Sunday, 1 April 2018

Being Happy and Finding Meaning

I've noticed that the closer I've gotten to my targeted "escape velocity", the stronger the rumination on the big picture narrative of "finding meaning" at work and how work doesn't provide much meaning to my lithe nondescript existence. 

Some days I just feel like deploying the FU card, but deploying it as a means to "retire from something" as opposed to "retire to something" just doesn't quite make sense to my rational mind, especially when there's no real strong push factor.

Cognizant that I actually enjoy the process of "suffering" that has yielded practical benefits (even if it in itself does contributes perhaps at maximum 10-20%  towards success) such as being able to accumulate this sizable amount at this stage in life - this makes it even harder to leave if there is nothing to leave to.

This constant rumination, while possibly helpful from a strategic standpoint, might not exactly be beneficial on a day to day basis. What I did find helpful in my particular situation is instead to be mindful that this is merely a thin slice of my existence, and I have many roles to play, that includes, in no particular order of importance and in a non-exhaustive manner:

* Being a Son;
* Being a Brother;
* Being a close confidante to a trusted group of friends;
* Being an investor;
* Being a lover;
* Being a human being;
* Being a colleague;
* Being a mentor at work and at my alma matter;
* Being a neighbor;
* Being a cousin / nephew / uncle;
* Being an acquaintance;
* Being perhaps an inspiration to a stranger;
* Being a consumer; and
* The list goes on

And while F.I.R.E could perhaps allow me to develop or find more meaning in the list of roles above, I could perhaps, in a more sensible fashion, not focus too much on a big picture narrative of "finding meaning in life" by leaving my job, but perhaps actually start to be a better [son / brother / friend / lover] right now.

That's not to say that I should put the F.I.R.E process on the back bench, but maybe let it run on auto-pilot like a good system should, and then observe and tweak it from time to time to let things run its course, and focus on the things that really matter, and focus on the overarching life goal to find and be happy, at the current moment, with each and every situation that life has to offer.

I truly believe that being happy is a choice, no matter what life throws at us, and while that notion is hard to practically adopt than to spout, I'm trying to make that work as a guiding philosophy in my life.

After all, it's easier for me to be a negative pessimist, but that's not going to help in real life. I choose happiness, and while I'm eager to see what the rest of 2018 will bring, I'm happy, and positively grateful, with what I'm currently experiencing right now, at this stage.

Dear Reader, do you reckon happiness is a choice or a circumstance?


  1. I tend to think that happiness is a choice rather than by circumstance. As cliche as it might sound, you might not choose to be in the circumstance you are in but you can choose how to react to it.

    1. Totally agree. Though training yourself to think in this Stoical fashion takes a load of hard work and does not come instinctively, at least to me.

      Essentially, I presume what you are saying is probably to create space and choose to think about whether to respond to a particular sensation, and that I feel, requires hard training. Luckily I'm only in my early thirties and blessed with many situations during work to practice this on :)

  2. I believe you can make happiness happen. Probably you might want to look for a new job? After all you are still in your early 30s like me and we still have a look way to go. Work takes up half of our time, it's not worth it being unhappy half of our lives!

  3. IMO Happiness is a choice of being grateful for what we have and not dwell on what we have not, a choice of making the best out of the circumstance that we are in.