James Clear is the author of the very good book, “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones“.
He also provides a very good weekly newsletter he titles, “3 ideas, 2 quotes, 1 question”.My post is a repost of some things in his December 5, 2019 newsletter. He shared, what demonstrated to me, that if we want something we must take action to make it more likely. It also demonstrated why using prevention or avoidance efforts is likely less effective. He noted:
New goals don’t deliver new results. New lifestyles do… a lifestyle is not an outcome, it is a process. For this reason, all of your energy should go into building better habits,(Optimize the Process) not chasing better results.(the results are a by-product of the process)
In other words, we need to cause something to happen. Things won’t just happen if we do not do something or avoid something bad.
To emphasize this he shared a formula for happiness and or unhappiness. He explained:
For Happiness: Get outside each day, Move: walk, exercise, dance, Spend less than you earn, View life as play, Be the one who looks for solutions, Develop a bias to contribute and create, Learn from the lucky and successful, Be the first to say hello, and Be reliable
For Unhappiness Invert Those Ideas:
To Be Unhappy:Stay inside all day, Move as little as possible, Spend more than you earn, Take yourself (and life) too seriously,Look for reasons why things won’t work, Always consume, never contribute, Resent the lucky and successful, Never say hello first, and Be unreliable.
In other words, take action and generate data and experiences to cause happiness. This reiterates what Tal Ben-ShaHar explained in Happier, that is “…happiness must be pursued to be attained. If we do nothing, unhappiness will follow.”
To drive home his points, he ended his December 5, 2019 note with a line from the Bhagavad Gita about focusing on the process rather than the results:
“You are only entitled to the action, never to its fruits.”
Source: Bhagavad Gita, chapter 2, verse 47
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