Ben Barbersmith

runner · developer · entrepreneur

How to be happy in three simple steps

— Posted on Jan 2, 2022

To be happy, you must be willing and able to suffer through your discomfort.

This sounds counter-intuitive. Why would you need to suffer to be happy? Because discomfort is a fact of human existence.

We experience discomfort in all aspects of life, and we crave distraction from it.

Maybe we allow ourselves to become glued to our phone. Maybe we daydream about the future, or we ruminate on our mistakes. Maybe we procrastinate, or maybe we prioritize the wrong things because they’re easier than the right things.

How we distract ourselves doesn’t matter. What matters is that we are rarely present in the moment, and we are rarely spending our time in accordance with our values and ideals.

With our phone in our hand or our head in the clouds, we fail to direct or even notice most of what happens to us. Life slips by.

We miss the opportunity to do things that will make us happy. We miss the opportunity to try new things and figure out what makes us happy. Worst of all, we miss the opportunity to enjoy the things that are already happening that would make us happy if we would just pay attention.

Don’t despair! Here’s how to be happy in three simple steps.

  1. To be happy, you must have experiences that make you happy.

  2. To have experiences that make you happy, you must be present in the moment.

  3. To be present in the moment, you must learn to live with discomfort and reject distraction.

(I said they’d be simple steps, not easy steps.)