The Pursuit of Happiness is flawed…

February 5, 2008          Comments (7)

I just need sign up 10 businesses. Okay, let’s sign up 25. No, I can do better. Sign up 50. Wait, I forgot those last 15 businesses. Now I have a dynamite product. It’s go time.

I just need to print my discount cards. That’s too expensive. I can get a better price. Keep negotiating!

I just need the University Bookstore, Mando books and Book Bridge to sell my cards. Now, get as many sororities and fraternities as possible to sell your cards.

I just want to break even so I don’t lose money. I can do better than that. I just want to sell 500 cards so I make a little bit of money. Alright, let’s just sell 1000 cards. Forget that, let’s really kill it. I can do better. Sell 1500 cards. And don’t quit until you do.

If only I can partner with Student Advantage. Keep calling until you get the CEO…

One day I hope to find an amazing woman and create an extraordinary life with her. I will build MyBodyTutor into a leading global health and fitness company. I’d love to be able to buy my dream car one day. I can’t wait to have (at least) 2 – 5 kids who are child prodigies from excessive training. Building my dream house is going to be thrilling. Going to sporting events and playing sports with my son(s) is going to be a blast…

What is the point of everything we do in life?

To be happy right? Everything we do is to make ourselves happy whether we realize it or not.

There is a major flaw in this thinking though. A person or a thing can’t make you happy. Only you can make you happy. Happiness MUST come from within.

For example, if I believe that I’m going to be so happy when I meet the girl of my dreams I’m doomed.
That means I’m putting my happiness in the hands of someone else. My dream girl, whether she knows it, or not, is responsible for my happiness.

That’s crazy! That means every time she does something I don’t like, I’m going to be unhappy. That’s why most relationships fail in my (very!) humble opinion. People expect their partner to make them happy. But only you can make you happy.

If you aren’t happy by yourself then expecting a car or a person to make you happy is ridiculous. And unfortunately, most people believe that a person or a dollar amount in the bank or a car is going to make them truly happy.

Every human being has one HUGE thing in common and that’s the desire to be truly happy…and I wonder if you’re constantly pursuing happiness in the form of cars, money, etc., when will you ever be happy?

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  1. Adam,

    I’ve been reading your blog for quite sometime now and I, too, find the subject of happiness fascinating.

    However, I am shocked that an entrepreneur like yourself who has accomplished so many things at such a young age and who is obviously ridiculously ambitious would think like this.

    I find it almost hypocritical because an entrepreneur is always chasing that next client, or that next, partnership, etc. An entrepreneur like yourself who quit Ernst & Young clearly is never happy with the status quo.

    Just my opinion. Thought I’d share.

    Comment by Lara — February 5, 2008 @ 10:04 am

  2. Guru – I reread this twice and I couldn’t agree more. I look at my friends in Corporate America and their entire life is based on, “I’ll be happy when I… or, “Once I get that raise…”

    But I also look at my friends who are entrepreneurs and they do the same thing.

    What to do? I do understand what you mean about constantly chasing happiness though…

    Comment by Willy — February 5, 2008 @ 11:08 am

  3. Lara,

    I think you might be very slightly misinterpreting Adam’s words. You are absolutely right, I’m sure accepting the status quo isn’t at all what Adam subscribes to, in any capacity whatsoever.

    Happiness (or “fulfillment” as I sometimes like to call it) doesn’t come from chasing externalities, it comes from creating, or transforming our internal dreams into external realities. Entrepreneurs, or regular-job-havers for that matter, who do things “to get” are never happy (just look around us.) But people who create for the sake of creating, out of the abundance of their hearts, THEY are genuinely happy when doing so.

    As the orange seed shows us, and as Adam said, happiness comes from one thing, from our hearts, from within. Life only originates from within. Even WE originated from within, physically speaking!!!

    So it’s not that you don’t DO things, it’s just that your motivation is fundamentally different. We DO because our insides DESIRE to do, likely for the sake of making lives better. We don’t DO to get, we DO to give. And there is an infinite market segment in this business arena, as EVERYONE continuously desires to have their lives bettered! So business is always available on this wavelength!

    Not trying to be cliche, which I’m sure this sounds like, but when one really experiences that feeling of putting your whole heart, soul and life into something, it doesn’t matter if you’re doing it for free, it just ROCKS!!! It is Life’s Force, the timeless energy of Love, that creates happiness, and nothing else.

    I think this is what Adam was getting at! And if this is the Lara from Tampa, then do I know you???

    Love you all so much,
    Eric Patrick Marr

    Comment by Eric Patrick Marr — February 5, 2008 @ 4:03 pm

  4. Adam,

    You’re dead on here. You can be perfectly happy in your situation now and love and appreciate life, while still pushing to be the best at something (business) and live life to the fullest every day. The two are not mutually exclusive, and being happy doesn’t de-motivate you from achieving anything.


    Comment by Adam McFarland — February 5, 2008 @ 6:50 pm

  5. I think Eric and Adam said it best.

    My point is that if you aren’t happy by yourself…just being you…then all of the success in the world (and what that can afford you) is going to mean nothing. It’ll never be fulfilling.

    Thanks for your awesome input guys!


    Comment by Adam Gilbert — February 6, 2008 @ 9:49 am

  6. […] I also believe that the pursuit of happiness is flawed. True sustained happiness can only come from with in. […]

    Pingback by Guru Gilbert » Lessons from the happiest 81 year old waitress I’ve ever met — June 9, 2008 @ 1:07 pm

  7. […] evil antithesis of ambition. And I certainly don’t want to spend my life pursuing happiness. After all, that is flawed! Happiness is right here, right […]

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