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Suffering as a way to happiness.

The usual way of chasing happiness is trying to increase ease and reduce stress, the desire to flow effortlessly through life. I’ve been searching for a way to get my life to a place where I move automatically to my goals and success. I’ve aligned myself with my passions, hacked my habits and routines, I have covered some ground this way.

Somehow I got the idea that it should be easy, or that I should be happy everyday, pumped up rearing to go. I should be always passionate, always on.

But I’m not always on.

I get depressed a lot, overwhelmed by all the things I need to do daily. I wake up on some days and facing the challenges feel like hell. Early this week, I stumbled on an idea…that things of true happiness and beauty only come through intense suffering.

“This is the terrible law of the universe. This is the basic law; it is a fact… Absolute suffering leads to — is the means to — absolute beauty.” – Phillip K Dick (The Exegesis of Phillip Dick)

What if I embraced the pain, the stress, the effort, and relished in pain like a sadomasochist. What if I immersed myself fully in it until I came out the other side or got consumed within it?

Don’t be scared to burn. Embrace the pain.

“The pleasures and the rewards of intellect are inseparable from angst, uncertainty, conflict and even despair “ – Christopher Hitchens (letters to a young contrarian)