“This is an emergency. Drive to the end of the street now.”
When I got my wife’s phone call, I expected it to be the call we’d all been waiting for. The one where she says “my contractions have started.” The emergency call had nothing to do with the birth of my kid.
I drove as fast as I could to the end of the street.
30 seconds later I arrive on the scene. I jump out of the car like a gun-slinging cowboy.
“Licenses please …. right now please sir or this is going to quickly go from the scene of a car accident to a hit and run.”
“Me … no … english,” he says.
“Hand over your license. Last warning.”
30 seconds later the man gives me his license. I take a photo of it and hand it back. Then I give him my mother-in-law’s license.
For the life of me I can’t work out how his car ended up on the wrong side of the road.
And how his back bumper manages to hit the front of my mother-in-law’s SUV. As much as I love my mother-in-law, she can’t speak english. She tries to tell me via her Google Translator app what has occurred.
I can’t understand.
I asked the man what had happened. Suddenly his english problem is gone and he speaks perfectly.
“It was an act of god.”
There’s no smell of alcohol but he does look out of it. That subtly should have stopped me from letting him go. It didn’t.
I clean up the debris on the road and attempt to move my in-law’s car. The steering wheel is jammed. The damage is bad.
Thankfully the car is in a straight line so I’m able to park it outside our house a few feet away without too much problem. Back at home my wife returns early from work.
She asks her mother what happened.
Turns out the guy reversed his car down the wrong side of the road at 50 mph. No one knows why he did it. It becomes clear he was on illegal drugs.
The harsh reality is, while he hit our car, there were pedestrians all around the accident scene. It’s lucky a car got hit & not a human walking their dog.
I ask my wife to go straight to the police station to let the cops know. The last thing we want is this man doing something else dumb with his car.
“Sorry mam, we can only investigate if someone dies. No one was harmed.”
Now my in-laws are stuck with no car to drive while we’re days away from having a baby. The whole point of them coming to Australia was to drive around to run errands for us and ease the load.
Situations like this can destroy your happiness. It can make it seem like we live in a crazy messed up work.
Our car got destroyed … but our soon-to-arrive daughter is safe and sound. She’s what makes us truly happy. The damage to property is silly in comparison.
Happiness is all a matter of perspective.
Here are 8 rules of happiness to keep in mind and stay confident.
1. The #1 rule of happiness
Lower your expectations.
Otherwise you’ll end up having lots of rules about how other people should act. Guess what will happen? Those bastards will break your rules. So your expectations will be shattered and you’ll live in perpetual unhappiness.
You do not find a happy life. You make it — Professor Feynman
2. “The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.”
Most people live their lives in fragile shells of ignorance.
They’re just dying to break the mold and finally be themselves. But they can’t. Work has got them by the curly ones. Their boss scares them from speaking the truth. Cancel culture has made them afraid to share thoughts on LinkedIn.
So they hide. They don’t risk exposure to the harsh elements.
They don’t want to be cut open or to experience loss. And they don’t dare be vulnerable to speak their mind and risk being the person they dreamed of becoming their entire life.
Not being yourself guarantees unhappiness.
3. Beliefs must match what you do
Travel writer Freya Stark reminded me happiness can’t exist if what you believe in doesn’t align with your daily actions. Happiness is connected to what you do, not say.
So keep your word and do as you say.
4. The truest picture of what happiness feels like
Happiness is a state where nothing is missing. Desire is a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want — Naval Ravikant
I spent most of my life being unhappy.
Life always felt like something was missing. I had huge desires and unconsciously decided *not* to be happy or content until I got them. But the goalposts kept changing. So I kept crying over minor fusses.
Happiness is where you have enough. Nothing more, nothing less.
You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy — Jane Marczewski
5. The source of endless happiness that secretly makes you smile
There’s a reason we all secretly have a fetish for productivity and self-improvement. It leads to progress.
We crave progress. How do we get it? By overcoming struggle.
No struggle = no progress = no happiness
6. Money DOES buy happiness
It’s popular to say the opposite. Good little self-help gurus spread the word like Jesus’s disciples. They’re high on crack.
If you’re broke it’s pretty damn hard to be happy. You constantly have to focus on money. You have to miss out on experiences. There’s little time for yourself. That’s no way to live.
Money buys freedom. Once you have free time you can spend hours experimenting with what does and doesn’t make you happy.
People who say money doesn’t buy happiness are lying.
To test the theory just give away money to people in need and see how happy it makes you. And if it doesn’t work, you need to give away more money until it does. Then you’ll see.
7. Touch up on your social skills
If you’re an introvert then socializing is hard.
If you’ve been working from home for most of the last few years like me then your skills have probably got worse. Investing in social skills is key because it helps you form relationships.
Stronger relationships make you feel connected to humanity and that makes you a lot happier.
8. Fulfillment beats success every time
The biggest failures on earth are those who’ve become successful and are still unhappy.
We must learn to be happy regardless of our results in life.
Otherwise we walk around like pissed off adult babies flinging sh*t at strangers and outsourcing our problems to politicians. Happy, confident badasses understand this final truth:
Fulfillment is how you choose to be. Success is simply a scoreboard.