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Life: The Guide You Should Have Been Given - On Happiness

Humans are the most intelligent, most active, most influential, and some of the longest lived creatures we've discovered so far.

Despite this, human life is short.

80-150 years is not a long time to live.

For a human with only 80-150 years, the greatest possible outcome at the end is joy; true happiness.

So what makes you happy?

Happiness is the total of how much you want something (desire), multiplied by how satisfied you are once you have it (satisfaction).

Put another way, happiness equals satisfaction divided by desires.

If happiness equals total satisfaction divided by total desires, then the goal has to be - to be more satisfied or to desire less.

Some humans spend their lives working hard to desire less.

While noble, desiring less seems contrary to our very nature.

The natural state of any living organism encourages it to change, adapt, respond, and improve throughout time.

Desiring less seems contrary to the very nature of nature itself.

The goal, therefore, must be greater levels of satisfaction.

At the most basic level, what brings the greatest satisfaction?

A job well done
An improved life

What you have done = what you've created/produced = productivity
Lives you have improved = significance

So, you may have noticed... Productivity and significance require you to DO.

If happiness = greater satisfaction, and satisfaction = productivity and significance, and productivity/significance = Doing, then more doing should equal more happiness.

So why not just DO more?

Because there's infinite possibility for what can be seen and done.
When dividing anything by infinity, the result equals a number so close to zero that it will always feel like zero.

"Doing More" when divided by infinite possibility, will generally end up feeling like nothing.

So "Doing more" yourself is not the answer.

Remember, you only get between 80-150 years.

But you can do more, which should result in greater happiness, so long as you remember...

Doing more is not about being the doer.

You doing more is not even about you.

What is "doing more?"

It's using the same level of your resources in order to accomplish something greater.

Archimedes said, "Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world."

Doing more is about leverage.

Because you are human, you can communicate with other humans.

Since humans are some of the most intelligent creatures we've discovered so far, your greatest leverage comes from communication with other humans.

The ordering of qualities/values:
-Time and Energy
-Knowledge (learned/experienced)

Leverage comes through other people.
Other People's Time (OPT)
Other People's Energy (OPE)
Other People's Knowledge (OPK)
Other People's Systems (OPSys)
Other People's Reputation (OPR)
Other People's Money (OPM)
Other People's Stuff (OPS)

Leverage coming through others has moved humanity forward since the beginning of humanity.

Isn't it wonderful that you doing more, and your inherent desire to do more, is about other people?

And how do you get to leverage others?

By letting them leverage you and yours.

By exchanging a leverage point of yours for a leverage point of theirs.

Money, exchanged for something else, is the most common exchange of leverage.

However, contrary to how many people live:
Money is less valuable than time
Money is less valuable than energy
Money is less valuable than knowledge
Money is less valuable than systems
Money is less valuable than reputation

The only thing less valuable than money is stuff.

Because people want and need stuff, they are willing to trade qualities more valuable than money, in exchange for money, so that they can get stuff.

Trading your money for someone else's time, energy, knowledge, systems, or reputation gives you greater leverage.

This should always be true, but it is only true if you find someone else... someone whose leverage is good for what you're trying to accomplish, who also perceives that your leverage is good for what they're trying to accomplish. (How to find that someone else is another topic for another time.)

The less stuff you need and want, the less you'll focus on acquiring money to get stuff, which will result in more of your focus placed on getting and creating happiness and true joy. (How to want and need less stuff is also a different topic for a different time.)

So, let's re-cap.

You are a human.

You are clever and strong.

But your experience is limited to 80-150 years.

In these 80-150 years, the ultimate goal of your existence is to experience joy - true happiness.

Happiness equals level of satisfaction divided by level of desires.

Lowering your level of desires is contrary to your existence, so focus on increasing satisfaction rather than decreasing desires.

Increased satisfaction comes from increased productivity and/or increased significance.

An increase in productivity or significance come through doing more.

But Doing more doesn't make you the doer.

Doing more comes through the leverage of other people, and through letting them leverage you (even if their leverage is over your money or your stuff).

One key to productivity and significance lies in discovering the greatest leverage points of others.

Another key is knowing the applications of these leverage points.

One of the best applications of leverage is in making connections between people.

How can you get someone's knowledge working with someone else's energy?
How can you get someone's time working with someone else's system?

When this is done effectively, it becomes a chain of impact, elevating individual societies, and humanity as a whole.

Future topics:

- How to find that "someone else" who is good for what you're trying to accomplish. Spending your leverage points on a time or energy waster is a poor application of leverage.

- How to want and need less stuff

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