If you are reading this, then you are the proud owner of a human body. Congratulations! A human body is truly a sight to behold. And yet, while it is certainly one of the most resilient vehicles you can ever own, it is also a very sophisticated piece of machinery, and requires a bit of maintenance and upkeep.
- Every day, you need to monitor and pay attention to what you put into your body at meal times. This means ensuring that your body is fed the nutrients it needs to operate successfully, and keeping out excessive amounts of substances that will cause your body to deteriorate and break down prematurely. Put bad fuel in a good vehicle and you will get nowhere fast.
- On a regular basis, your body needs to be used. This means forcing your body to lift large things, move long distances, and getting your heart to pump faster than normal for a sustained period of time. This is also called “staying in shape”, and it also ensure proper function of all the
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parts of your body.
- You cannot store your body anywhere. Your body requires a controlled temperature to maintain health. In this case, you need to watch the weather reports and plan accordingly. You need to choose items of clothing to cover your body properly while taking the weather reports into account.
- Your body comes with a unique, self-charging battery system. This is great, but it does come with one caveat: you need to lie in one place for at least several hours a night. This is non-negotiable. Should you keep pushing your body past the life of the battery, your body will dangerously malfunction.
- Interaction is another key to the lifespan of your body. Your body and brain both need to interact with other bodies and brains, especially face-to-face. Keeping your body quarantined from other bodies is also dangerous for the longevity of your body.
- Not only will your body take in fuel, but it will produce waste. This, also, is non-negotiable. As a result, you need access to a place where you can dispose of this waste in a sanitary fashion. Over time, this waste can become toxic if not removed from the body, so you want to do this several times a day, minimum.
- Because your body is so sophisticated, it has limits to its resilience. Your body either needs to be protected from sudden blows and shocks, or they need to be avoided altogether.
- Even if you follow all of these rules, your body will, from time to time, contract viruses that will hamper its functionality for a period of time. At times, you will need to call an expert repairman to look at your body, diagnose the problem, and provide effective treatment. This, too, is non-negotiable and will happen to everybody.
That’s a lot to remember, isn’t it?
Until you sit and write it all out, you don’t quite “get” how much upkeep and maintenance is required of your body. And this is all just to stay alive!
So, even if you have millions of dollars, or you never work a day in your life, or you live with your parents who take care of everything for you, or you live a completely safe and sheltered life – you still have to remember all of that information I just listed.
See, life at its very basic level, is work. Hard work.
We’ve reached a point in our society where we glamorize the rich to the point of complete unreality. We view being rich as the ultimate goal: making enough money that you don’t have to worry about anything.
I saw a quote the other day, and I feel bad for not being able to attribute it to anybody, but it goes something like this: “The only problems that money can solve are money problems.”
You can make $1 a year or $1 million a year – you still have to pay attention to all that upkeep and maintenance your body requires of you.
And more often than not, making that money requires a sacrifice of some kind: of time with your family, of time playing video games, or your privacy.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and there’s no such thing as a life free from work or sacrifice.
Why am I telling you this?
Because the level of happiness in your life is directly related to your attitude towards work and effort.
I don’t necessarily mean your attitude towards your job, although that is important, too.
I mean the recognition and understanding that, if you want nice things in this world, you have to work for them. And that concept, in and of itself, is okay.
We don’t live in a perfect world. There is no realistic goal of not having a care or worry in the world. Because even if you have all the money in the world, and even if you never get married or raise a family, you will still have to be concerned about your health.
This isn’t me trying to bring you down. This is me giving you a slap upside the head.
It’s okay that life is work. Every time you work for something, there’s a reward, even if you don’t see it yet:
- You deal with some discomfort while you take care of your body = you have a long and healthy life, feeling and looking better than you ever have before.
- You sacrifice some “good” and fun things = you ensure financial security for you and your family.
- You spend time getting to know someone and put their needs ahead of your own = you have a healthy, long-lasting and fulfilling relationship that lasts a lifetime.
- You give up your partying ways for your kids = you get a wonderful home life filled with loving, well-adjusted children.
- You sacrifice a few hours of your free time a week = you build a sustainable, successful business that gets you out of your dead-end job.
And so on.
If you want any of the sweet benefits of life, you’ll have to give something up. If you want to be happy, you have to let go of some things.
And if you want to be “healthy, wealthy, and wise”, you’re going to have to work for it.
Make peace with that. Tell yourself that it’s okay – because it is. And once you recognize it as being okay, and welcome that work as something you are doing to ensure happiness down the road, the happier you’ll be right now in the moment.
The key to happiness, for me, is peace with the hard work of life. As you’ve seen, hard work is non-negotiable. If all you want to do is exist, you still have to work for it.
Life is work. Deal with and move on.