Be perfect and amazing and finish your 10 km jog before breakfast each morning while kissing your perfect partner and your kids, who never cry and whine, goodbye. Then hop on your helicopter to your amazing rewarding job, where you spend your days doing extraordinarily meaningful work that’s likely to save the melting icebergs one day.
But when you stop and wonder about all this conventional life advice—all the positive psychology and happy self-help stuff we hear all the time—are actually reminds on what's missing in your life.
It lasers in on your inadequacies, disappointments and failures. Ironically, fixating on the positive - what's better, what's superior, only reminds us that we are not enough, that we are lacking and what we should have been, but failed to be.
You stand in front of the mirror and repeat affirmations saying that you’re beautiful because you feel as though you’re not beautiful already. You follow relationship advice because you feel that you’re unlovable already. After all, happy people don't feel the need to stand in front of a mirror and rehearse happy affirmations. Either you are happy or you are not. And if you’re dreaming of something all the time, then you’re emphasizing the same unconscious limiting beliefs: that you are not that.
The world is continuously telling you that the path to a better life is to have more, more, and more—buy more, own more, make more, have more sex, be more. You are constantly barraged with messages to care about everything.
The problem is that giving too many fucks is bad for your mental health and your self-esteem. It causes you to become overly attached to the shallow, superficial and the phony, to dedicate your life to pursue the illusion of happiness and satisfaction.
What the self-help gurus neglect to tell you is the key to a good life is to have better control over your thoughts. That's it! Eureka! You have the ability to decide what you think. And since the outcome of your life depends on your thoughts, I think this is the most important thing you need to learn in life. Ralph Waldo Emerson, put it most simply,
You become what you think all day long.
But we must remember that action follows thoughts. That means that you can't change some aspects of your life without changing your thoughts.