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Fu*k Hustle Culture Bullsh*t. Happiness Doesn't Happen in a Vaccuum

Let’s do a little Thought Experiment.

You’re looking at the sun set from a penthouse view in LA. Sipping on a cocktail as soft jazz fills the air. For the last twenty years you’ve worked tirelessly to get to where you’re at. Between sleepless nights and redeye flights, you’ve done marathons, traveled to remote places around the world, and built a gigantic, 8-figure business from the ground up. You’re bank account has so many 0’s, it takes a minute to count. But there’s one catch.

There’s only 1 chair on the patio of the penthouse.

There’s only 1 chair at the dining table.

Only 1 set of cutlery, 1 bed, 1 toothbrush, 1 pair of shoes.

You’ve been divorced twice, your kids hate you, and your only “friends” are other self-centered businesspeople that care more about the newest Ferrari than their own children. You’ve got all this money, but nothing and no one to spend it on.

Does that sound like a good life? Does that sound anything remotely close to happiness? Is that what you would like your life to be like? No, I doubt it.

And with that story we come to today’s message I want to convey; Happiness Does Not Happen in a Vacuum.

Look to the [Harvard Study of Adult Development], one of the most comprehensive longitudinal(over a span of time) studies to date to measure health, happiness, aging, and other factors. The study began over 85 years ago and has measured results from over 700 participants. Researchers measured the health trajectories and overall levels of happiness throughout their lives through marriages, divorce, career successes and failures, etc. After copious interviews, questionnaires, and medical records, a few major conclusions were reached.

More than money, fame, or power, the best predictor of overall life happiness was high-quality Social Relationships.

They also found that many of the men who “flourished” not specify what flourishing means in this content, but I’d assume physical, mental, and financial well-being) had strong ties to family, friends, and intimate partners.

Furthermore, the director of the study, Robert Waldinger, emphasized the fact that the best predictor for overall health was the quality of Social Relationships. Individuals with great relationships correlate with resiliency, and protection against physical and mental decline, and are better predictors of one’s happiness outcomes than IQ, social class, or one’s genes.

Thus what can we glean from this study?


Now this may seem obvious, I mean, depressed individuals are often the ones WITHOUT friends and family they can turn to. The most psychopathic individuals are the ones that have no friends BECAUSE of their lack of empathy and social skills. Time and time over again, we’re shown that individuals who lack social skills don’t seem to succeed, so why introduce this idea, Armaan?

Well this goes out to everyone in the productivity-self-development-fitness-money-redpill-whatever-incel-group/community-this-goes-out-to, BEING AN ASSHOLE AND NOT GIVING A SHIT ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE ISN’T GOING TO MAKE YOU HAPPY!

I’m not sure where this started, but I’m seeing a LOT of “lone wolf” ideas and narratives being encouraged or glorified in social media(and large-scale media as well). For example, I always seem to stumble across the “gym-rat-goes-ghost-and-leaves-behind-everyone-else-because-they’re-holding-him-back”. Or this guys; “Fuck-everyone-I’m-gonna-do-whatever-it-takes-to-be-rich”. We’ve either met this individual or seen this narrative somewhere, and it’s incredibly destructive. These people are willing to step on others, cheat, lie, break social laws, and be borderline sociopathic in order to get what they want. They often lack a moral compass and refuse to show a shred of empathy for others. For some reason, this “lone wolf” individual finds pride and satisfaction in their loneliness and disconnection from others. But being this person, someone who scorns society and consciously chooses to be antisocial, does not seem bring much joy. If social relationships are the best predictor of health and happiness, then WHY GO AND DEPRIVE YOURSELF OF SUCH FRUITS?

This is part of my own personal phenomenology, but I believe it does contain merit. Karma is real. We get back what we give out. And if you’re someone who decides to cheat, lie, steal, and engage in other antisocial behaviors, that’s fine. Go ahead, try it out. But I’m sure that’s not going to give you the happiness that you seek.

So what does that mean for you, the reader, and I, the author? What should we do if we want to be happy, but also attain financial freedom? Be disciplined, cultivate your *ikigai(we’ll talk about this more), and be a moral individual. Hold yourself to high moral standards and refuse to give in to behaviors that cause you moral distress. Many of us all have a slightly different moral compass, all shaped by our personal experiences, cultures, and ideas. Much of my own moral guidance come from Buddhism and Virtue Ethics, two things we’ll discuss quite a bit here, but in the meantime, I’d like to direct you to an exercise which may help cultivate your moral standing.

Take a few minutes to write down responses to these questions.

  1. What values or concepts do you hold dear to your heart?

  2. Are there any actions which are always morally wrong?

  3. Have you experienced any events which led you to restructure or change your sense of morality, of right and wrong?

Thank you so much for reading, and don’t forget that happiness does not happen alone, seek to be social.

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