- Everybody wants what feels good. Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy and easy life, to have amazing relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired. It’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything.
- Everybody wants to have an amazing job and financial independence. But not everyone wants to suffer through 60-hour work weeks, long commutes, obnoxious paperwork. People want to be rich without the risk, without the sacrifice, without the delayed gratification necessary to accumulate wealth.
- Everybody wants to have awesome relationship. But not everyone is willing to go through the tough conversations, the awkward silences, the hurt feelings and the emotional psychodrama to get there.
- Happiness requires struggle. The positive is the side effect of handling the negative. Positive experience is easy to handle. It’s negative experience that we all struggle with. We get out of life is not determined by the good feelings we desire but by what bad feelings we’re willing and able to sustain to get us to those good feelings.
- People want an amazing physique. But you don’t end up with one unless you legitimately appreciate the pain and physical stress that comes with living inside a gym for hour upon hour, unless you love calculating and calibrating the food you eat, planning your life out in tiny plate-sized portions.
- People want to start their own business or become financially independent. But you don’t end up a successful entrepreneur unless you find a way to appreciate the risk, the uncertainty, the repeated failures, and working insane hours on something you have no idea whether will be successful or not.
- People want a partner, a spouse. But you don’t end up attracting someone amazing without appreciating the emotional turbulence that comes with weathering rejections. It’s part of the game of love.
- What determines your success isn’t “What do you want to enjoy?” The question is, “What pain do you want to sustain?” The quality of your life is not determined by the quality of your positive experiences but the quality of your negative experiences. And to get good at dealing with negative experiences is to get good at dealing with life.
- If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe what you want isn’t what you want, you just enjoy wanting. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all.
- You can’t have a pain-free life. It can’t all be roses and unicorns. And ultimately that’s the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have similar answers. The more interesting question is the pain. What is the pain that you want to sustain?
- I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process. I was in love not with the fight but only the victory. And life doesn’t work that way.
- Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.
- This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes. So choose your struggles wisely.
No pain. No gain.
You can’t win if you don’t play.
God seldom gives us all we need to understand,
but He always gives us all we need to obey
If one doesn't learn life's realities on his own, then adversity will teach him the lessons in a bitterest way. If you try to be cool, you will never be cool. If you try to be happy, then you will never be happy. Happiness is not something you obtain, but rather something you inhabit. Happiness is not achieved in itself, but rather it is the side effect of a particular set of ongoing life experiences. You can’t buy happiness and you can’t achieve happiness. Pleasure is great but it’s not happiness. Pleasure does not cause happiness. Happiness is what you get when other parts of your life are in order.