I Was Blind But Now I See: Time to Be Happy lays out the techniques to escape the zombie recruitment machine, expanding our personal frontiers, and finding the tools to build up the wealth of happiness inside.
Happiness is the path
There are only four types of people. If you understand in advance how to deal with each of these four types you will be infinitely happier. Ultimately, interacting with the four types in the way I describe below will make one fit firmly into the first type, however difficult it is. That’s the goal. You don’t want to go through life unhappy.
There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path.
Four types of people
The key is to identify the four types of people and discipline yourself on how you should approach these people.
#1 Happy. There are people who are genuinely happy in the world. Sure they have their suffering. Everyone does. But a lot of people really are pretty satisfied with their lives at this very moment.
A natural reflex (not for everyone, but certainly for some people) is to resent people for being happy. Who doesn’t do that some of the time? Raise your hand!
#2 People in pain. I’ve been unhappy often. Particularly in the past decade. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Sometimes people die. I think the level of unhappiness and pain I’ve had in the past decade (versus prior decades) has taught me compassion towards others in a similar boat. Try to cultivate that compassion. It doesn’t mean you have to drain yourself to help those less fortunate.
#3 Good people. This is different from “Happy”. Good people don’t always have ulterior motives. Some people legitimately want to help others. There’s an initial impulse (at least with me) to suspect them. To resent them. Maybe even to envy them. I envy Bill Gates being able to donate $100 billion to charity. But the best thing for me is to catch myself doing that (almost a meditation in itself) and say, “this guy is good. I wish I could be as good as him. I hope I can help him in any way I can.” Be grateful for all the people good to you. Five minutes a day. Doesn’t have to be with incense burning and in the lotus position. On a bus, smile and think of the people you are grateful for.
#4 Crappy people: People who will do you harm, no matter what you do, for no reason at all. They never will get it. They will say and do things to you and they will never ever understand how evil they are.
And you will hate them. Hate them. And they knock on the door of your brain at three in the morning and they want to yell at you. And you yell back. And they yell back. And on and on. All day. All afternoon. The ongoing conversation with the shittiest people in the world. They will torture you, kill you, and slit the thoughts out of your mind and not even care because they think they are doing the right thing.
How to deal with evil people:
There is only one only way to deal with these people in a way that will make you happier instead of sadder. One way. And it always works. This is the most important part of the Emotional leg of the Daily Practice. COMPLETELY IGNORE THE EVIL PEOPLE:
- Completely ignore them.
- Don’t think about them.
- Don’t talk to them.
- Don’t write them.
- Most important: Don’t give them advice. They will NEVER listen to your advice. It’s arrogant and stupid to think they will. It will only lead to more cycles of pain for you. The goal for me is to stop all cycles that cause me any pain at all. Giving advice to crappy people will only result in more pain for you. That’s the only possible result. Much better to be happy than to flush knotted up brown advice down a toilet that caused you agony to push out. This is hard.
- Most important: Never gossip about them behind their backs. Just completely disregard. We don’t care about their happiness or how evil they are. We only care about you. Its hard to do. Never ever talk about them behind their backs. Repeat this 500 times. This is hard also. Because it’s an addiction.