I think the most common mistake for humanity is believing you're going to be made happy because of some external circumstance. I know that's not original. That's not new. It's fundamental Buddhist wisdom—I'm not taking credit for it. I think I really just recognize it on a fundamental level, including in myself.
-The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness
This is why the work you do matters so much.
The most successful people in the world have a purpose and a mission—and they have a boatload of money that is the byproduct of their purpose and mission.
Their work brings them into the flow state, which is defined by being in the supreme now moment.
This is why the research around flow and happiness is so profound and intertwined. Our suffering comes from our minds being hyperactive and focused on the past or future.
In a flow state, you are focused on the task at hand. This removes suffering.
I've long thought about having a lot of money. After getting some, I've shifted my focus away from getting more money and into how I want to spend my time.
I want each day to include the following:
- Work - purpose-driven work I enjoy that makes a difference
- Reading - learning - thinking
- Real food (or fasting, no food)
- A walk in nature
- Enough sleep so that tomorrow I feel my best
- Some relaxing time - entertainment/game
- Some writing
- Mastery - improving my skills related to my goals (podcasting, YouTube, writing, speaking)
- Relationships - Investing time with people that matter to me
If I had a billion dollars tomorrow, I'd still do each thing above. So why would I give up ten years of my life grinding away from the things that matter trying to eke out a bunch of dollars that won't change anything in about list above?
Yet this is most people do: they give up years of their life because they believe that more money, fame, or power will finally make them happy and bring them purpose.
It's amazing how little money you need to live an amazing life.
The Internet has brought lifestyle design to the masses. Yet few take advantage of it today and instead become debt slaves addicted to stuff that monopolizes their time and mental state.