How do you develop a good and happy life? Good life, path, and goals. Developing a system for doing what you like that seems robust and happy.

So you have many drives and they are not essentially good or bad. Then you have living a life, which involves practical and universal questions of how to feed, clothe, and where to live? How to make friends and find a partner? How to contribute to society? How to be happy yourself? I think, like many have, that contributing to society should come from being happy yourself.
What is being happy, then? Well that's a good start, there are lots of different things that society has described as happiness. Beyond that discussion though ...

Self awareness, though, is probably the number one thing.
You achieve self awareness though many different examples, some of which are meditation, feedback from mentors, or what I like to extend to...encounters with something real. I'm not sure how to formalize this approach yet. Real things, for me, include something like music, exercise (running, swimming, wrestling, boxing, muay thai, team sports). They usually involve, as you progress, a social aspect too, where you can get feedback. Feedback from various human sources (people, peers and a coach) on what they see you are good at or not, and then you can decide whether they are right or not, and what you are going to do about it. (Side note, of which there will be many because this is a draft: I have this idea of doing things that involve life-experience...that come from colloquialisms. People say things like "[your goal] is like running a marathon, or [this thing] is like a fight, or [this thing] is like music to my ears. So like what does it mean to actually run a marathon, or be in a fight, or have music connect with you? Not take the lesson...think longterm, be tough, or enjoy from the spirit...but like actually do the things. Obviously taking the lesson would be the faster and probably give you 85% of the information, but doing the thing would be like going to the source material, and I think if you want to improve beyond a certain level, going to the source material can be really helpful. Anyway...back to the importance of self-awareness).

If you do not have self-awareness, it is going to be hard to progress. My goal is a well-lived happy life, also financially successful, and within the bounds of being a good person and staying legal. Without self-awareness, you might be okay, but more like a sedate okay, not that brimming energy that I have seen with people. I do think that is possible for everyone because I've seen glimpses of it in everyone. Self-awareness is what helps you identify things...I think that is actually the biggest contribution of the Marie Kondo thing...the sparking joy segment.

Self-awareness allows you to access emotional work that I think is the second biggest thing that people have. Putting in new wiring or realigning existing response patterns, triggers in the environment, and or learning about how to interact with yourself and others. You could take this work too far, obviously, where you pursue it like a procrastinator cleans the house, but doesn't doe the work. However, it can be a limiter and having an understanding of it is good, so you can tweak things as necessary.

The next two bits are all kind of in tandem and iterative. One is engaged in the 'real world.' Whether that is competition, or nature, or hunting an animal, or selling to the market, it is testing your theories against something out there. It is not getting your closest friends, who may be nicer or interested because it is you, interested in your writing, it is also someone who is less interested to interact...maybe an acquaintance.

Another is a sense of progression to larger. So yeah if you don't think it is good, then work on that, if you're closet people don't think it is good, well that might be good or bad feedback depending on if your friends are your audience. But start with a small segment of your audience. If you have a product involving running, your general friends might not be interested, but maybe your exercising friends might. Then maybe people in a larger running club or community. If something fits the market, it will get outsize uptake to the exposure. This assumes exposure is correct [I should expand with a guide on marketing 'quick tips, then heavy theory'].

Another is that being a real person is being engaged in the pursuit of a goal.
This can be tricky. Here's my approach to goals: It involves finding something you like that is good, then comes choosing a goal, which is interestingly based on identifying a path that serves you via the thing you like.
What does that mean? I think that you find things that you like to do. There might be a few choices, but the best I've find to lay them out is something like:
problem solving
[expand these with notes from the other document]
Think of these like problem solving or goal achievement approaches. Being in a problem solving approach you like feels good. I think that's related to the 'flow' state people talk about.
There are limits too, which is where the whole "hero's journey" comes in.
So then based on you having an idea (though self awareness and trying stuff out in the real world), you get a sense of what you like to do (as a daily task, not as a huge, change the world type goal). For example, I like making music, I like writing, what I like is solving problems, or what I like is caring for people. Then you figure out the limits of that, maybe you like performing music, or do you like emotional creation, you can like both obviously, but there may be shades of that to explore. Here you are refining your understanding of your goal achievement approach. Because if it is emotional creation you at least know it's that piece. The value of this knowledge is that it then gives you the idea of an approach you might take in other endeavors. You can identify it when you see it. Let's say you're a musician, and for some reason, you're interested in trying performing plays. If you're, like we said above, into the emotional creation approach, you could make an emotional writing, or figure that you could find a dramatic performances to work with. It is less likely that you would go to improv performance. But maybe you bring emotional connection and expression as a differentiator to your improv performances. See what I mean? You use that thing you like in everything. Eventually you grow your toolbox, but some research points that there is one 'tool' we particularly enjoy. That's what I'm working on now. At work, if you're working for a company some social people are in sales, and some research people are in engineering, and some research people bring that information driven approach to sales. Whatever it is, this is your first tool. In the hero's journey is like the magical sword.

The thing is that it should also be something you like doing. And in the doing renews. Something that you love the work. Something that you see that the work helps you. Improves you. You enjoy it. You feel more energized after, not less energized. That's why I'm saying explore the aspects of it. You might think you only like music, but in reality, you could apply that to a lot of stuff. In reality, real world successful people apply that same technique to different fields. That's why you are reacting to when you notice someone's unique 'approach' to something. "I want to hear so and so's take on it" or "I'll buy anything so and so makes or is involved in" or the progression to "No one else could have made that." That's a longer term development...I've gone on a tangent here. But just like a social person would bring a social approach to music, think of it like that, you have an approach to things and probably a few different tools in the toolbox. But there is likely one or two that you like using the most, and the rest are in support of that tool. Like you might like coaching people, and your nurturing skills are part of that. Some might like nuturing, but so they use coaching skills to give access to those situations. Some like making things, and they use problem solving, but they wouldn't want to sit and solve puzzles all day. Some people like solving puzzles all day, so they are in a maker position that uniquely allows them to solve puzzles. They aren't in a maker position that calls for performance or coaching or emotional connection. Get it?

Now you figure out how you can use or improve that. Which is where the path comes in. You choose the goal based on the path, not the other way around. I guess your huge long term goal is a well lived life defined with all the different things that go into that. But let's limit that and call it a project goal. The project goal is like 1-3 months. Then you iterate. Then you figure out what works and doesn't. And you go for a 6 month or year or foreseeable future goal.

But the way to achieve goals is by a path. So you might think, well I want to write everyday. And I want to start producing something everyday. So make the goal, I want to have an Instagram channel that grows large for my fanbase. And so in order to get that, I have to post once a day, or eventually multiple times a day. And to get there, I should learn to post once a day. And the thing I can do, is post anything, a song lyric, a snippet of a unfinished riff, 15 seconds of a practice session, and just document it. Everyday. There's a reason that I'm thinking Instagram too [another post]. So you then have a project formed around a goal, but determined by you wanted to be doing this stuff anyway.

So why not just do stuff everyday with a goal. Well, multiple reasons.
*Some of it is that you should put yourself in situations where good things, positive randomness, or serendipity can occur. The chances of someone coming across your IG feed and deciding to put you on a big break is very small. But it is zero if you have nothing out there.
*Also it will likely not hurt you because you are documenting the journey and people understand that. There might be some haters, but it is mostly you, because mostly no one is looking at it anyway.
*It puts you in contact with, even in a little spot, the real.
Long sidenote on audience: Whether that is the market or the public or like a course you are running, you need interaction with that to improve. It should not be the only feedback, but it is some feedback. If you are writing, it would be great to get feedback regularly from someone who is a buyer and also knows how to coach people to improve writing. So you do want quality feedback. But you also want to be putting your writing out there, where someone might find it, and seeing how it does. If you're running, have both a race coach and smaller races. If you're hunting, I guess a hunting coach, and also going out in the forest. If you're exercising, a lifting coach, and also lifting by yourself. Exercise is interesting because feedback is built in. You can see your time or how many pounds you lifted. Arts are a little different because, well, you have your personal take on it, but there is no general "quality" feedback built in.
Whatever the feedback, you do not want to be taking that too seriously, like don't judge it on how many likes, or views, or hearts you get. But put it out there.
*Lastly, it is potentially really nice stuff to have in the future. I would go back and watch all the videos of like Bezos before he became Bezos, like as a college kid. Or actually like Drake before he was Drake. Someone like building their stuff. It would have a gazillion views. That's a vee example.

The goal should come from choosing the path. So now you have an idea of how the goal, path, and a project should relate to each other.

I mean once you have that, that's it. Then you run the path. You work the path. You put in the work. But it is lined up, somewhat robustly. You're enjoying, you're learning, and you're in a position to be successful in the world, but you've also, as a treat, already won personally because you're doing something that you like and is good for you, everyday.

Post Notes:
*Be wary of optimizing for interaction. Optimize for what you want, but it is hard to gauge what is going to be successful. Like says, you put the stuff out there. I think there can be a difference between what you think is quality work, what other experts might think is quality work, what the market picks up on, what is immediately financially viable, and what is long term financially prudent. The thing to be wary of is caring about and optimizing for interaction. Quality content rises to the top, but you decide what you want out of it. Maybe you have all your stuff from other parts of your life, so expression of this art in this project is something like just making your kid laugh. This is where money can give you options too. You want to produce the best work, maybe not the best interacted with work. Or maybe you do.
*Steven Pressfield's stuff can help with process and some self-awareness.
*There is the question of audience. It is an iterative process between finding your star customer and producing work. But just because you put out content for your star customer doesn't mean they will find you. There's different ways that it can happen, and happenstance is one, but eventually, for success, they come together. That is like Biver on king and queen.
*Feeling like it is 'pointless' to be something. The path helps with compliance too, which is helping people continue on with something.

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