Ways to be happy

It’s like Tolstoy; happiness doesn’t come from structure, but it’s easy to be unhappy if you don’t have any structure to rely upon. Everyone likes novelty and surprise, but it’s harder to notice serendipity in the middle of a chaotic shitstorm. Of shit.

The other thing to contemplate is that you have a finite ability to make good decisions and exercise your willpower every day. You can improve these, but there’s often more benefit from reducing the number of things you have to think about, than trying to try harder at everything. If you have an established routine for getting up and out of the house every day, you will be able to spend more time on activities that are more important than retrieving your shoes.

If you reduce the number of things you do, you can also do them more wholeheartedly. It’s better to spend time doing something, and then do something else, than spread yourself thin. I used to go to the gym and try to read a book at the same time. That might feel like a sensible bit of multi-tasking, but in truth I wasn’t concentrating on either task. I’d have been much more efficient if I’d done one, then the other. Just being at the gym doesn’t make you fitter, any more than owning books makes you smarter. You need to focus, do each thing as well as you can, then move to the next.

Unfortunately, today I was recovering from another late night and a heinous hangover. I didn’t get up and go for a run. I didn’t sit calmly and meditate on my existence. I didn’t eat a nutritious and delicious breakfast (until midday).

I drooled into my beard and woke, befuddled and weary, and spent the day eating things and reading a twenty-year old horror novel when I should have been being industrious.

Of course, there is little point trying to multi-task between such things as “having a hangover” and “writing a book” so perhaps, perhaps that was a sensible admission of defeat, but it’s clear that I know what would make me more successful, but I’m not adequately practising it. Tonight, sober, but rather too full of salt-and-vinegar flavoured peanuts, I’m going to attempt to get eight hours of restorative sleep, and then jump back into being organised once again.

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