Two Paths: Which One Leads to Happiness?

Two Paths: One Leads to Happiness.

Pizza or kale salad? Hmmm. Choices, always choices. From the moment we get up in the morning to the moment we decide whether to “hit the sack”, or not. It’s endless. But the answers to each decision determines our future happiness. How do we make the right ones?

There is endless advice out there on everything you could want (or not want) advice on. Some good. Some, not so much. Some from people qualified to give it. Some, not so much. Where I fall on that spectrum is hard to say, but here is one of my suggestions for how to make a wise choice. Choose to take it or leave it of course.

I view the process of living as being made up of a series of choices; as the arrival at the proverbial fork in the road. And there is good news and there is bad news.

The Buddhists have it right when they say as part of the Four Noble Truths, that life involves suffering. The bad news is that whichever of the two paths you take when you reach the fork in the road, they will both bring some suffering. The good news is that one path brings with it a reward. The second path brings just more suffering.[Tweet “Two Paths: How to Choose the One That Leads to Happiness.”]

More good news.

Have you ever had someone hold out their closed fists to you and say pick a hand. One hand is empty but the other has something good in it. You have a 50/50 chance of getting the prize. In life, more often than not, you have a better than 50/50 chance. Much better. Most often we know which hand holds the prize.

Let’s take exercise as an example. You’re sitting in your nice warm, comfy chair. You haven’t been very active today and you know you should probably get up and go out for a walk. Choices.

Choices “A” is to go for the walk. If you take this choice you have to leave your warm, comfy chair and force those muscles to work. Suffering. But if you do it, you will burn calories, and be able to enjoy a little more cake! You will be stronger and able to do the things you need to do without the suffering. You will be healthier and your life will be better in every possible aspect, on every possible level.

Choice “B” is to stay in the warm, comfy chair. This gives you short term gratification, but in the long term bad things will happen. You will get fatter, and worst of all, your muscles will experience atrophy. You will get weak and unable to do much. You will likely die sooner, and you will live an unpleasant, unhealthy life.

We know which choice is the right one. But why don’t we always make it? We are ruled by two parts of our mind. The emotional and the intellectual. Each serves it’s purpose, but when one dominates at the wrong time, it leads to problems.

The emotional versus the intellectual mind is the subject for a post for another day, but right now I have a choice to make. Keep writing, or go for a walk with the wife and dog?

Talk to you later! And, don’t forget to have some fun today!

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