Why Do People Do Stupid Things?
For years I have observed people resisting happiness. We have seen it in the lives of our family, friends, and colleagues. We have all seen patterns of laziness and procrastination cripple people personally and professionally. We have all seen patterns of fear and self-loathing turn beautiful, intelligent people into a shadow of their true selves. We have all sat by while people we love sabotage their chances at success and happiness over and over again. These are the patterns that we see in people’s lives, patterns that make us wonder why.
Then there are the times when we watch as someone we love,
against the advice of everyone in his or her inner circle, does something monumentally stupid. We wonder to ourselves, “Why would anybody do something so stupid?” The answer is universal and disarmingly simple: People do stupid things because they mistakenly
believe those stupid things will make them happy.
This is the paradox that surrounds our quest for happiness: We know the things that will make us happy, but we don’t always do them. We know how to unleash happiness in our lives, but we don’t. Why? Resistance. We are all on a quest for happiness, but resistance gets the better of us.
I know the people, things, behaviors, and experiences that make me happy. It is no surprise to anyone, I suspect, that these are the same people, things, behaviors, and experiences that help me become a-better-version-of-myself.
Working hard makes me happy. And there is no work that brings me more joy than writing. Writing makes me happy, and at the end of a good day of writing everything is better in my world. Still, every time I sit down to write, before I can even get a word down, I have to battle and slay resistance.
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