In 2006 I met a fellow cyclist and it was clear from the very beginning that this man was fundamentally not happy. As we talked and rode together, he confided in me that although he was a successful attorney/solicitor who made £200,000 / year, he suspected that he was ‘depressed’! Having been through my own dark phase the year before, I remember thinking“but how could this man claim to be unhappy?”.
Perhaps in the game of life, the struggle to make it in the world -to be successful- to get what you want, maybe that part IS the happiness, not the desires themselves -not even the destination- but the journey. Not the reward at the end, but the actual road to achievement. The belief in yourself. “The survival of the fitest”.
You meet older people like this all the time – jaded travellers are a classic example. It’s almost as if life is too easy for some. And I have a challenge to those people. Let’s call it “Doc Browns Challenge”:
- First, buy a one-way ticket to any poorer country with a language other than your own.
- Next, give all of your money to charity, every single last cent (no, not to me).
- Finally, try and get what you want now! (try and get back home within a year, for example)
There is only one rule: you aren’t allowed any outside financial help or aid and you must obey all the local laws and customs of the foreign country. And the moral of the story is, if you can read this, don’t take anything for granted. Be positive, because happiness is far richer than money.