasure we can receive. It is out of balance, and so are our neuro-chemicals. We can easily become addicted to activities that yield high amounts of dopamine release for very little effort, like food, porn, drugs, alcohol, social media and other sedentary entertainment. 


I have worked hard to buy all of this entertainment and I really enjoy playing video games or watching movies, this is great. 
Over time, we will perceive less and less activities to be meaningful and enjoyable, because we become accustomed to high pleasure activities that require low amounts of mental or physical effort.



Our lives are comfortable. We all like it and it's really cool what we can do, this certainly must be good long-term! 
When life gets too comfortable, there is not enough evolutionary pressure. Evolutionary pressure is the beautifully brutal mechanism by which all life forms were shaped into what they are today, including us humans. But without is, also non-optimal DNA can be given to the next generation. Over many generations, this will weaken the gen-pool, illnesses will be more common and we will be less resilient and be even more dependant on our lifestyles. More children will be born with less than optimal health. 


There is no good without the bad, the Yin and Yang. 


As we have created this very comfortable environment, we are now in a situation where we have to actively seek out challenges in order to stay optimally healthy. The benefits of subjecting oneself to self-imposed challenges are:
  • Resensitization to the effect of dopamine
  • Greater pleasure can be derived from just being, without any special stimulation or activity
  • Mindfulness becomes easier, as we are happy in our natural state. 
  • We can overcome challenges more easily because we accustom ourselves to difficult and painful experiences on a regular basis. 
  • Strenuous activities become more meaningful and pleasurable again
  • We feel that we are in balance because our pleasurable experiences don't leave us in a void afterwards, that needs to be filled again with another dopamine hit.
  • Meditation and present awareness become enjoyable.
  • A minimalistic lifestyle becomes natural and the need for material possessions is lower. 
  • Overall greater life enjoyment as we raise our baseline level of happiness over time. 
  • A sense of meaning of our existence can emerge more easily. 


Much of this knowledge is already widely implemented by many intelligent people. They work on themselves, their career, do sport and maintain a healthy diet. But the default mode of our psyche is to revert to complacency and search for the easiest solution. In our evolutionary history this worked well, because we had no really easy way out. But today it can backfire and we have to take challenging ourselves into our own hands and consciously provide it and often take the hardest route because it is still much too easy compared to what our evolutionary ancestors had to deal with and our psyche evolved and thrived in.

What If Money Were No Object

What would you do if money was not an issue?

Alan Watts famously gave an answer to that question in one of his lectures.

We are going to explore how this question is much more profound than you may think.

What would you do if you did not have to work for a living? What would you spend your time doing? And what would be worth pursuing and dedicating your energy to?



 

In a work-centric society, considering such questions is a radical shift in perspective. Right now you may think that the main purpose of your work is to generate income. If you are higher up the income latter you may also have other requirements on top. Like a sense of purpose and some socially meaningful contribution. But does the core purpose not remain the income-generating aspect of work?

 

Asking yourself what you would do if you did not have to work for money is more profound than just having more free time to play with. It is not just the question of what will you fill your time with instead, or how can you spend your time for maximum enjoyment. The desire to be more free is fueled by an underlying desire for personal development and the transcendence of your current state of existence. Over the course of a lifetime, pondering this question is similar to the vision of a higher state of consciousness. Your desire to be free of the need to work comes from your deeper longing for higher consciousness. A longing for a state with more degrees of freedom. As time is one main constraint for all of us, freeing up more time is a major step towards more freedom.

 

Higher states of consciousness are a very similar pursuit. You strive to free yourself from the limitations of your mind. On the spiritual journey, you ultimately give up the perspective of the limited self. Beyond that, you can discover a place of union with all of existence. You merge with god so to speak. This is the highest goal of every genuine spiritual path. And whether you realize it or not, the freedom from income-generating work is one step that can lead you in the same direction.

 

Not having to work essentially opens up the possibility to pursue consciousness work. Through the movement of financial independence, retire early, more people than ever may reach financial freedom early in life. If you reach this you may be someone who goes on to explore alternative ways of living. And maybe it will awaken a natural desire for personal development and consciousness work within you. Or you may first desire to explore many other activities that seem more pleasurable than work.

But I think that it is likely that after many years of exploring your interests, you will start to ask more meaningful questions. Doubt of this new lifestyle will arise and you still feel some uneasiness. All of these activities can only give you satisfaction for so long. And maybe at that point, you go back to work because you think you miss certain aspects of it, like meaning and social connection. Or maybe you start your own business to keep you busy for years to come.

 

Maybe by luck or maybe out of a deeper knowing you look elsewhere. You come in contact with different spiritual teachings. Or your path may start with a sudden event. Maybe an awakening experience induced by psychedelics. Or a personal crisis. Something triggers within you a short glimpse of something very unexpected. Something that ignites your curiosity to know what that glimpse was about. You got a glimpse of a higher state of consciousness and the experience transcended your personal perspective, your personal identity. You will see your whole life recontextualized. Nothing seems as it once was. Suddenly you know that no relative experience will ever give you the same contentment and tranquility as realizing your highest self.

 

This desire to transcend the personal and illusory limitations is the same desire that is at the core of the question, what you would do if money was no issue. You desire to be free of the major limitations imposed on you through your daily work. When you achieve the financial state of not having to work for a living anymore, it can be the ground from which you achieve great personal transformation.

 

The earlier you achieve a state of freedom from work, the better you can channel your energy towards personal development. In previous articles, I have written about how you can achieve this. All of those articles are listed under the label Financial Freedom. 

 

When Alan Watts asked the question, what would you do if money was no object, he meant it in a different way though. He did not think of financial freedom through passive income. He rather asked what would you choose to do with your time regardless of how much you get paid for it. But he assumed that you somehow will earn a living by doing that thing no matter what you choose to do. If you would actually be able to take money fully out of the picture, this would actually be very similar to financial freedom. In reality, very few people actually take that approach or even have the courage to truly consider such possibilities. Compromises have to be made and extra care given to the development of a career that allows for true personal development.

 

In practicality, only with financial freedom will you truly grow to your highest potential. When after a couple of years of working and investing enough income is generated without a need for daily work, you are free to pursue whatever you want. I think that in the future this will become possible for more and more people because in a capitalistic economy people are always striving to improve efficiency in production. Decreasing the necessity for human work input. While society has decided to use those gains in efficiency to develop more complex products, on a personal level you can decide to use it for more freedom by keeping your consumption low.

 

Here I wanted to spark your interest in the relationship between work and money and to consider if maybe personal development is the wiser choice over increased material and experiential consumption. I want to leave you with the suggestion to deeply explore your interests while closely observing what your present experience is like. Whether those activities are called work or hobbies does not matter. Maybe you discover that freedom is always available in the present moment, right here. And that, what you call restrictions and the feeling of not being free, reveals itself to be mere mental constructs. Place your bets on raising your consciousness. Knowing that no relative experiences will ever give you the same level of contentment, happiness and peace as does knowledge of your true self.

 

Not to say that the journey won't be difficult. It might as well be the biggest challenge you will ever take on. But integrating more of your higher self might turn out to be the development beyond the ego. The stage of self-transcendence.


The Relationship Between Effort And Happiness

There are probably as many visions of the perfect life as there are people on this planet. As human beings, we plan our future. With varying degrees of consciousness. Whether we plan consciously or unconsciously, we easily forget one thing. How well are we actually able to predict, what will make us happy in the future. What we think we want now is often completely different from what would actually return to us the best experience long-term. What follows is a clarification of the requirements of our psyche to flourish over a lifetime and a strategy for personal development.  

Coding as a challenge
Your career may lead you to experience flow long-term

Is Happiness The Goal?

When we struggle to find happiness, we rarely ask whether happiness is the right goal. In our search for a future state of inner happiness, we easily forget one fundamental aspect of reality. That it is always now. Why do we hope for a better future, when it is always now? What are the cognitive consequences of this false thinking? Therefore we can only get what we ever wanted now. Therefore the question turns into: what is keeping us from our desired state now. And is that state happiness in the conventional sense? Like a pleasant feeling or a beautiful sight? 

I would argue it is none of these. In order to achieve a state where we feel content with our overall life requires us to construct a path of constant improvement in one way or another. Our psyche is designed to grow and learn. It is not meant to remain static. We need mental resistance as much as our bodies need physical resistance in order to stay healthy and strong. 

Some people do that naturally, but most people don't. It requires effort, just like physical exercise requires effort. Especially if it is consciously designed to yield long term improvements. How do we design a life that covers our need for personal development?

Grow Yourself And Happiness May Follow

What we need is a trajectory to our life that presents us with challenges on a regular basis. A career could be the source of new challenges. Unfortunately, most jobs are not designed to provide new tasks that are more challenging on a regular basis. Tasks become routines and workers get bored but remain in the job because they need the salary. 

It is in our own interest to keep an eye on how challenging our work feels to us. If it becomes too easy, we stagnate and it is a sign that we are ready for the next step. Taking on new tasks that are a little more difficult will allow us to remain in the flow-state more often. Which in itself is a great strategy that produces in us feelings of achievement and happiness. 
Grabbing this concept and turning it into a strategy to design our whole lives trajectory around, will lead to the best long term outcome. 

Change Requires Effort

There are many potential paths available to achieve this goal. Designing a life path that supports personal development is achievable by anyone. But anyone who is serious about it has to expect that it will feel really difficult at times. The feeling of effort is like that physical feeling of heavy resistance training. Only the person who learns to like the feeling of burning muscles while training will realize is full potential and become a great athlete. Only the person who learns to like the feeling of effortful activities will realize his full personal potential. 
If we recognize that we haven't done challenging things in a while, it is a good indicator that we need to stretch ourselves and search for new activities that will enable us to grow. This could be in our jobs or in side-projects, in our family lives, or in the community we live in. Let the preception of effort be one of the guiding factors in major career or life decisions. Effort is the resistance required for personal development.

As we spent most of our time working, the best bet is to focus on that area first and foremost. Searching for new ways to challenge oneself in the working environment ensures that we remain engaged with our work over the years. A really long-term perspective is required here. With some decisions, it will be important to think decades ahead. Will a certain trajectory serve you not only in the immediate future but also in one and ten years down the road?

I hope you gained an understanding of how effort and happiness go hand in hand. Rather than following our intuitive, reflexive behavior to avoid effort, we should seek it out and use it to guide us in our big decisions. 





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