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Friday, 22 September 2023


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“Maybe we should evaluate the various things we do and rank them according to how much we simply enjoy them.”

Absolutely. There are so few years left, either in absolute terms or of being capable of doing what I want, that it’s silly not to spend them enjoyably.

That said, there are different types of enjoyable activities. There are those that I find simply pleasurable and satisfying. Then there are those that, while not actively pleasurable in themselves, should lead to a result that I will find satisfying and worth doing. And finally there are those activities that are just chores; if I could avoid doing them, I would. Gardening, for example - I resent every minute I spend tending the d****d thing, although I know that millions of people greatly enjoy gardening, and in fact I enjoy visiting beautiful gardens. But doing it myself? - no thanks.

I am just grateful for it all. :0)

A friend’s father would tell him, when he complained about a chore, “Do it ‘til you get used to it.” Once you achieve that, the next step is enjoying it.

What's not to love about doing laundry. You put your clothes in a machine, go watch TV.

There is a series of vidoes (vlog?) by a Japanese woman on YouTube that just follows he daily life. It follows her daily activities, cooking cleaning, shopping, etc. without ever showing her except her hands while doing ordinary things. Her motto is "My hobby is life."

Agreed. And I love cooking for myself and people as well. And even though I know the risks, I fu*king LOVE drinking from the hose on a hot summer day. If I cut 17 days off of my life--I'm OK with that.

Cheers Mike.

"Give up criticism and complaint. Learn to accept each moment as if you had invited it, and work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy." From "Don't Bite The Hook"; Pema Chodron (Buddhist Nun)


THIS post is why I just renewed my subscription! Have a good life!

Thanks Mike
I'm putting this in my iPhone notes for those times where I need a "Dose of Positivity"

Have you tried listening to podcasts while doing chores? There's an endless choice of great content.

As long as it does not harm or interfere with anyone else's life, "do what you wanna wanna do, go where you wanna wanna go" and "sing your own special song even if no one else sings along"!

A wise friend once said "Like what you do, not do what you like."

I've become much better at not envying what others are better at than me. My first bubble burst in college, when I had to realize I wasn't the smartest person in the world. Now it's stuff like people doing good home repair projects on their own. I feel a sense of accomplishment just picking up the phone and calling a repair person. I also try to be a little less critical and scornful of others. For instance, if you go to an outdoor art fair, there's a good chance every single tent will be full of the worst art you have ever seen, perhaps especially the photography. I've become better at accepting these events as just fun social things where you can appreciate our human weirdness.

I feel lucky to have a sort of "let it roll off my back" nature when it comes to bad stuff that happens. When I was a teen I bought my first car, a 1973 Toyota Corolla with a sweet rebuilt engine, $800 in 1984. But I didn't have a driver's license yet, so I kept it unregistered behind my Mom's house until I could get my act together. But then on Halloween a friend with a license and no car convinced me to let him drive it (with me) and in short order we were speeding around with a six-pack. He ended up rolling it, going too fast on a dirt road. I had to walk home with him. By the time I got home I had accepted things as beyond my control (at that point) and was looking forward to saving up for a mountain bike, which is what I did.

I took a course in university on World Religions. I think I took the most away from the section on Taoism. Taoism is a diverse tradition indigenous to China. It emphasizes living in harmony with what is known as the Tao. Like Buddhism, it is more of a philosophy. Taoism makes clear that we live in a duality - our reality is composed of opposites. So you can't know what it is to be happy unless you know it's opposite. You have to experience and live with both. It's very simple but also quite profound.

Being happy is simple. You've pretty much nailed it in your post. But don't confuse simple, with easy.

Applying the techniques in your post for a day, or an hour or two, is eminently doable for anyone.

Like digging a large hole. Like 20 feet by 20 feet, 3 feet deep. That's a simple task. Agreed? But it's not easy.

The stumbling block to happiness for most, is tomorrow. When you wake up, you're in your 'default' power on setting. With the negatively biased voice in your head still in charge.

Overriding that, is a books worth - not a posts.

It only takes a little willingness... aaand a lifelong commitment.

The secret to happiness is just one word - contentment. This is the fundamental tenet behind all the main Asian religions, so the secret has been known for thousands of years

I know that I may have to face this at my advanced age of 81 but I am not sure that I could be happy living alone. With a few short interruptions in my life I have always had the companionship of one or more people (family) in my daily life and I am not sure that I could maintain that without someone else being here with me. I understand that many people enjoy the total independence that comes from being single and it’s probably a failing in me that I can’t see living alone.

I'm currently attempting to do as Kurt Vonnegut suggests and explore "becoming"
This is from his letter to Xavier High school.


I actually think I've doing this for some time... but kept thinking that I failed, but I was just becoming.....

As I have said before, the best part about TOP - and why I am a subscriber - is that it is about LIFE!

And if you just can't learn to be happy about a task (in my case, ironing) be happy about a task that makes you money, and then use the money to pay someone else to do it who is happy to do ...

@Jayanand Govindaraj, if “The secret to happiness is just one word - contentment” what is the secret to contentment?

Progress isn't made by people who learn to enjoy what they can't avoid; it's made by curmudgeons who eventually get motivated enough to find a way to get rid of the annoying work permanently.

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