BE HAPPY, STUPID

 

Copyright October 2018 Scott Talbot Evans, All Rights Reserved

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Thank God, my father and mother, Liesl Gaesser, Stacy & Leah, Shannon Gates Evans, Kerin Gould, Jennifer Rusin White, Lorenzo DiSalvo, Ed Roselene, Donald Stafford, Nicki J. Markus, Jay Anderson, Nikhil Singh Rathau, MirceaC, Nikita, Jenn(Ljhfike), Frankie Stein, Stuart Aken, John Ciarmello, Emma(Howls Moving Library), Orlando Buenos Diaz,  Edie & Larry, Rebecca Thorne, Gerald Lebowitz, Jojo Hughes(Babydolls and Razorblades)


DISCLAIMER

I’m not a doctor, lawyer, therapist, pet groomer, or financial advisor, and nothing in this book is professional advice. Bla bla bla. Don’t you hate disclaimers?

I’m not an expert at anything, don’t have any special training or spiritual enlightenment.

So basically this book is complete garbage. Perhaps that’s going a bit too far. It contains wisdom as I see it.

It’s good advice, in my opinion, in the sense that you should do everything I say, but not in the sense that is legally binding or where you can sue me, if you walk off a cliff.

WARNING: DO NOT WALK OFF A CLIFF

MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH

Actually, don’t do everything I say. That would be crazy. Think for yourself. Not because I told you to, but because you thought of it yourself.

If you have any medical, psychological, or legal issues, seek help from a licensed professional with good references, and get multiple opinions.

 

DISCLAIMER, Part 2: The Sequel

This book doesn’t say anything new.

Okay, now you can throw it out.

No wait.

It doesn’t say anything new, because there is nothing new. Universal truths exist throughout time and place. Yes there are other books that say the same thing, but that’s a good thing. That’s evidence those things are probably true.  The truth repeats. The truth resonates.

In a world of arguments, the points we agree upon are the true parts.

 

 

The purpose of this book

To help people by sharing techniques that work for me.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1: Start With Nothing

Chapter 2: There Are A Lot Of Reasons To Be Happy

Chapter 3: Everything Is Okay

Chapter 4: The Fine Art of Doing Nothing

Chapter 5: The Switch In Back Of Your Head

Chapter 6: How To Think

Chapter 7: How to Not Think

Chapter 8: You Have Nothing To Worry About

Chapter 9: Making Decisions

Chapter 10: The Power of Prioritization

Chapter 11: Stop Being A Dick

Chapter 12: Dealing With Jerks  

Chapter 13: Motivation Tricks

Chapter 14: The Magic Wands

Chapter 15: Don’t Take Two Aspirin, And Don’t Call Me In The Morning

Chapter 16: How To Tell If You’re Crazy

Chapter 17: The Joy Of Sorting

Chapter 18: Lessons I Learned From Writing

 


Chapter 1: Start With Nothing

 

Before the Big Bang there was nothing.  That’s how miracles work: You start with nothing, and get something.

Before we can build our happy house, we need a piece of land to build on.  Let’s set that ground.

You started with nothing. You came into this world broke, and that’s how you’re gonna leave. They make you empty your pockets.

You didn’t ask to be born.  You didn’t work to get here. You didn’t pay anything to get in.

The fact that we are here is a gift. A miracle. It didn’t have to happen, but it did.  We’re here!

Everything you get is a bonus.

If there’s anything you don’t like, ask for your money back.

 

So what makes you happy?

Alcohol makes me happy.

No it doesn’t.

But if I drink it, it’s inside me.

Nice try, but no.

But I feel good when I drink.

If you love drinking, go ahead, drink your brains out. I hope you have fun.

My experience of drinking is that the fun only lasts a short time, and is followed by a longer period of feeling worn out. I’m left a little poorer, and  with nothing to show but a lonely empty bottle.

I’ve come to conclusion that it’s usually not worth it.

But what about the great memories?  Of putting a lampshade over your head. Of falling and smashing your face. Of losing your keys. Of getting into a fight over nothing.

Or perhaps you have the lack of memories.

Alcohol might be bad, but candy bars make me happy for sure.

Sorry but candy bars don’t work either. You might feel good for a minute. You might get a surge of energy, but after you feel like crap. You might not notice, but hours later, your body is fatigued.  You might not notice the long term effects, weight gain, sickness, diabetes.   

Oh, and by the way, it didn’t make you happy. If anything it made you feel worse.  I feel guilty after eating sugar, because I know it’s poison. It’s not not even food. It’s a drug. And the feeling of remorse is not worth it.

It’s called inner peace, because

it comes from within.

Happiness happens inside your brain.

Nothing outside of yourself can MAKE you happy

A red Corvette? A mansion by the sea?

Those would be good starts.

Those things would be fun for a while, but the thrill would wear off.

After 10 or 20 years.

And you would come back to reality.  You would still be the same person, with the same issues, and the same relationships. The same mind.

Yeah those things are nice. But do you need them to be happy? If you didn’t have them, would it be possible for you to be happy?

Of course.

So then you don’t NEED them to be happy.   

So what do you really need? What can’t you live without?

I can’t live without my record collection.

If you lost your record collection, you’d still be okay. You might scream and cry for a while, but eventually you’d survive somehow. You might start building a new collection. It would be hard at first, but you would see that who you are wasn’t your collection after all.  Your love and memory of the music are still there. You’re habit of acquiring new stuff is still there. The loss was just an excuse to go out and buy more stuff.  You might come to see it as a good thing. You got a whole new better collection out of it.

The thing you thought was so important, wasn’t important at all.

 

But what about important things?

Like the latest pair of shoes?

We tell ourselves we need a, b, and c, and then we will be happy.  If I get a good job, then I’ll be happy. If I find the right mate, then I’ll be happy.

To the extent that it is a fun game to play it is okay.

But to the extent that it makes you miserable, it is not okay.

Do you need a job?

Nope.

Wait, you need a job.

You might think losing your job is the end of the world, but it isn’t.

You’d find another one.

But even if you didn’t, you’d be okay.

But I wouldn’t have money. I’d lose my house.

Yeah, that would suck. But you’d still be okay.

You call being homeless okay?

First of all, you’re not homeless.  If you did lose your house, chance are you would still be able to afford to rent.  You’d get used to it, and after a while could be quite happy renting. You might even prefer it.

But let’s take it up to crazy and say you were homeless. You’d still be okay.

You could build a tent. You could fix it up. After a while, it would be just like home.

  You want to crank it up a notch? Okay. How about eating and breathing. You NEED to do both.

You don’t need to breath. You don’t need to eat.

But you would die?

You don’t need to live.

Yes you do! What are you crazy?

Don’t get me wrong. I like eating and breathing.  I don’t recommend giving them up. But if you were ever in a situation where you couldn’t do those things, you would still turn out okay.

But you would be dead.

That’s right. You’d be at total peace.

You’d be okay.

Whatever happens, we’ll deal with it.

Now stop whining.

 

YOU DON’T EVEN NEED TO BE HAPPY

What?

This book is about how to be happy.  And that’s fine. But you can’t be happy all the time. You wouldn’t want to be. And you can’t, it’s impossible.

You have to be unhappy sometimes. Emotions are like the tides. They have highs and lows. If you didn’t have mood swings, you’d be a zombie. You can’t feel good, unless you know how bad feels.  

Learning to tolerate and deal with bad feelings is an important skill.

If you try to be happy all the time, it leads to serious problems. You end up chasing a dragon you can never catch.

Sometimes your just not happy, screw it. BE UNHAPPY.

It’s okay. It may not taste that great, but it’s good for you, like oatmeal.   

 

Okay, let’s say you’re one of those stubborn people who wants to live, and wants to be happy.

Okay fine. Let’s do that.

One thing that makes being happy so easy, is that you don’t need anything to be happy. You don’t need a reason. You don’t need to explain yourself. You don’t need to convince others.

 

You Don’t Need Anything To Be Happy

This book can’t make you happy.

I told you!

Hopefully it will help, but you have to do the work yourself.

So if nothing can make you happy, how does one achieve happiness?

That’s the good news. You don’t need anything.  

Just be happy.

 

The Idiot In The Dungeon

A long time ago, in a strange land, there lived a brutal king. One day his carriage passed through a crowd of peasants.

Among the farmers stood a man known as the village idiot, because back in those days, they didn’t know about political correctness or psychiatry.   

This man had a severe mental illness. He was unable to communicate, didn’t work in the fields, or do anything useful.

The only thing he did was laugh. For no apparent reason. All day long. Sometimes only a small titter, at others an uncontrollable guffaw. When he wasn’t laughing, he usually had a big grin on his face.

People tried to communicate with him, but he was completely out of touch with reality. He was basically harmless, and the villagers accepted him, and would give him scraps of food, like a wild animal.

No one had any idea what in the world he thought was so darn funny.

   When the king’s carriage passed through, some stood at attention, and others bowed. The only sound was the clopping of the hooves through the mud, and the idiot laughing his head off hysterically.

The king took great insult at this outrageous display of disrespect, and had his guards arrest the laughing man immediately.

The king’s counsel was wise and said, “Oh great master, show your mercy on this poor devil. He is but a simpleton, and knows not where he is or what he does.”

The monarch bellowed, “Then being in the dungeon will make little difference. Throw him in, right now!”

Which they did. And the laughing man chuckled the whole way.

They chained him to the wall, among many other prisoners, who had also offended the king in one way or another.

This dungeon was terrible, and everyone there was extremely miserable.

Except for the idiot, who, to the annoyance of the others, laughed day and night, and seemed to be having a grand old time.

Be that idiot.

 

Did your car break down, and you had to walk two miles to the gas station, and you’re wondering how much the repair is going to cost, and life sucks?  

It starts to rain. Now you’re slogging through mud. You feel cursed. You wish it was all just a nightmare, but you can’t wake up. You have to keep walking.  After a while, you can’t get any more wet, so you just accept it, and keep walking.

Just when you think things can’t get worse, the sole on your shoe breaks, and now you’re flapping as you walk.  

And then something happens. The absurdity of the situation hits you, and you break out laughing.  For a brief moment you just don’t care anymore, and you feel good.

What happened? The situation didn’t change.

Your mind changed.  

It is possible

to be happy

when the world is crashing down around you.

 

Happiness is a feeling, not a thought

Because happiness does not dwell in the land of ideas, it cannot be explained rationally. It is not bound by the rules of logic or the laws of physics.  You don’t have to prove anything to anyone.  You don’t need evidence or supporting arguments.

Happiness is like poetry, it doesn’t have to make sense.

It does not require intelligence. A baby can be happy. A dog can be happy.

You just have to feel it.  

 

All you need to be happy right now,

is to be happy right now.

 


Chapter 2: There are a lot of reasons to be happy

You don’t need a reason to be happy, but having them helps get in the mood.  We are logical beings, or at least we like to think we are.  

And fortunately we have an overwhelming abundance of compelling reasons to choose from.

Were you just diagnosed with terminal cancer?

No?

Then be happy stupid.

Right now, is a rabid dog chewing on your leg?

No?

Then be happy stupid.

Did you ever walk into a room, and feel a little nervous about being around new people? When you were looking around at the strange faces, reading their nonverbal cues, and maneurisms, was anyone punching you in the face?

No?

Then be happy, stupid.

Do you live in a country where there isn’t enough to eat?  Do you go to bed hungry every night.? Are there no stores, and you have to scavenge the barren wilderness for food?  Do you have to rummage through junk yards of rotting garbage to find something to eat?  Is the only available water dirty sewage that causes terrible diseases? Are you slowly wasting from malnutrition.?

No?

Ramen noodles don’t seem so bad anymore, do they?

 

What about going to the dentist? Do you hate it?

I use to despise it, until l realized some countries they don’t. They wait months just to see a folk healer, who gives them a cup of herbal tea for an abscessed tooth. They die from an infection, because they don’t have penicillin.

Maybe your just a little bit grateful for novocaine and drills.

 

What about your job? Is it crushing your soul?

Perhaps you would prefer being unemployed?  You think work is boring? Try not working, then you’ll know what real boredom is.  

Doing nothing all day sounds pretty good.

Actually it sucks even worse than working.

 

All my problems would be solved, if I was just rich and famous.

Well then I hope you like all the time having strangers bother you, ask for money, and target you for scams. I hope you like headaches over taxes and investments, and a house so big, you never see another soul.

Maybe three cars will make you happier than one. But you can only drive one at a time.

Always be grateful

that things aren’t a million times worse.

Here’s a little exercise you can do, for people who like structure:

List 10 things.

“I am grateful for  ______.”

 

If you can’t think of anything, you can have these for free:

I am grateful to be alive.

I am grateful I’m not sick.

I am grateful to be free.

I am grateful I am not in jail.

 

Do you think you’re fat?

Stand next to someone who weighs 800 pounds. You’ll suddenly feel like a supermodel.

 

List all the terrible things haven’t happened

It needs to be a song.

Raindrops on picnics,

And whiskers on babies,

Hole ridden kettles, and puppies with rabies,

Classic brown guitars with all broken strings,

These are a few of my least favorite things.

When the mosquito bites,

When the wasp stings,

When I’m feeling sad,

I simply remember the terrible things that haven’t happened, and then I don’t feel so bad.

 

I understand you have a lot of very good reasons why you’re miserable.

Do your joints hurt? Do you feel old and pathetic? You are pathetic. Stop whining. There are people with muscular dystrophy. There are people with arms and legs missing.

I may walk like Fred Sanford, but at least I am grateful to be able to walk.

 

What about people who can’t walk?

Do you have the use of your arms?

Then be grateful for that.  There are so many things you can still do. You can scratch your nose. You can operate a wheelchair.

These electric wheelchairs are faster than walking.

 

What if you can’t move your arms either?

Be thankful you are alive.

Be thankful, you are not in pain.

In the wild, an injured animal lies on the ground and slowly starves to death.

Be thankful for all the assistance you receive, and the people who help you.

Be thankful for the many things you are still able to enjoy.

The universe is infinite. This means that a person who has options cut off from them, still has an infinite number of other options still available.

A quadriplegic can be as happy as anyone else, and there are many who are.

 

There is always something to be grateful for.  If you’re not immediately aware of it, then look for until you find it. Don’t worry. It’s there.

It’s always there.

Whatever it is you think you wish you had, it’s just a fantasy. It’s not an accurate picture of reality.

Wanting something you don’t have is the definition of suffering.

 

Are there fire ants crawling all over your body right now?

Then shut up, and be happy, stupid.

 


Chapter 3: Everything is okay

 

Everything is always okay. The universe is perfect. It can never not be okay.  It always was perfect, and always will be perfect.

You don’t need to do anything to make it perfect. No exertion or energy. It’s not work. No lifting required.

So of course, the first thing some people will do argue strongly. Everything is NOT perfect. They will list all the imperfect things to prove me and the universe, wrong.

Okay, maybe there is one thing in the universe that is wrong, YOUR SHITTY ATTITUDE, the belief that the universe is not perfect.

 Yes, sometimes bad things happens. But we deal with it.  Everything works out one way or another. Life goes on. Even when bad things happen, everything eventually turns out for the best.

Everything is okay.

For those who believe in God, it can be proven. God always knows what’s best. God’s will is always done, therefore, logically, what is best is what is always done.

If you don’t believe in God then you’re going to hell anyway, so don’t worry about it.

Just kidding.

If you don’t believe in God, maybe you believe in karma.  

What goes around comes around.

Do good, and good will come back to you.

Do bad, and you’ll get what’s coming to you eventually.

Most people believe that.  

 

It kind of an immutable law of nature.

The First Law of The Universe:

EVERYTHING IS OKAY

Everything is okay, and can never be not okay.

The only mistake you can make, is thinking that everything is not okay.

If you try to fix something that isn’t broken, you’re only going to screw it up.

But you can’t screw it up, because everything is always okay.

 

You don’t have to do anything to be okay, because everything is already okay.

 

At this point, the negative mind will break in screaming, “Yeah, but when a rabid raccoon is attacking you, everything is not okay. You’re not going to sit there, while he’s gnawing on your leg, and say, “The universe is perfect just the way it is.”

That’s fine. Go ahead, pull the raccoon off your leg. Kick it. Strangle it. Do what you have to do to get that crazy rodent to stop biting you. If I was there, I’d help. Two against one makes it easier.

But everything is still okay.  We got it off. Your leg is a little scratched, but okay. You’ll be fine. It gives you something to tell the grandkids.

I’m not saying don’t act. Action is a wonderful thing. You can do so much by taking action. The raccoon is an example of a problem that lends itself to action.

But inaction is awesome too.

You have two tools in your tool belt, action, and inaction.  They each have their uses. Sometimes the best thing is to act, and sometimes it is to do in nothing at all. Mastery is knowing when to use which.

You can win by acting. You can win by not action. You’re covered either way. It’s a win-win!

The universe was here long before us, and will be here long after we’re gone.  The universe is a lot older and wiser than we are. It knows what it’s doing. Things have a way of working out.

As Jeff Goldblum says, “Life finds a way.”

The ultimate truth is that everything is okay.

The beauty of this principle is that it takes ALL the pressure off you.

You don’t have to do a thing.

That’s not to say YOU CAN’T do stuff. Go ahead, do stuff. Can I watch? You’re free to do whatever you want. The point is, you don’t HAVE TO.  

There’s no pressure.

Just let go, and let life happen.

As religious people say, “Let go, Let God.”

Trust nature. Just lie there and let stuff happen to you.  

Everything is the way it is for a good reason.

The universe has had a lot of practice doing its thing. Billions upon billions of years. Respect your elders. It knows what it’s doing.  If something happens, it’s for a good reason.

 

If you’re in a difficult situation, ask this QUESTION:

What is the good reason this is this way?

When you ask, you immediately see the answer.  There is a good reason.

Once you see the reason, you feel good.

Life Is Fair

 

An object thrown up in the air, will come down, because gravity pulls it down. It will accelerate until the ground stops it.  The force of the ground holding it up is greater than the force of gravity pulling it down.

The world is full of these forces.  Water runs downhill.

A prout pops out of the ground, and over time, grows taller. It reaches its full height and maturity, and blossoms into a flower. The flower has its time in the sun, and then the plant starts to wither. Eventually it dies and falls to the ground.  Eventually the empty husk dries up and blows away.

It came from the ground, rose, then returned to the ground.

So it is for people. So it is for buildings. So it is for institutions and nations.  Everything has a period to live and be strong, and a period to die and disappear.

Everything in nature must follow this law. Even planets and suns only exist for a finite period of time.  It may seem like forever, billions of years, but once it’s over, it’s over. I don’t care who you are.

When they put you in the ground, you’re noboby.

Everything in nature follows certain laws.  And justice, being part of the universe, also must follows laws.

Justice always evens out.

 

 

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