Why you need to stop doing what makes you happy

Alex Mathers


Just do what makes you happy.

If everyone followed this advice, we’d all be continually happy, all the time.

But are we?

The reason many of us are not is that we make the honest mistake of thinking that ‘happiness’ is a ‘thing.’

I struggled recently in a group meeting because I wanted to do well and be happy to be there and come across cool and awesome. But I didn’t. I felt uncomfortable and anxious. And this made me feel bad.

The conditions that my happiness depended on (me looking cool) were not quite right.

What I forgot at the time was that this isn’t about being happy. Our egos want us to be happy and look good, but our egos don’t know best.

We think we can experience happiness for long stretches of time, as long as the circumstances are right. As long as the porridge isn’t too cold and not too hot.

But happiness is not a thing. It is an illusion. It is not real.

Humans have been kidding each other since the dawn of time into believing that happiness is real.

I miss the time I spent living in the Algarve; It was a happy time for me.