A lot of men suffer from depression. I am one of them. My depression isn’t debilitating, but I get low after being lazy all day. I attribute this to a feeling of being lost. We are searching for a path to take or some way out. After trying a number of different things and searching different avenues, I have come across the secret of happiness. I found it not by looking outward, but by looking within. The secret is to start doing what you want to do.
This sounds incredibly easy, but in fact is among the rarest things to find in the world. This process includes two incredibly difficult tasks to achieve to find happiness. The first is finding what you want to do. The second is actually doing it.
The easier part of this process is finding out what you want to do. I don’t mean what you want to do right now because that would usually include eating a sandwich or drinking coffee. I mean sit down and figure out what you would like to do with your life. There’s a couple ways to accomplish this.
Forget your mental conditioning
If you are having trouble figuring out what you want to do with your life, go back to a time when you didn’t have any responsibilities getting in the way. This isn’t to say that having responsibilities is bad, quite the opposite. However, sometimes having responsibilities clouds our judgement in what we are able to see ourselves doing. What are our responsibilities? Eating, shelter, transportation, children, families. When you consider these different things, you can start to see why someone would choose to do something with a majority of their time just to obtain money to care for these responsibilities. If you went through the traditional education system in America, a good part of it is preparing you for these responsibilities. That’s nice, except it doesn’t exactly lead you down a path to do what you want. Accept this and let your mind wander as if nothing mattered.
If your gut is telling you something, give a listen
Much can be said of listening to your gut both pro and con when it comes to business or being an entrepreneur. Sometimes you think you’re listening to your gut when it’s just you over thinking. My personal opinion is that when your gut is telling you something, and you keep putting it off, maybe you should listen to it. I think that when you listen to your gut despite what your mind is telling you to do, it may be because your mind is trying to convince you to not do something because it’s too scary. A lot of times this is caused by loss aversion. Loss aversion is when you are afraid of losing something much more than your appreciation of gaining something. Stop over thinking, ignore your fears, and listen to your gut.
Meditation on your future
Take a moment to actually think about what you want to do. No luck? Take an afternoon and go for a walk. Ever take a shower and come up with a brilliant business idea, then get out only to forget about it and not take action? I know I have. Whenever I take a shower something about the sound of the water or the water pouring on my head distracts that little voice in my head that says no. Perhaps you need to limit the noise in your head. This is what meditation is all about. Turn the noise down and just let go. Creative thoughts will flow.
Once you figure out what to do, get a game plan together. Think whether what you can do is possible. Ok, I believe anything is possible, but is it feasible? Set up a week, month, and year outlook on your activity. Schedule a list of events in order to do what you want to do. However, don’t fall into the trap of preparing too much. At a certain point, too much preparation is procrastination.
Now that you have what you want to do, and a game plan to follow to get there, there’s only one more step to take in order to achieve happiness. This is the hardest part of the equation. Now is the time to take action. Taking action is the surest path to happiness, however it’s also the most overlooked. Most times people fill their day up with stuff they believe to be important, but what they really are are distractions. Realize that these distractions are your brain trying to put stuff in your way to stop you from action. It does this because action is scary no matter how miniscule.
Eliminate small distractions
The easiest way to get side tracked from taking action is usually the smallest of distractions. Turn off the television and radio if you have to. These are obvious distractions, and are easy to deal with. Just turn them off. Can’t find the will to turn them off? Cancel your cable. Still no dice? Sell the appliances. What will happen next is your will turn to your computer for distractions. Either just use the computer for your essentials, or consider dropping the internet. Business run on the internet? 9 tabs open? Yeah me too. Just try and find a way to close each tab and focus on what you need to do. Turning off notifications on facebook and twitter will help immensely.
Quiet the mind…again
Same deal here as before. The mind will start to over think and stop you from taking action, even when you are taking action. Don’t let this happen. A great way to quiet the mind is to overload it with sound. Listening to music is a great way to amp up productivity. Focus@will is great for this as it provides soothing background music that doesn’t overpower, but still calms the mind. They explain all of the science of it on their site.
Remember you will die soon
People are going crazy with this new thing called YOLO which stands for You Only Live Once. That’s nice, but it’s usually an excuse to go and do some bullshit like partying. I like partying as much as the next guy but it doesn’t help much when you don’t have your shit together and have let distractions keep you from doing what you want. In fact, partying is a pretty big distraction most of the time. No, I rather like the phrase, “I’m going to die soon.” This is a bit more grim and lets me know I better get moving or else I’ll run out of time. When I say this people think I’m crazy, but I think that stems from fearing death. I fear death as well, but you have to embrace the fact that everyone dies. If you knew that you were going to die tomorrow, would you do what you had planned for today? If your answer was yes than you are on the right path my friend.
So in conclusion, the way to destroy depression and obtain happiness is merely to do whatever it is that you want to do, and do it often without letting distractions stop you. Take action and you will be glad you did.