The behavior of men themselves reveals the purpose and object of their lives, what they demand of life and wish to attain in it. The answer can hardly be in doubt: they seek happiness. They want to be happy and remain so. – SIGMUND FREUD
99.5% of the people who walk around and say they are a guru are clowns. – GARY VAYNERCHUK, marketing guru
Are you happy?
Before you answer, consider this:
According to Amazon.com there are 17,251 books on the topic of happiness. Do the search yourself. You’ll see two things immediately:
1. I’m not lying. If anything, there will be five hundred more books by the time you read this. It seems people are becoming exponentially unhappy these days, and supply for quick fixes is rising to meet demand.
2. This is currently the second most popular happiness book:
Yet even with all these thousands and thousands of simple steps to happiness, only 1 in 3 Americans are happy according to a recent Harris poll. And since we all know polls are rigged, and people lie when asked, “How are you?” I think we can safely assume it’s closer to about 1 in 30,000.
Given these two pieces of information, it logically follows that either people aren’t reading the books or the books don’t work.
Which is it?
Well … self-help is a $10 billion per year industry. That’s on par with the construction and telecommunications industries. It is enormous.
Granted, Tony Robbins gets roughly $9 billion of it all, but still … I think they’re reading the books.
So what’s the problem?
Lack of comprehension? Not enough implementation? People using the books for their coffee tables just to let people know at least they’re trying?
I don’t think so.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say the problem is the books suck because I’ve read three that were fairly interesting. What I would for sure go so far to say is the books are incomplete. In fact, all 17,251 of them have one critical missing link that is absolutely essential to happiness.
Would you like to know what this missing link is?
Give me a dollar, and I’ll tell you.
The missing link is holiness.
“Holiness is the substance of which happiness is a spinoff. Those who chase happiness miss it, while for those who pursue holiness, happiness of spirit comes unmasked.” – J.I. PACKER
Sounds lame, I know. But I’ve done some fairly thorough experimenting with non-holiness, and I can assure you it is the God’s honest truth.
It is impossible to be consistently and genuinely happy without personal holiness.
Don’t believe me? Fine. Let’s take it straight to the top – His Holiness the Dalai Llama of Happiness himself …
Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
Now me and the holy llama have our philosophical differences to be sure. For example, he cheats at arm wrestling and doesn’t see anything wrong with it. I let it slide because I mean come on … look at those arms. But I think he’s on to something here.
Notice what His Holiness did not say in that quote.
He did not say happiness comes from “within.” That, in and of itself, is scandalous according to current pop psychological disinformation.
He did not say happiness comes from:
– your own thoughts
– your own beliefs
– your own faith
– your own religious ideals
– your own perspectives
– your own positive mental attitude
– your own gratitude
– your own self-talk/affirmations/declarations
– your own consciousness of the present moment
– your own goal setting
– your own vocational achievements
– your own smile and confident posture
– your own social environment
– your own circumstances
– your own self-love
– your own self-esteem/worth/confidence/etc.
– your own inner healing
– your own personal choice to just be happy
– your own properly balanced brain chemicals
– your own properly balanced chakras
– your own income being over a certain threshhold
– your own diligent reading and implementation of everything I write (I’m not sure why he left this out. Probably because of the arm wrestling thing)
Now let’s not get me or the llama wrong here. Everything on that list besides the chakras but especially reading my stuff is important. However, all of it combined won’t make you happy in and of itself.
No, Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (the Dalai’s full legal name in case you ever wondered) didn’t say any of the things we’ve all read in the 17,251 happy books.
He said it comes from our own actions.
That leads us to the obvious question, “What kind of actions is he talking about?”
Why, holy actions of course. His Holiness the Dalai Llama? Get it? And no, I am not insulting him with the llama thing. It’s an inside joke between us. I send him a different colored llama for Christmas every year. He has a whole farm full and thinks it’s hilarious.
But here’s where this article actually gets interesting and a little less of a questionable use of your time …
The word holy comes from the Old English word halig which is derived from the root hal which means health, happiness and wholeness!!!
You follow me?
To be sure, wholeness – completeness, perfection, integrity – is the most important ingredient in the Old E recipe. But isn’t it interesting that health and happiness are right there in the mix?
Any action you take that is not holy is going to make you both unhealthy and unhappy in the long run. To put it another way, the ten commandments are not to restrict your fun or control you. They’re to save you from disease and misery.
“God, please keep me from evil, that I may not feel pain.” – Jabaez
Short term? Sure. Sin is fun and feels good. A quick bump of pure Colombian yeyo followed by a shot of Patron and a lap dance from a pure Colombian stripper will send you to the heights of happiness (I’ve heard).
But the Piper must be paid.
And pay you will, trust me. This is not your children’s storybook Piper we’re talking about. This Piper doesn’t wear green, play a piccolo, and lead you gently into the sea. He wears evil, plays a pitchfork, and leads you violently to eternal torture. Don’t believe that? So what. Keep reading.
Bottom line … if you are not currently happy, you don’t have a happiness problem. You have a holiness problem. I know this through both research and personal experience. When I’m miserable, I’m consistently doing unholy things. When I’m happy I’m consistently doing holy things. And the reason for this is both simple and profound:
Holy actions produce a clean conscience, which feels good. Unholy actions produce a guilty conscience, which feels horrible.
Guilt is the root cause of all unhappiness.
“But I’m not guilty, Preston. I don’t even believe in guilt.”
Well guilt believes in you. Stop interrupting me.
So what are holy things?
Let’s answer that by way of inverse logic.
What are unholy things?
If we just know what those are then we can simply not do them and be as happy as a monk on a llama. Right? Right.
Unholy things are any actions you take that make God feel like killing your dog just to teach you a lesson. Much like a good and loving parent will flush their kid’s hamster down the toilet when they forget to clean the cage too many times.
(Do parents do that? Let me know in a comment below. I’ve only got a few more years before my daughter will want a hamster for some reason I won’t be able to comprehend and will try to argue vehemently against. I need to make sure and get this right. And anyone who thinks I’m actually serious about any of this needs to relaxxx. God doesn’t kill dogs normally, and I’m not flushing anything of my daughters down the toilet unless it’s a dime bag I find in her jeans when she’s whatever age kids are having dime bags these days. I was 16 at the time of my first dime piece, so I’m guessing it’s around 7 or 8 now.)
Seriously though, unholy things are wrong selfish actions that ultimately hurt people – especially your self – and cause personal guilt, incapacity and ultimately unhappiness.
Also, as previously mentioned, they put your puppy in danger. And we all love puppies, except for my wife’s walking cotton ball who I’m almost positive was either the victim of a CIA lobotomy experiment in the 50’s or is a cat dressed in an almost-dog costume.
The problem today is we don’t know the difference between right and wrong. Some of us don’t even think there is a right or wrong. There’s help for the former, but not much for the latter. But for the sake of at least being able to say we tried, the next time you hear someone say something pseudo-intellectual like “Find your personal truth” or “That may be true for you, but it’s not for me,” punch them in the face. Tell them in your personal reality it’s true that punching people in the face is a compliment. See how they respond. It should be an enlightening moment for all.
For the rest of us more rational people who know some things are inherently more right than others but aren’t totally sure on the specifics, we need to understand that unholiness isn’t always as blatant as cocaine and strippers. It’s usually much more subtle and socially acceptable.
Some common, everyday, unholy examples should suffice. Deep breath …
– Drinking Alcohol Socially. Every single day.
Confession: I’m guilty of this one. Which is why I don’t do it anymore. I don’t like guilt. More on this below. Keep reading.
– Smoking Crack Socially. Or doing any other street drug socially. Or privately.
– Abusing Prescription Drugs. Especially in combination with alcohol. <— “Dear Liver, I hate you. But I will miss you.”
– Destroying Our Bodies With The Typical American Diet. Living to eat.
Show me an obese “happy” person, and I will show you a liar. Don’t consider yourself obese? The definition is “20% above ideal weight.” That’s not much. Maybe double check.
This sounds harsh, I know. But reality is harsh. And I’m here on planet earth to bring everyone back to it. Not a fun job, but someone’s gotta do it.
“You just made me really mad, Preston. I’m overweight, and Oprah is my hero.”
I’m sorry to hear that. Now use that mad energy to stop destroying God’s holy temple – your body. Then maybe you’ll experience what true happiness really feels like.
There’s another word for excessive eating rarely used anymore, by the way. It’s called gluttony. You know, one of the seven deadly sins.
The reason a happy fat person is an oxymoron is gluttony is unholy. And we’ve already clearly established the connection between happiness and holiness.
“But I don’t eat excessively, and I’m still overweight. It’s genetic.”
Cue Family Feud buzzer noise …
Sorry. The latest science proves bad genes can be turned off. Study epigenetics. I hope I didn’t spoil your favorite excuse on that one.
No, you’re just eating the wrong foods and drinking the wrong drinks without bothering to stop and consider the glaringly obvious consequences of your actions because either you don’t care or you know to do so would require painful change. That’s called either foolishness or laziness. Both are unholy.
“I can’t afford the right foods.”
Whatever helps you sleep at night, man.
Get a job. Get a second job. Get a third job. Go wash your neighbors’ cars. Stop playing yourself.
Listen … no holiness? No happiness. Period. And I didn’t write the rules so don’t get mad at me! I love you no matter what you eat or don’t eat. I do lots of wrong stuff too. I’m just trying to help us all see things clearly so we can all be happy and get our work done. You can’t change what you can’t see. And we’re all blind to different degrees. I don’t think Jesus healed blind people solely for the sake of of their physical sight. It was symbolic of what he is willing to do for us all – open our spiritual eyes.
– Sleeping Around As A Single Person (Or A Married Person)
You may say you’re happy, Sleeper Arounder, but you’re not. Not deep down.
Have you seen the movie The Other Woman? See it. It’s really funny. Plus it has the added bonus of a brief moment of insight into our true nature as human beings.
The character Mark King is this really nice, happy, married guy who just happens to be sleeping with two other women on the side. They all find out and confront him. That’s when the happy mask falls off and the real Mark King steps into full view.
That real Mark King? That monster? He’s inside you. And me. And Oprah. That’s it – just you, me and Oprah. Ha. No, he’s inside everyone. More on “the monster” in a minute. You’re going to want to stick around for this.
What a word. Porn. Carries a punch, doesn’t it? I wonder why.
77% of Americans watch Internet porn at least once a month. And an overwhelming majority of them say it’s morally wrong that they do it – that’s why.
Look around you. Basically every single person you see watches porn. There’s almost a 4 in 5 chance you personally watch porn. I personally do not. I’d tell you if I did. But I’m not a porn guy. It’s just never been my thing.
Any guy who says he does not watch porn is LYING. – TIM FERRIS
No, Tim. They’re just not a 77%’er like you. Stop projecting.
Now you may think there’s nothing wrong with porn, and that’s your right. But studies and surveys say something very different. Porn is a relationship killer. Your spouse (or future spouse) will never measure up to the fantasy. And it’s only a matter of time before we try to make our fantasies realities, right?
Have you never paused to consider why they stopped showing graphic sex scenes in movies like they used to in the 80’s and 90’s? Start pausing and considering things.
It’s not because America has suddenly become more moral that’s for sure. It’s because moviemakers know that everyone watches Internet porn now and feels bad about it. They want their audiences to come away from their movies feeling certain ways. Guilty is not one of them.
– Not Paying Adequate Attention To Our Spouse and Kids.
Worse than watching porn, smoking crack and eating a TV dinner simultaneously if you ask me.
If you don’t plan on giving up your life for your spouse and kids, do not have a spouse and kids. Spare them the misery.
– Materialism. Living to collect and consume.
You’re only alive for 80 years or so. 150 if you’re me. And I understand you want a 20,000 sf, oceanfront cliff house, a helicopter and a Bugatti. Who doesn’t? But personally, I don’t want them that bad. I don’t live for stuff like that. It’s not like we can fly the helicopter off planet earth and escape death or something.
Look at kids clinging to their cheap plastic toys and refusing to share. That’s us and our “valuables” from an eternal perspective.
Here’s a good rule to live by:
If you can’t take it with you, it just logically cannot be that important. Relax, and just enjoy being alive.
– Financial Misconduct. Wastefulness.
I once spent $50,000 to fly myself, T-Boz from TLC, Bangladesh (Lil Wayne’s producer), Matt Arroyo (UFC Fighter), and some other miscellaneous friends out to Las Vegas on a private jet for cage-side seats at UFC 100.
This is not the type of financial misconduct I’m talking about. This is a special type of conduct that I’ll reserve for a future article.
I’m talking about things like wracking up consumer debt and buying things from any infomercials besides mine.
– Watching The Real Housewives Of __________ [pick a city. any city.]
If ever there was a conspiracy to dement all the women on planet earth and make them literally retarded, this might be it. Actually the whole station of Bravo is unholy.
– Star Worship.
Not shiny stars in outer space. Hollywood stars from outer space (that’s where they’re from I’m convinced).
I think there ought to be some serious discussion by smart people, really smart people, about whether or not proliferation of things like The Smoking Gun and TMZ and YouTube and the whole celebrity culture is healthy.
– STEPHEN KING
Do you know what you’re subconsciously saying when you idolize “stars” who are really just ordinary people that worked hard at acting, singing, schmoozing and selling their souls to Satan?
You’re also saying, “You’re better than me.”
Now if you really think that, then fine. But it’s not true. It would do people good to meet these so-called stars in person. They’re almost all freakishly small in stature and extraordinarily insecure.
I was at a red carpet party in L.A. a few years back, and I looked around and realized I was surrounded by unusually tiny famous people. Not one of them was over 5’5”. I am not kidding. It was bizarre. And that is when I realized Hollywood was exactly what I always suspected: a communist midget conspiracy to overthrow the government. I reported it to the FBI, but I haven’t heard back yet.
Don’t believe me? Go to the TLC Chinese Theatre, which is where the Hollywood Walk of Shame is. The footprints look like someone paid Dorothy Hamill to do them all (while wearing her skates). Any big ones were the midgets wearing oversized shoes for the sake of the charade. I am not kidding about this either. I just read it in the movie producer Jerry Weintraub’s autobiography, When I stop talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead, which is a must-read for every would-be hustler on earth. Great great book.
Or just double check these Super Star Stature Stats:
The Artist Formerly Known As Prince: 5′ 2″ (picture that)
Kim Kardashian: Also 5′ 2″.
Kourtney Kardasian: 5′ 0″
The Olsen Twins: 5′ 0″
Please get a measuring tape so you can understand that 5′ 0″ is the average height of a twelve year old. This is munchkin land we’re talking about here. Just one inch less is the specific definition of a DWARF!
Lady Gaga: 5′ 1″
Reese Witherspoon: 5″ 1″
As for the males? (Prince is neutral so he doesn’t count) Here’s something interesting:
Let’s move on.
– Sports Entertainment Addiction.
All professional sports team owners know they are no longer in the sports industry. They’re in the entertainment industry.
In the movie Idiocracy, the future is permeated with sports entertainment, and it’s all the dumbed down citizens of the country care about. Watch that movie. The future is now.
Do you talk about professional sports once a day or more?
The Matrix has you.
There’s nothing wrong with having sports in your life. There’s something wrong with sports having YOU.
If sports spectating is your life, you have no life. Find something more important to live for. Or at the very least actually play the sport you watch and talk about so much. Not on a video game either. In the real physical world.
This woman is allowed to talk about archery all. day. long.
If you say, “sports isn’t my life,” then tell me quickly what is. My life is __________. You should be able to fill in that blank instantly without thought.
– Media Addiction.
Adults watch 4+ hours of TV a day. That in and of itself is scary, considering what passes for entertainment these days. It’s also scary because most people don’t find it scary at all.
But they also take in another 4 hours of digital media – 1.5 hours on their phones and the rest on their computer.
If you sleep for 8 hours, that’s 2/3 of your life spent doing absolutely nothing productive.
Why are you alive?
I have a suggestion for you if you’re struggling financially. Sell your TV, get a non-smart phone (which will reduce your cell phone bill to almost nothing), and control your urges to … I don’t even know what you could possibly do for 3 hours on the internet if it’s not research for productive work … watch porn I guess.
UNPLUG man! Start living your own life instead of watching everyone else’s. Convert from a consumer to a producer. Right now you’re consuming this blog post (media) – I’m producing it. Get the picture? Keep consuming me, but everything else has got to go.
– Gambling Addiction.
I recently read The Life, a bio on Michael Jordan. What an incredible human being. But he was a gambling addict and very unhappy in general.
I’d still switch lives with him just to be able to dunk from the free throw line, but I would not look forward to the unhappiness.
You may not think curse words are a big deal. But some people do, and it’s not about you. But in a way it is. Be conscious the next time you swear, and notice the underlying emotion. It will be anger. Every time. And anger hurts you.
Oh you who tear yourselves in your anger … – BILDAD, The Book of Job
It’s not about the words. It’s about your heart – your emotional health – your happiness.
It’s also about other people’s view of you which affects your relationships which affects your happiness levels. If someone curses left and right I immediately think (know) he’s a scumbag that can’t be trusted and I don’t do any significant business with him. He can’t control his mouth. Why should I think he can control anything else? I’m not the only one who thinks this. Also, by using clean language you set yourself apart. People will notice, believe me. And they will all think the same thing – what’s different about this guy?
The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it. – GEORGE WASHINGTON
We’ve come a long way, Georgey boy. Matter of fact we got Boy George’s skipping around saying stuff you never dreamed of.
– Laziness. Not working as hard and effectively as we know we could and should. Not living up to our potential. Hiding from our Calling out of fear of responsibility.
– Workaholism. Working TOO hard, to the neglect of your family, health, and – of course – happiness.
– Being Unkind To Or Ignoring Strangers And Humans In General. But Especially Strangers.
I need serious … SERIOUS work in this department. The following is a true story:
One of my business partners called me recently and said one of our employees had an issue with me. Apparently this person was upset that I didn’t pay enough attention to him. Here’s how the convo ensued:
Me: So what’d you say?
Partner: I told him I was your business partner, and even I hadn’t spoken to you on the phone in 9 months. Relax.
Partner: Do you remember the first time we met?
Me: Of course not.
Partner: Exactly. It was after so-and-so’s seminar at a cocktail party. I came up to you, introduced myself and asked how you handled the inherent ethical problems a Christian faces marketing their stuff online. You looked at me, dropped your head as if in pain and just walked away.
Me: LOL! Shut your lips I did not.
Partner: Yeah, you did. That’s just you, man. You don’t even remember stuff like this.
Me: How are we still partners after all these years?
Partner: I have no idea.
Anyway, apparently he’s not the only person I’ve done this to. I was just at one of my best friend’s birthday parties, and he told the whole crowd an almost identical story about how he met me.
Oh well. I’m working on it. I think I may have taken “stranger danger” too seriously or something. Maybe I take everything too seriously. Like I said, I have issues too. Let’s all work through ’em together.
We’re in this together. – DREW CANOLE, buddy of mine who likes to wear red David Hasselhoff bathing suits
The root word miser is the same for miserable and misery interestingly enough. And that’s not a coincidence either.
There is a fine line between thriftiness and miserliness. And I’ve never even seen that line because neither one of those is any way to live in my opinion.
Anyone who lives within his means suffers from a lack of imagination. – OSCAR WILDE
My opinion is occasionally misguided. The older I get the more I’ve been leaning towards thrift. There’s wisdom in it. But that’s still not going to stop me from buying this 15,000sf waterfront house before I can afford it …
Do you know why people talk about other people? It’s to make themselves feel temporarily better about themselves because they feel consistently horrible about themselves. I know a gossiper within about two minutes of meeting them, and I never tell them anything important ever for the rest of their lives. I also know not to trust them period.
And then of course you have your good ol’ every day unholy dispositions:
I could go on.
All these things are unholy and will make you unhappy.
Now the question is … why are we doing all these things if we know they make us unhappy?
Well for one thing, we don’t always know it. We lie to ourselves and deny that we’re unhappy.
If only we saw clearly that no one has ever lied to us as often and insidiously as our own sick selves!
What exactly do you think the phrase “you are your own worst enemy” means anyway? It means specifically that we lie to ourselves constantly. And we do it to keep ourselves from having to deal with the one thing we are all so tight fist bound and determined not to see – Reality.
I know who you all really are. There’s a monster inside each and every one of you. – DAVE CHAPPELLE to his TV studio audience
And the reality is there is a force so evil in every human being that if you could see it personified you would scream at the top of your lungs like a little girl and either faint or have a heart attack.
Every once in a while it gets personified.
Mao Tse-Tung killed 78 million people. 78 million.
Think about how horrible it would be to kill one human being. It would scar you for life. Multiply that by 78 million. When asked how many Chinese citizens he would be willing to kill for the sake of the revolution, he replied, “A third of them.” That’s a lot of people.
Lenin (not John) killed 48 million. Actually, that was Stalin I think. Lenin only killed a mere handful of millions.
Hitler killed 17 million. He was like the amateur hour of mass murderers. (I’d tell you why our history books make him out to be the worst and barely mention Stalin and Mao, but you just wouldn’t believe me. You’ll have to figure it out on your own.)
Now … you and I collectively have probably killed way less than 1 million total, but does that make our inner monster any less monsterly? Of course not. We’re just better able to control it is all. We probably had better parents, experienced less misery, lucked out with better genetic dispositions, were raised in better circumstances and a thousand other things not to our credit.
But make no mistake … the monster is there. Lurking. Waiting for his moment.
Turn on the news. Those Monster Moments are coming at us left and right. You think you’re any different than them? You’re not. You’ve just been a better monster tamer. So far. But this is hard to see and therefore harder to believe. Which is why you haven’t read about it in any of the 17,251 happy books. The majority of the authors don’t see clearly. The rest don’t think it will sell.
The other reason we do unholy things that make us unhappy is if we socially drink often enough, we actually feel happy. It’s a fake hazy kind of happy, but it gets us through. It drowns the roars of the monster out for a time.
Don’t drink by some miracle of God? Pick your happy-poison from the list above. If it’s not alcohol it’s something.
“Life as we find it is too hard for us; it entails too much pain, too many disappointments, impossible tasks. We cannot do without palliative remedies.”
―SIGMUND FREUD, Civilization & Its Discontents <— read this book
1. make (a disease or its symptoms) less severe or unpleasant without removing the cause
“treatment works by palliating symptoms”
synonyms: alleviate, ease, relieve, soothe, take the edge off,
assuage, moderate,temper, diminish, decrease,
2. allay or moderate (fears or suspicions).
“this eliminated, or at least palliated, suspicions aroused by German unity”
3. ***disguise the seriousness or gravity of (an offense).***
“there is no way to excuse or palliate his dirty deed”
synonyms: disguise, hide, gloss over, conceal, cover (up), camouflage, mask;More
So we see that we have this sort of pseudo-happiness propped up by all manner of pills, concoctions, entertainment, lies, and addictions. Our happiness is a house of cards built on thin ice, and we don’t know it because we’re drunk, distracted and deceived. We are smiling on the outside – screaming on the inside.
And a 7 Steps To Happiness book is supposed to fix all this?
Give me a break.
To be happy you have to kill the monster.
How, pray tell, do you kill a monster?
You starve it, of course.
If my house was infested by, say, Cookie Monsters for instance, I would simply get rid of all my cookies and throw fruit at them. Simple.
The only bad thing about this is I wouldn’t get to eat cookies anymore. But cookies are bad for you so it turns into a good thing once my taste for cookies is gone. Feel me? Feel me.
This is why fasting is such a good spiritual exercise. What you do to your body you do to your soul. The two are connected far more profoundly than you may realize.
I humbled my soul with fasting. – King David
On more than one occasion I’ve gone out into the middle of nowhere and deprived myself of human connection, technology, and food for 3 days at a time. Just me, nature, God, silence and water.
What was I doing?
Killing myself of course. My shadow self. My ego. My monster.
Now … after everything I’ve said so far … do you still think your happiness is genuine?
Prove it. It’s time to get rid of your cookies.
The 30-Day Happiness No-Cookie Challenge
The purpose of this challenge is to take away all your happiness props and expose yourself for the miserable human being you possibly are. This will inspire you to find a way to kill your monster and become genuinely holy and therefore authentically happy.
You will notice that this is a 12-step program. That is a complete coincidence as far as my conscious mind is aware. But I have no doubt my subconscious is laughing boyishly right now. He gets his kicks from being way smarter than me.
This will not be particularly pleasant. But it is absolutely necessary if you want to make the quantum leap from baby to beast mode. You can take comfort in knowing I wouldn’t have you do anything I have not already done to myself. And if you know me even a little that should be no comfort whatsoever.
For the next 30 days do the following:
1. Wean off all feel-good medications (unless you’re genuinely a psychopath).
I’m convinced that almost no one on earth needs anti-depressants. And this is coming from someone who has tried them all at one point or another. They don’t do anything that diet, exercise, creative supplementation, faith and thought control can’t do naturally and way better. I guess if you can’t bring yourself to do those things then maybe for a minute just to get your bearings. There’s rare exceptions I’m sure.
“But I have chemical imbalances.”
How do you know? A doctor asked you some questions and then told you that? Brilliant. I have a bridge to sell you.
I actually know I do, and I’m still miraculously happy and unmedicated.
Don’t believe me? Here are my neurotransmitter levels as measured from a recent urine test:
Summary: Basically I don’t have any neurotransmitters.
While I do have a program in place to boost these chemicals that do somewhat helpful things like make it slightly more effortless to smile, sleep and not feel like doing physical and emotional harm to other humans, I’m not waiting for that to be happy. I’m being holy, and that makes me happy. My body is just going to have to get its act together and get in line.
This report is probably bogus anyway. I slept like a rock last night and feel like painting a rainbow on fresh paper right now.
2. Don’t drink alcohol. NONE.
No bars. No clubs. No sitting at home drinking a bottle of wine with dinner.
Can’t bring yourself to do this? Congratulations – you’re an alcoholic. An unholy unhappy alchy. Go directly to AA. Do no pass go. Give me $200. And don’t say, “I could do this if I wanted to. I just don’t want to.” Every addict says that.
Not only are you an unhappy alchy, you’re also normal unfortunately. Pay attention when you watch TV and movies. Someone is drinking alcohol in almost every scene. Do you think this is for no reason? Monkey see monkey do. The monkey masses are being numbed.
And I don’t care if all you do is drink two “healthy” glasses of red wine a night (which they’re not unless organic without sulfites). Stop it for 30 days. Everyone says they can do this. Almost no one can. Show yourself you’re not everyone.
I regularly take 3-month breaks from drinking any alcohol just to show my body who is boss. Currently I haven’t had a glass in 30 days. My plan is to take a 12-month break. Maybe a forever break. I’m way happier when I don’t drink alcohol.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable … therefore I discipline my body and make it my slave …” – PAUL, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
3. Don’t turn your TV on.
And don’t watch anyone else’s. No TV. No movies. No sports (*gasp*).
The more insane this sounds to you the more insane you actually are personally.
You do realize TV has been around less than a hundred years right? How on earth did we survive for 6,000 years without it? (200,000 years if you’re not Jewish)
“Preston, it’s football season. I graduated from ________ State college. Do you seriously think I’m going to miss four of their games. I’d rather die.”
You’re already dead. Your body just hasn’t proved it yet. Here’s how lame you are:
I, Preston Ely, like the UFC – mixed martial arts (cage fighting). I even practice mixed martial arts* with UFC fighters. I think it’s the greatest sport on earth. But I haven’t watched the UFC for the past three or four months. Why? Honestly, because I forgot. That’s how much I don’t care about sports in comparison with other much more important things.
There’s nothing wrong with liking football – I like going to games and even watching them on TV every so often. There’s something wrong with having to watch football. That makes you a doofus for lack of a better word. Homer Simpson’ish <— better word
*Not just jiu-jitsu mind you – mixed martial arts. I’m not sure why gurus think they’re so cool because they “do” jiu-jitsu. It seems that’s the cool thing to say and do these days. Jiu-jitsu is great. But there’s this weird thing called boxing and muay thai that allows me to destroy these people if they ever got froggy on me.
4. Don’t go on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn or any blog besides this one (all news sites are blogs FYI). Or any other social media I’m forgetting.
“I just need one more minute. Just one more.”
Have you noticed I post on social media way less than most of my contemporaries in the “guru” industry? That’s because I’m too busy living a real life to post and see fake ones.
I spend most of my time doing this weird thing called working and reading books and hanging out with my family. I highly recommend it. It’s old fashioned, but I mean … have you seen pictures of people from a hundred years ago when this was all there was to do? No one is fake smiling. They’re too internally content to try to impress people who look at pictures. I respect that.
5. Use your phone to talk to people with your actual voice.
No texting. No apps. No Internet.
I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 22 years old. I had a beeper, and I wore it both proudly and gangsterly. If I wanted to talk to someone while on the road I had to pull over, get change, and use a filthy pay phone. If I wanted directions I had to pull over, get irritated and ask another filthy human being at a gas station.
I know for a fact that if by age 11 my daughter has not received an iPhone from me there is going to be hell to pay. And it’s not going to be because I haven’t spent 11 years instilling good values and consistently warning her that the robots are taking over either. Apple will have just done a better job marketing to her through all her friends’ iPhones is all.
My point: If you can’t be happy without your stupid phone, you can’t be happy. You’ll never know unless you try. The less you use it the happier you will be. You’re about to find that out in the next 30 days if you have the nuts to go through with this.
Full Disclosure: I do not use my phone to talk to people with my voice. I just don’t use my phone period (barely).
6. No fast food. Fast food is for losers. Straight up.
7. Eat strictly meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil, fish oil, etc). NO SUGAR.
Did you know that new research has shown sugar in processed foods to be 8 times more addictive than cocaine? True story. What’s perfectly obvious to me about this is these researchers have obviously never actually done cocaine. There is simply no way this new discovery can be true. But the fact that someone is even bothering to do it should be a sign to us all.
Processed sugar is pure poison. But it sells a heck of a lot of Coca-Cola! You know I liked that company a lot better when they were just honest and included the cocaine and sugar together in one product proudly.
For the next 30 days you are going to eat to live, not the other way around.
“Food is fuel.”
“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”
You may want to write those two statements on the front of your refrigerator with a big black Sharpie magic marker.
For details on why you should eat what I’ve recommended read this.
8. Read a book or hug a stranger every time you’re feeling bored from this 30-day challenge.
“In my whole life, I have known no wise people* who didn’t read all the time – none … ZERO.” – CHARLIE MUNGER, billionaire – reads 500-1,000 pages a day
*Do you consider yourself wise or unwise? There is no in between. Which is it?
Pick a book. Any book (besides fiction).
The average person reads never. The average millionaire reads 70-100 books a year. I read a hundred just between audio books on cardio days and biographies that put me to sleep at night. That’s not counting the real reading I do during the day.
What kind of life do you want? The price of admission is reading. Then implementing.
And start hugging everyone you meet. I’ve never done this, but now maybe I’m going to. I think if everyone just hugged constantly we would achieve world peace. Picture it.
9. Don’t have sex with anyone but your spouse.
Don’t have a spouse? Don’t have sex. Not even with your self.
Can’t control yourself? Consider the implications of that. That is weak sauce.
Or ignore this and get what nature gives people who break its blatantly obvious moral laws: Pain.
In this case AIDS, STD’s, unwanted babies, broken hearts and misery.
Single ladies, are you tired of getting dumped, remaining unmarried and blaming it on guys who “are all jerks”? Stop sleeping with whoever you’re dating, and watch those jerks miraculously turn into gentlemen.
Want to have sex without getting emotionally destroyed over and over and over? Hold out for some finger ice and a contract. Have some self respect. Guys want what they can’t have, and once they have it they don’t want it. At least get the ice and paperwork before that happens. Your chances of keeping him are way better. No prenups. Any man who demands a prenup isn’t worth having. The prenup demander is a scared, money-loving, untrusting (therefore untrustworthy) douche. Is douche a curse word? If it is, pretend I never said it.
10. Don’t shop for anything but groceries.
Malls and Internet shopping are off limits for the next 30 days.
When I was poor I used to shop constantly. Now I’m rich, and shopping is the last thing I ever want to do. I have a literal aversion to it. In fact, I would rather physically die than go to Walmart or Target or Home Depot or any large building packed full of crazed consumers.
Don’t take that the wrong way. What I’m saying is I would rather light the clothes that I’m currently wearing on fire, drive my car straight off the Golden Gate bridge, and plunge to my literal, firey, watery death than come home to hear my wife say, “Honey, we’re going to Costco,” and actually mean it.
You don’t need clothes and toys and stuff for your house. People in Malawi need clothes and toys and stuff for their huts. Go shopping for them if you want.
I was going to write something funny here, like “Enjoy your Gucci,” but after having my first baby this just made me cry. We need to set our 1st World Problems down for a while and help these kids. For real.
11. Work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.
These 12 hours can include self-improvement activities. On Saturday they can include chores and errands if you choose to not pay someone $20 to do these so you can do more productive work and self-improve for some illogical reason.
So, for example, this is my daily schedule:
You won’t notice much typical work in it. That’s because my businesses are on auto-pilot, and people much smarter than me are co-autopiloting. I spend the bulk of my time sharpening the ax and writing you love letters like this one.
But it wasn’t like this ten years ago.
Ten years ago it was 16 hour days with a lot more work. And I loved it.
You have to pay your dues. I don’t know how many times I have to say that before you actually pay them properly. There is no way around it. If there were a way I wouldn’t tell you because dues turn you into a beast. But there really isn’t a way.
You have to make the shift from a fun/comfort-based inner drive to a work/progress-based inner drive. The goal every day is progress. One step closer to your goals and destiny. Going to bed every night smarter than when you woke up that morning. Wiser. Stronger. Holier. Always getting better – at everything. Life is a race, not a freakin disco. This is war, not Studio 54. Expecting otherwise is a recipe for misery. Toughen up, smarten up, and get to work.
12. Spend all other free time with family, friends and helping those kids in Malawi.
As a general rule of thumb you should pick one day of the week to spend entirely unplugged and relaxing with your family. Sunday is ideal so you’re fresh for Monday, but you do you. The day isn’t important. That you pick a day and stick to it is.
#12 is going to be challenging because maybe more than likely you’re used to relaxing with your family and friends drunk in front of a screen of some sort. The alternative to alcohol and screens is playing non-electronic games and talking. To the degree this sounds like a form of torture you need to extend this 30-day Challenge out longer.
Talking only works if the talkers are all living interesting lives, learning new things every day and have something to share. So one thing this 30 day Challenge will expose is just how interesting you are or aren’t. Do you have anything to say? You should always have something to say. The problem should always be trying to figure out what not to say. If you don’t have anything to say that just means you aren’t learning or growing or doing anything interesting. You have nothing to offer.
Alright, that’s it. That’s the 30-Day Happiness Cookieless Challenge. Do you accept it? Yes or no? Click one quick. Don’t think about it. Do it now …
Nothing happens when you click those, but I just wanted you to get committed one way or the other. Don’t break your commitment. That wouldn’t be holy.
Do you want to be happy?
Strive for perfection in moral character. Health. Wholeness. Holiness. Happiness will appear out of nowhere.
Happiness is an effect. It’s a reward, not a right. I know America’s declaration of independence seems to imply otherwise, but here’s what it actually meant in those times it was written:
Side Note: There is much more to holiness than I have included in this fajillion-word article, as all my Christian readers are well aware and probably irritated about right now. Before the monster can be starved, you have to be separated from it. Right now you are the monster. Click here for my personal experience of spiritual transformation. That link actually works, so click it.
What are your takeaways from this? What are you going to do? Publicly commit in a comment below. Then do it. And be happy.