Would You Rather Be Right or Happy?

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

    Two things for you to think about

    Toxic people get all the attention. Healthy people get all the happiness.

    Pessimists get to sound smart. Optimists get to actually change and grow.

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    Two things for you to ask yourself

    Would you rather have attention than happiness? Does this explain any of the recurring problems within your life?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    Give up the desire to be right, to be heard, to be appreciated. See what happens. You might be surprised.

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

    New This Week

    The Secret to Success Is… Giving Up? – In this podcast episode, we discuss how to know when to give up on your goals, and why doing so can actually often be good for you.

    Drew and I also discuss what we learned from the goals survey we did for podcast viewers and listeners. How many stuck with their goals and how many have moved on? What are the most effective tactics people used to stick to their goals? What are the most important lessons they learned about their goals and themselves? Check it out.

    Last week’s breakthroughs

    In last week’s newsletter, I asked you to take responsibility for a problem in your life that you’ve been avoiding.

    Bea found power in taking responsibility for her health:

    I was a sporty person until I got pregnant. I’ve since stopped moving and working out properly, but I was still eating as I fancied. A couple of years ago, I started to do karate three times a week… and gained weight. Then I trained for a triathlon 3-5 times a week… and gained weight. It was pretty disappointing to do that much work and still get bigger.

    But a month ago, I was reading your book and newsletter and watched your YouTube video about radical responsibility. And I decided to change the way I eat. I went all in for intermittent fasting and started tracking my meals.

    I was reluctant to do it earlier because I wanted to have freedom of choice and not limit myself. In hindsight, I was just hiding and closing my eyes. Defining and sticking to my eating window means that I took total responsibility over what and when I eat.

    Surprisingly I’ve shed five kilos already! I am looking better and feeling super capable of doing other things.

    One reader decided to take responsibility even in the face of chronic illness:

    This is a big one for me. I’ve been dealing with cancer for a few years and recently discovered it returned with a vengeance. All my plans for the future are thrown. And yet, they aren’t dead.

    I have had to assess what I can do, what I can’t, when I can do it, and scale based on different timelines with different health outcomes. If I only have five years, where do I devote myself?

    Some friends are no longer in my life. Activities like TV shows and movies aren’t important anymore. I’m more considerate of the foods I eat because I want to fully enjoy it, not simply shove something in me. It’s a whole pruning process of saying to myself, ‘What’s important? Cut the rest out.’

    And finally, Claudia made a good point about taking responsibility for others:

    I agree that taking responsibility is very important. But what about the hazard of taking responsibility for other people’s lives? To take responsibility for one’s own life is life-changing, whereas taking responsibility for another (adult’s) life could just be a distraction that we use to avoid the harder things in our own lives.

    Not only is it a distraction, but it can be damaging to that person. In fact, this is where “enabling” comes on—when you take responsibility for someone else’s problem to such an extent that you make it easier for them to keep committing the same mistakes.

    Allowing someone we care about to take responsibility for their own issues and mistakes can be incredibly difficult because it requires us to watch that person we love suffer. But by protecting that person from the suffering inherent in owning their mistakes, you rob them of the ability to learn, grow, and find meaning in them.

    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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