A Framework for Increasing Happiness


There are two ways to increase your happiness levels.

Reduce what bothers you or reduce the effect of what bothers you on your happiness.

Do both but focus your energy on the latter. Because by focusing on the latter you can control your happiness better.

Let me explain.

I am calling what bothers you ‘annoyances’ for the lack of a better word. You can have big or small annoyances in life. There are some you can tackle. Then there are others you can’t.

And, what is an annoyance to you may not be an annoyance to others.

Taking a shit is an annoyance for most people but we can’t get rid of it. For some, wanting to take a shit but not getting it can be an even bigger annoyance.

Same about taking a bath. For some people, getting tired and needing 7-8 hours of sleep may be an annoyance.

In our quest of maximizing happiness, which is a worthy quest, by the way, we should make an effort to reduce annoyances whenever we can.

What about the time we spend working. That is something we can change by leveraging technology and creating systems.

What about time we spend running errands or completing unwanted chores. We can change it by getting someone else to do it who’ll consider it less of an annoyance and more as means of making extra money.

It is also ok to be willing to create a business or piece of work that makes money for us while we sleep. But a part of what it takes to build a business will be full of annoyances. The time it takes to accomplish such a dream itself might be an annoyance and you can’t change that.

It becomes more real when it comes to our own being, like experiencing physical pain or illness.

So, there is a limit to how much we can control our annoyances and the extent to which we can reduce them.

That is where –  reducing the effect of annoyances on our happiness – or changing how annoyances affect us – comes in picture.

Practicing simple meditation can help us develop the capacity to reduce the effect of annoyances on our mind. The more we practice, the better we get at it. I’ve written elsewhere on this site how to do it. If nothing, just find time to be still for starters.

I wish you’d try this.

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