Sober insights: Happiness Problem?

Another month another book.  This time I’m inspired by by Mark Manson and his book (see left).  The 2nd chapter of his book looks at the happiness problem – and yes happiness comes from solving problems 😉  I’m going to quote a small section that discusses our favourite subject – addiction.

Over to Mark:

Highs come in many forms.   Whether it’s a substance like alcohol, the moral righteousness that comes from blaming others (yep, ouch!), or the thrill of some new risky adventure (ouch again!), highs are shallow and unproductive ways to go about one’s life.  Much of the self-help world is predicated on peddling highs to people rather than solving legitimate problems.  Many self-help gurus teach you new forms of denial and pump you up with exercises that feel good in the short term, while ignoring the underlying issue.  Remember, nobody who is actually happy has to stand in front of a mirror and tell himself he’s happy.

Highs also generate addiction.  The more you rely on them to feel better about your underlying problems, the more you will seek them out.  In this sense, almost anything can become addictive, depending on the motivation behind using it.  We all have our chosen methods to numb the pain of our problems, and in moderate doses there is nothing wrong with this.  But the longer we avoid and the longer we numb, the more painful it will be when we finally do confront our issues.

The path to happiness is a path full of shitheaps and shame.  You can’t have a pain free life.  It can’t all be roses and unicorns all the time.  Our problems birth our happiness.

Amen brother, completely agree!  It took me till the age of 44 to finally confront the issues and yep it involved a whole lot of pain that might have been avoided if I had only tackled them sooner! That said having resolved the alcohol addiction issue I’m still working on the moral righteousness and thrill of risky adventure addictions …..

How bout you?  Does this ring true for you too?


2 thoughts on “Sober insights: Happiness Problem?

  1. I need to read this book – keep hearing good things about it and apart from anything else I love the title!

    I think one common concern when we think about stopping drinking is worrying about what everyone else will think. When we decide actually I don’t care about that, its what I think that matters here, and follow that intuition we are practicing what I assume this book preaches.

    Stopping drinking, not being on facebook, being a SAHM amongst friends who all go out to work and don’t really approve of my choice – these are all examples of living to please me not the rest of the world. They are all decisions that have served me well and make me happy. So who cares what anyone else thinks?

    I read a few self help books a year but I’m not into happy clappy stuff – grown ups have lived a life, and have issues and baggage and messy stuff. However, it is completely possible to accept that we are imperfect and flawed and still deserve love and compassion (our own not just from others). And that is a powerful place to operate from. And yes lows are part of life, but for the most part they don’t last forever, and when they pass it really does make the highs so much sweeter.

    Right I’m off to order that book…

    1. It’s a great book CycleSal and I agree with everything you wrote! Enjoy 🙂

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