What Is the Opposite of Happiness?

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    141 people had breakthroughs this week. Will the next one be you?

    One thing for you to think about

    People often mistake highs for happiness.

    Highs are short-lived and intense. They leave you feeling empty afterward. Therefore highs often become addictive.

    Happiness is long-lived and calming. It’s like pleasant background music to everything else you do in life. Happiness is the side effect of wanting to chase nothing, change nothing.

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    Two things for you to ask yourself

    What highs have you mistaken for happiness in your life? How can you get off the hamster wheel of highs you are currently on?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    Opt out of one of your regular highs this week. Whether it’s an obvious high like drinking or smoking, or a more subtle high like family drama or talking shit about a coworker. Simply opt out of it and observe how it affects your state.

    Remember: Small changes lead to lasting breakthroughs. Reply to this email and let me know how it went for you.

    The biggest change of my career…

    Six months ago, I relaunched this newsletter to have a greater focus on your stories and experiences. The past few months, I’ve been quietly working on a similar project, but much, much bigger.

    I’ve been flying around the world, meeting readers in person, and challenging them to face some of their life’s most difficult issues while helping them give fewer fucks. I’ve been capturing these experiences on video and will begin posting them on YouTube later this summer.

    I can’t overstate how excited I am about these stories. They are transformational and I think they could potentially revolutionize this industry. You can see the teaser/announcement here. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and turn on notifications.

    Last week’s breakthroughs

    In last week’s newsletter, I asked you to take a magic pill called “exercise” and see how it could unfuck your life.

    Turns out Kristine has been taking this magic pill all her life, and reaped ample benefits:

    I laughed right out loud Mark because you are absolutely correct!

    After 60+ years on this planet, I do indeed exercise and walk every morning (and now have coerced my husband to walk with me when he gets home from work). And it does work. I have rid myself of many ailments through exercise.

    It’s as simple as walking, stretching, bending down to pick something up, moving. A yoga teacher once told me, ‘Motion is lotion for the body.’ We all want to be moisturized—not dried up prunes.

    On a more serious note, exercise helped Sonali through her grief:

    I moved from India to Wales in September 2022 with my husband and have dealt with tremendous loss over the past two years. As someone who came from a sheltered background with everything going very well always, it was a rude shock when I lost my dad to cancer in January 2022 (within a month of me getting married). Shortly after losing my dad, my father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer too and passed away in August 2022.

    After my husband and I got to Wales, we settled into our new life. I started exercising and I can assure you that nothing has helped me feel better about life and dealing with grief than a walk.

    Being a caregiver to my father was exhausting but I made sure to go for a walk every morning. There is nothing like exercise to keep your mind at ease and I cannot recommend it enough to people.

    Thanks so much for spreading the word about this magic pill. Even the doctors told us that my dad could endure the treatment at 70 years old only because of how active he had kept himself.

    Finally, exercise is this reader’s (no longer) secret superpower:

    I walk or run every day after work (preferrably on nature trails) and great insights and ideas flow, guaranteed, every fucking time. I don’t know what I’d do without that, it feels like my secret superpower. I’m in my mid-40s and I’ve never been more excited to get out there and do new things, keep learning and finding the next gear of productivity.

    As always, send your breakthroughs by simply replying to this email. Let me know if you’d prefer to remain anonymous.

    Until next week,

    Mark Manson

    #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
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