Everyone says that passion and emotion are the key’s behind success and “happiness”, but I am going to disagree. My statement may seem contradictory since most people attribute happiness to a euphoric emotion, but to me a consistent happiness is based on peace and a degree of tranquility. To me peace and tranquility are not “big emotions”, but a lack of negative ones and a acceptance of ones own life. A euphoric happiness is almost impossible to maintain – hell, I don’t think I’ve been euphoric happy since I was 15. Getting older alone makes it harder to experience the highs of happiness due to our own desensitization to it and the fact there are less new great things to experience. So, here are three ways to eliminate the negative emotions and increase the amount of peace you have in life.
Don’t Let Impressions Get You Down
Make it your study then to confront every harsh impression with the words, “You are but an impression, and not at all what you seem to be.” . – Epictetus
One of the main factors that causes negative emotions in us is the external world. We see other people who are happier or we see adversaries living the dream life. We may have been thrown under the bus by friends or lovers or fired from our dream job while everyone else moves upwards and onwards. We only see the “good” that other people have while we soak in our own misery. This view we have of comparing others happiness to our own misery isn’t very accurate. We forget that even people who seem to have it all still suffer. Even your adversaries are going to have days where they are crying in their bedroom, fighting with their significant others or having a bout of painful shits on the toilet. So remind yourself every time you see or hear something that wounds you, that it is not all that it seems to be.
Don’t Worry About Your Reputation
The emptiness of all those applauding hands. The people who praise us – how capricious they are, how arbitrary. – Marcus Aurelius
We can’t control whether or not our reputation is respected by everyone. If you rely on the respect of others, you may never feel satisfied in life. Too many of us choose our life path based on the praise of others or the false impression that society will deem us important for becoming that rockstar, politician or business tycoon. Instead of worrying about whether or not your place in society is important enough, or if people like you; you should focus more on how you act than what you do for a living. Focus on being a honorable and virtuous person first. Your behavior should be how you measure yourself instead of how many people think you are “cool, funny, interesting”.
Understand That We All Die
Human lives are brief and trivial. Yesterday a blob of semen; tomorrow embalming fluid, ash. – Marcus Aurelius
People like to joke that death and taxes are the only certainties in life. That’s not true, tax evasion is a real thing. We know that we are going to die, yet everyday we push that thought to the back of our mind as if it doesn’t matter or we will get to it later. If you just take a few moments when you experience a negative emotion to remember that you are going to die, it will benefit you immensely in the right mindset. Knowing you are going to die isn’t supposed to be some kind of nihilistic depression state but it’s supposed to relieve you. No matter what problems you have, who is giving you a hard time in life – whatever, you are going to die and it will end. Also, remember that everyone else around you – even those who make your life harder, will also soon be dead and leave not a trace behind.
It’s hard to be angry, jealous, envious or depressed throughout life when you know it will all be over in a flash; that fame, reputation and your impressions of others will fade into nothing.
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