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Share your system for success/happiness

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Aug 22, 2020
Do you have a system you live by? Something that you attribute your success or happiness to?

Are you willing to share it with the world? Describe how it works, pros and cons, how someone could replicate it.

I'll go first, here's mine below
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Creative contributions

Constant pursuit of goals and desires (dopamine)

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Aug 22, 2020
Always, always (always!) without exceptions have well-defined desires and goals that fit into 3 categories:

  • Short term - things to look forward to today, tomorrow, this week
  • Mid-term - things to look forward to within the next 3 weeks
  • Long-term - things that are not within reach yet, possibly due to timing or work/effort that needs to be put in before the goal becomes attainable
Every category should have several goals defined at any given time. The short-term category is for goals that you come up with on the spot and go execute on a whim or schedule for later that day (go see a friend, research a new idea, watch a movie, stuff that makes you happy, and is easily within the reach. The more the goal is in the future, the bigger it is. Long term goals are more likely your desires. They might be stuff like building a home, starting a family, creating a billion-dollar company. When you go to bed at night, let the last 30 minutes of your brainpower be reserved for your goals. Think about strategies to achieve them, think about new goals worthy of your time. How will you start working on them? When you wake up in the morning, stay in bed for a while (if you can) and keep planning out your goals - let goals be the first thing your fresh mind works on. After a while, your brain gets rewired to focus on progress. With a full schedule of things to look forward to there is literally no time for worries, fear, negative feelings of any kind. Those, when they creep in, are seen as distractions that must be dealt with swiftly so that you can get back to your plans. Whenever you have some brainpower to spare, your mind will default to planning out and setting goals.

Filter rigorously

Don't confuse your goals with desires. Desires are like GPS coordinates. Goals are the concrete steps that need to be taken on the way to the final destination.

Define your desires, arrange them by importance, and set your goals so that each brings you closer to the most desired final outcomes.

You don't have to execute on every idea that you get. You don't have time to work on everything that your imagination can come up with. Donate your ideas to people who would appreciate them and keep working on those that are most important to you.

Dopamine detox

Chasing dopamine is addictive. A cool new idea is always more exciting/rewarding than working on something that was cool when you started but has since turned into serious work. A constant pursuit of dopamine through ideas can result in a ton of half-finished projects which never get completed. The faster you can come up with cool new ideas and jump between them, the more your brain adapts (gets desensitized) to the constant supply of the resulting dopamine, and the more you will need to keep the supply up.

Any serious project turns into hard work as soon as the novelty wears off. By focusing only on projects that bring pleasure at the present moment you sabotage your upside potential and feed into the dopamine addiction.

In contrast, doing things you don't enjoy sensitizes your brain to any small quantities of dopamine it can get, to help you cope with the hardship. Thereafter you find more pleasure in little things.

So set your priorities, and plow through hard work on the way to reaching your goals. Structure your path so that the goals are realistic and attainable. That way you will get bursts of dopamine each step of the way. Be stubborn about your goals but flexible about your methods. Now go get them.

Internal Happiness leads to Eternal Happiness.

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Mohammad Shazaib
Mohammad Shazaib Aug 25, 2020
In the context of Russel's " Conquest of happiness " I would say the source of human happiness is dependent on internal metabolism rather external environment . Human beings shared finest characteristic of cognitive development and they know their abilities. If a person has internal satisfaction, he/she will find little things to be a source of happiness, while a person disturbed in his head, will hardly find something to be happy and grateful.

Mindfulness, Gratitude and Experiential engagement

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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain Sep 10, 2020
I will share my modus operandi for life. I hope that it will be relatable to many. 1. First of all, mindfulness. I strongly believe in the 'here and now' and do my best to live by this principle. It took me a lot of time to realize the concept of this way of living, but I am really grateful that I exactly understand what this means now. I always had a hyper imaginative mind: I was a frantic thinker and though I was creative and intelligent as compared to my friends from my early childhood, I was anxious and I had a hard time focusing on a task for more than half an hour continually. As a result, I always jumped from one thing to others and started too many things and could not complete any of them properly. This in return made me even more irritated and anxious and frustrated. All within the 25 years of my life, I have been depressed at times, I have gone through failed relationships and distrust; I have been broke and at times even suicidal. There were times when I saw no purpose in living and felt utterly hopeless and useless. However, all of this changed. I will tell you how. On the month of July of 2018, I went for ten days of silent retreat and meditation camp nearby my hometown and learned the art of Vipassana meditation which is one of the mindfulness meditation practice as propagated and disseminated by Gautama, the Buddha. Though the initial days of the silence retreat were very tough for my incessant mind, once I started learning how to pay attention to my own body and breath and not to be carried away by my thoughts, I really felt like that was the best thing that ever occurred to me. I was motivated to sign up for the meditation camp by some of my friends and also by my intellectual heroes like Yuval Noah Harrari and Sam Harris. When I completed the ten days course, I felt as light as a feather and a very impactful realization occurred to me: all my life, I was worried and anxious because I reacted to everything that occurred to me, I was not aware of my own thoughts and emotions, and I was controlled haphazardly by them. Learning mindfulness in the camp and practising it daily thereafter, (It has been more than a year now since I have been regularly meditating on a daily basis for an hour or so) I now understand what being in the moment actually means. Rather than observing the thoughts and feelings that occur to us, most of the time we are controlled by them. Once we learn to pay attention to our thoughts and emotions (which in themself are the product of our bodily brain and hormonal system), we no longer become their slaves. We crave less, we fear less, we get worried far less and all of these are the perks of our simple act of being there in the present. Stress and worry come from our thoughts that are either in the past (remembering, ruminating, regretting) or the future (imagining scenarios and mishappenings before they even occur); and when we are not cognizant enough to realize this, suffering is imminent. However, mindfulness enables us to clearly realise this wisdom as the bearer and sufferer, and it makes life a lot easier, better. Happiness hence is not a target when we practice mindfulness; it is the result of us being actually present at the moment, living the moments fully and truthfully. Rather than fretting over the past that already is gone and the future that we don't see, mindfulness enables us to do what the present demands and do so whole-heartedly. This brings immense joy and meaning into life. It might sound too good to be true, but a lot of positive things have happened to me after I started mindfulness as a daily habit. If you are reading this, I hope you start practising mindfulness from today itself. There are a lot of free lessons and guidances if one really wants to learn it. 2. Gratitude: the simple act of being thankful is surprisingly effective Life is uncertain. Even as I type this right now, I am living amidst a pandemic and there is no guarantee that I might even live to see what comes of the world the next year. Accepting this fragility of the human condition and my own limitations as a biological machine, I have learned to grateful for all the things that are in my life. The act of being thankful not only flourishes my bonding with friends and family, but it also instils an intrinsic joy in my subconscious mind. Every day, I start my mornings with some thoughts of gratefulness for my own health, my family, my relationships and virtues. I have noticed that I can wash away a lot of negativity from mt life with this simple attitude. 3. Gather as many experiences and skills as you can This has been the fundamental motto of my life. Apart from reading as much as I can and gaining expertise in my core area (which is science and biology), I welcome all sorts of experiences into life. I play football, I go for trekking and hiking, I learn guitar and I sing. I have tried to be as much adaptive as I can, and all the experiences have made me better and stronger. Though this kind of activities may seem trivial. but when engaged in continuously, they shape us in a creative way. They make us psychologically resilient and more empathetic and humble. Philosophically speaking, it doesn’t matter at the end of life how much wealth we accumulate or how many material possessions we gather if we can’t look back into life and feel accomplished with day to day acts of joyfulness. In this regard, happiness and success shall never be a destination but the part of the process of being a more fulfilled person than we were a day before. Day by day growth is the best form of success I strive for, no matter how big or small the steps I take might be. Apart from these key principles, I believe in the act of sharing knowledge and engaging with fellow human beings at a societal and personal level so that I can learn from them and give back to the community. Watch the video below where Yuval Noah Harrari talks about the impact of mindfulness in his life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6tMLAjPVyo

Be rationally flexible

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Oct 19, 2020
Don't let your convictions get the better of you. Always be on the lookout for new ideas. Be flexible enough to accommodate the relevant ones in your life, thoughts, project, etc. At the same time, do not change your course of action just because someone says so. Evaluate the idea. Judge its appropriateness before implementation.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica year ago
Be water, my friend. https://youtu.be/0EygqL--RW4

Knowing that success is a process

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Sep 16, 2020
There is "progress" written all over human behavior. We are never happy with what we have, we strive to achieve more. I guess that is true for all other organisms. That is what evolution means - to overcome and achieve! Coming back to humans, since the need to achieve more never ceases, we develop (ourselves or our work) to take it to the next level, and this is endless. In this regard, success at a single event in one's life wears off with time. To be successful again, a new level needs to be achieved. Being successful is, therefore, not a state. It is a process. Knowing that it is a process can make a huge difference. It will avoid the stagnant phase after an initial successful event. This goes unnoticed since one successful event increases the probability of the next event being successful. This is because human nature adapts itself to being successful. Successful people tend to be more successful in their future endeavors.

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