I was thinking about simplification the other day, and how we can boil down a life happiness into a few letter F’s. You can literally ask yourself if your decisions are fitting into one of the categories to tell if you should be spending the time doing it. However, the five F’s below still need to be balanced with the “W” word (WORK) which ultimately is also a core foundation for many of us who haven’t yet figured out a way to get paid for our passion (and get out of the rat race). Hard work also leads to life happiness, but the 5 F’s are really where it’s at. Without further ado, they are:
friends, family, financial happiness, fun, and fucking.
Assuming your work is neutral to good, everything else is gravy.
Friends – You need to continue to maintain those relationships with friends. You may not have the time to spend every Friday with your homies, and you may think that after 5 years you are still as strong as every, but the reality is it takes some effort which is worth it to maintain those friendships. You need to get out of the house and vent or celebrate your life. Your friends are ultimately what help with this. Without this, after years of neglect you end up eroded, a fraction of what you are. A friend helps to celebrate the happiness that is life. So whether you get together to watch football, or work out in a gym or MMA class, or do man time together (we will get dinner and catch a band or raunchy comedian), get away and keep that camaraderie alive.
Family – We can’t choose our family, hopefully we have good roots. If not, we will still be ok because even among the strife of our own family (parents, sibling), we can grow our own that has the ability to be solvent and happy. And by our own family I mean the family you get to sort of choose with your spouse and kids. It took me a while to think of my wife as family, but I’m not that far away from her being in my life almost half my living years. So yeah, Holly and the kids are really the Family I think of when that word is mentioned. This is ultimately a great touchstone in my life. Despite the ups and downs that any married couple goes through, I can’t imagine trying to raise my kids without my partner. To me, this is one of the big legs of my life stool and one I live for.
Financial Happiness – Note I didn’t say “Financial Success” or “Financial Riches” because you can find happiness with a little money or a lot, but it’s the mindset and other circumstances that dictate that. The most common thing couples fight about are money (followed closely by sex). Keep your money house in order, whatever that may mean, and you’ll find much more happiness. This isn’t the same as Make a Lot of Money and You’ll be Happy. Many rich people are miserable, so by this I mean get rid of the financial stress. Remove debt. Get rid of unwanted expenses. Have the money to do the things you want to do. I like the Afford Anything motto that You can’t afford Everything, but you can afford Anything provided you make that as a priority. Will a big house make you happy? Fine, but maybe you won’t be able to go on fancy vacations. Have a fetish for shoes or fine watches? Great, but maybe you end up with a more modest vehicle. Figure that shit out with your spouse, which is like black magic since rarely do two people agree on everything. But hopefully you can get your financial house in order to avoid the financial stresses, while at the same time being happy with “enough.” Rich or poor, you can be happy if you keep expenses below income and don’t over extend yourself.
Fun – I have talked about this before, but having fun as an adult is still important. It may not be the same sort of fun that you used to do as a kid, but c’mon man! Cut loose a little. Take that mountain bike up and speed down that hill. Go out and karaoke to some gansta rap. Take your lady dancing (our ole pal Cappy is a GREAT dancer – I saw him in action and I guarantee if you have the chops and a fun partner you’ll have a great night). Get into some adult rec sports – there are often teams out there, so dust off those soccer cleats or tennis racket and go at it. Winter is Coming – get your sled or snowboard out and spend time on the slopes. You’ll feel happier when you take off that seriousness we wear most of the time and let it rip. Fun is a serious situation folks. You can be a Tigger or you can be an Eeyore, the choice is yours.
Fucking – Let’s be honest here, if you aren’t having frequent carnal knowledge of the opposite sex (or same sex if that’s your thing) you’re missing out on life. One of the more popular posts I’ve written is Not Having Sex Makes Men Depressed, Suicidal. On the opposite side, having a lot of sex (especially with someone you like) makes men (and women) feel fucking amazing. Your brain releases dopamine and oxytocin, both which make us feel amazing and connect us to our partner. Unlike Roosh’s Junk Food Sex he has chosen as a lifestyle, those of us in committed relationships with those we find attractive still get that neurochemical boost while enjoying the many benefits of long-term relationships. If you aren’t fucking as much as you’d like, there are ways to change the dynamic at home. Besides my book I recommend Athol Kay’s The Married Man Sex Life Primer.