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Mar 02

Do What You Want To

I didn’t feel like writing or editing anything fancy this week, but I wanted to give you something to consume heading into the weekend. This is one of my favorite videos that changed the way I think about career, happiness and general life philosophy.

 

When we boil down life to the basics, it is really quite simple. Do things that are fun. Avoid things that suck. Don’t hurt other people. Do what you want to.

 

Our brains are really good at taking complexity and oversimplifying. The same brain is also great at taking very simple things and making them overly complex. Sometimes it is best just to see the world as it is.

 

This guy has things figured out. He found the simplicity of happiness. He took the complex and made it simple.

 

There is so much awesomeness in these 16 minutes. Find a nice quiet place and watch. I dare you not to become happier after viewing this video.

 

If you still want something to read, check out this post of mine from the archives. Whatever you do stay away from news. Looking through my Twitter and Facebook feeds more people need to unplug. Enjoy the weekend philosophers πŸ™‚

 

15 comments

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  1. steve

    Beautiful inspiration! Thanks for the video!

  2. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life

    Thanks for leaving us with this video if you must ditch us πŸ˜‰

    Enjoy your weekend.

  3. Leslie

    This is beautiful! I intend to marinate in Slomo all weekend! Thank you HP.

    1. TheHappyPhilosopher

      I love how you phrased that. I’ve watched this video so many times over the years I do feel like I have marinated in the spirit of it πŸ™‚

  4. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. It’s so hard because a well-paying 9-to-5 is the OPPOSITE of what I actually want to do. But it’s the key to unlock a secure financial future of FIRE. Do I choose to do something I hate in exchange for later rewards, or reap happiness now? Hmmm.

  5. WealthyDoc

    Pretty interesting. Thanks for posting it.
    I think I would express my freedom in a completely different way but it is great to step back and think about how much power we really have over what we do. We truly can “do what you want.”

  6. Christy Bayes

    Love the video! The hard part is breaking free from the golden handcuffs to do what we truly want to do.

  7. Curt Morrison, MD, FACC, CFA

    I’m in favor of quitting a job that makes you miserable in order to live a frugal life while pursuing happiness (been there, done that), but this video didn’t inspire me.

    Perhaps this is just an incomplete snapshot of the man and doesn’t do justice to the richness of his life, but it gives the impression of an elderly man living out his days alone in a studio apartment. He skates, which is his passion, but apparently he does this morning, noon, and night to the exclusion of just about everything else. It makes me sad.

    I’d like to see the sequel which shows a close relationship with his son, and a loving significant other, and perhaps his escapades with buddies in a local skating club who retire to the local pub after a day of skating.

    1. TheHappyPhilosopher

      Some people did feel this way (if you read the comments after the video) after watching, but I felt like it was just about pure freedom and happiness. I’m curious though, why did seeing someone so happy made you sad? By all accounts it is harder to imagine a more happy person? If doing those things you mentioned made him less happy should he peruse them for the sake of living a life society thinks he should?

  8. Christy Bayes

    I also think the terminology he used to describe his prior working life is so interesting. He says he was institutionalized in his prior life. That resonated with me. It’s all about balance. Work is necessary but shouldn’t consume one’s life completely to the exclusion of everything else. He also says he felt like he was back on the farm shoveling piles of manure; which is a repetitive and thankless task. Perhaps if his job had not been so all consuming he would have had more relationships built with others by the end of his life. I get the message; do what you
    love and don’t worry about what others think. There are always going to be naysayers. Ignore the naysayers. Our decisions always have consequences and life is about making the decisions we think we can live with. I am in the process of cutting back at work. This means I will have more time to do what I love but will affect me financially. But to me it’s worth it.

  9. Christy Bayes

    One more thought; the poem that has haunted me for years and describes how I feel about full time work is called pursuit by Stephen Dobyns. Here are a few lines:
    Each thing I do I rush through so I can do

    something else. In such a way do the days pass–

    a blend of stock cars racing and the never

    ending building of a gothic cathedral.

    Through the windows of my speeding car, I see

    all that I love falling away: books unread,

    jokes untold, landscapes unvisited. And why?

    What treasure do I expect in my future?

    Rather it is the confusion of childhood

    loping behind me, the chaos in the mind

    That’s how I feel my days go; each thing I do I rush through and the things I love are passing me by.

    1. TheHappyPhilosopher

      I love this! Thank you.

    2. altadoc

      Beautiful and quite poignant. Thank you for sharing

  10. RTD, CFP

    “I just want to get to the end of my life, without becoming an asshole again.”

    Man, if only we can all find a way to achieve what he has, and then live out that idea.

  11. Tonya@Budget and the Beach

    This was so good! I needed this today!

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