Silhouette of Cindy. Prague, 2017

Fantasy is the Enemy of Happiness

Life thought: don’t live life, banking on fantasies.


1. Capitalism is run on fantasies

Fantasies are what drives a lot of us, especially in capitalist economies.

We fantasize about an ‘ideal’ lifestyle.

We fantasize about buying a new car– so we will finally feel freedom, excitement, and joy in our lives.

We fantasize about buying a new camera, so we will find new inspiration to make photos.

We fantasize about traveling, seeing the world, finding ‘enlightenment’ and finally finding purpose and meaning in our lives.

2. How to be happy, right now.

Easiest shortcut to happiness:

No more fantasizing.

No more fantasizing about your future — either start building your life to reach those goals, or get rid of them.

3. My fantasizes

For example, I used to fantasize about all the things mentioned above — to re-iterate,

I fantasized about:

  • Owning a Leica
  • Having a bunch of money saved up, and making a bunch of money
  • Traveling the world
  • Having solo exhibitions for my photography
  • Becoming “famous” on the internet
  • Having complete freedom and autonomy over my time

I reached all these goals in my life– and guess what? I’m still not “happy”.

4. What is true happiness?

To me, happiness isn’t owning something, or even having a certain lifestyle. Rather, happiness is doing meaningful and creative work, having meaningful relationships, constantly learning and exploring, pushing your own creative limits, avoiding boredom, and empowering yourself/others.

5. What if I no longer fantasized about stuff I didn’t want/need?

Even now, I still fantasize:

  • Owning fancy sports cars
  • Earning more money, and never worrying about money again
  • Owning this crazy modern, beautiful home

But what if — I totally erased these fantasies from my mind? I think it would liberate me:

  • I will never own a fancy sports car, or even desire one– because I prefer to Uber/walk. No fantasizing about cars? Awesome, I’ve just saved thousands of dollars for myself.
  • I will never feel 100% financially secure– and that is fine. I know I don’t need much money to be happy. Rather, I can feel grateful for the money I already make, and rather than focusing on making more money– focus on making more meaning in my life.
  • I will never own a fancy home — great, I won’t be tied down to the mortgage, and stress about fixing it. This will allow me to continue my nomadic lifestyle, with less stress, more flexibility, and more freedom.

Conclusion: Count your blessings, but also do more awesome work.

So friend,

What do you fantasize about in your life? And how much more empowered would you feel if you no longer fantasized about those things anymore?

Live in the now, be present, be grateful for today. You don’t know if you will die in a texting-while-driving accident tomorrow, or whether shit will hit the fan in some other way.

Be grateful for your relationships you already have, and the blessings you already have in your life.

And don’t squander and waste your life– use your life to make great art, to inspire others, to inspire yourself, keep learning, sharing, and making humanity (as a whole) even more dope and awesome.

BE STRONG,
ERIC


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