Friday with Friends

189 | Acquiring Happiness

Jan 17, 2020

Today would normally be our interview episode, but instead I’m going to be talking about something inspired by one of my friends. My friend Elizabeth Fryer wrote me and said she had thought of me when she was writing about the French philosopher, Descartes, who said “happiness does not consist in acquiring the things that we think will make us happy, but in learning to like the things we have to do anyway.” She said I seemed to be happy in a lot of the things that I do, and wanted to talk about it.

I agree with Descartes: You will not reach happiness in acquiring things. We know that some people have so many things, and those things still don’t make them happy. We’re doing things, why not find happiness in learning how to do these things anyway?

So what are some of those things we have to do anyway, and how can we find happiness in them? Here are a few examples:

  • We have to work for money, for food and shelter, and hopefully for a higher purpose. Some people don’t necessarily subscribe to the belief that you can do something that’s fulfilling. Can you find moments of happiness in whatever work you do?
  • When things are hard, remember that there are people out there who just have it so much harder. It is harder to bring yourself to complain about something when you realize all of the ways that you are really so lucky and well off. Save the complaints for things that really, really matter


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