Telling your fiancée you need to jack off and other keys to a happy (and lasting) relationship

The last 7 years have been some of the most wonderful of my life. I finished my university degree, I’ve started putting in the groundwork for my career, and most importantly, I’ve met the woman of my dreams.

In October 2011 I met the woman who I will marry on October 20th 2018, to which you might very reasonably ask: “why should I care?”

You should care dear reader, because my fiancée and I have had good times and bad times. We’ve dealt with health scares, infidelity, argued about important things, about silly things and now we’ve arrived at a point where we say things as they are.

The filter is wafer thin, so as to almost be invisible:

When we’re upset with each other we say it, when I need to jerk off, I tell her that I want to, and she knows that it’s not about her.

The reason I point this out, is because honesty is such a a fundamental part of our relationship, and I’ve observed that the more honest we are with each other, the better our relationship becomes.

Another element of our relationship, which I adopted from The Happiness Advantage is to write down a few things every day about her which I’m grateful for. Doing this, means I have to look for things about her I’m grateful for, so that I can write it in my journal.

This might sound trivial, but this has a way of crowding out many negative emotions. Don’t get me wrong – we’re not perfect, and we still argue, but it’s less intense, less severe and less often than we used to, and if I could only keep a single daily practice, this would be the one.

Finally, we fart around each other. Specifically it’s important that she farts around me – it’s important because she is not the most comfortable about her body, so this signals a certain trust, and trust is everything in a relationship. When that trust is broken it takes time to rebuild. A long time. I broke that trust once, and it took a long time to rebuild, but it was worth it.

We came out stronger on the other side, and though neither one of us would ever go back to that time, we both agree that it has made our bond that much stronger.

It has made us stronger individually and collectively, and that trust which we have painstakingly built over the last 7 years through many trials and tribulations has forged the bond that holds us together and made our relationship a strong one.

I realize that there are no guarantees about staying together forever, but there is no person in the world I’d rather take my chances with.

Philosophy and The Art of Living Your Best Life

My guess is this post will get very few readers – fewer readers than normal that is – simply because philosophy is a term which invokes such strong associations of people who are too similar to the grad student with the pony tail in Good Will Hunting.

Image result for harvard bar scene

In a word?

Cunt.

Philosophy in its original form has nothing to do with how we’ve come to think of it today – philosophy in its original form has everything to do with the art of living well, the art of living your best life.

Now, there are as many ways to go about living as there are people on this planet – which was about 7.6 billion at the time of this writing – but very few of us give any thought to how we want to live and what constitutes an optimal life.

From an evolutionary standpoint this makes complete and utter sense. Who gives a fuck about how to live? What makes sense to care about is amassing as many resources as possible, so that we can pass our genes on to the next generation as successfully as possible. And this is exactly how most people live.

I do think however, that in order to live our best life, we must consider which principles we want to live according to – and in order to determine which principles are worth adhering to, philosophy comes in handy.

One of the principles I live according to, is that we’re all continually evolving, and I don’t want to set who I am too much in stone, because I believe our minds are too dynamic for that. I believe that in order to be the best we can be, we must be open to new ideas, continually learn and evolve.

Another principle which is important to me, is the idea that time is valuable – not in the sense that time is money – but in the sense that time is the only non-renewable resource in the world, and therefore it makes sense to be careful how we spend it, and with whom.

The final principle I want to mention is that it makes sense for each one of us to think for ourselves.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to hold a contrarian opinion, just for the sake of it, but I do want to think independently about the things I choose to think about.

This means that if I either don’t have an opinion on a subject, or I have a strong opinion on a subject, because I’ve considered all the available facts and thought about it deeply. Now there is a natural limit to how much deep thinking any one person can do, so my strong opinions are naturally fairly limited.

This also means however, that my opinions are subject to change, when the facts change, because I don’t want to be married to my opinion. I want to be able to change my opinion, when I see evidence that is contrary to that opinion.

On this topic I agree wholeheartedly with Emerson, when he says that “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”.

There are countless other principles to think about and philosophical alleyways to go down, and my aim is to explore a few of them through my writing – and I hope you’ll join me on this journey.

Want more time? 2000 year old advice on time management that still works wonders

“People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy.”

– Seneca

The quality of our life is determined almost exclusively by how we spend our time. If we want to live better lives, we must improve how we spend our time. Simple as that.

If we want to do better and be better, we must become better at consciously deciding how to spend our time, and this goes back to decisions we make about how we work, sleep, rest, how we spend our free time, who we spend our time with and the environments that we place ourselves in.

As Seneca points out in On The Shortness of Life the problem for most of us, is not that we don’t have enough time – it’s that we don’t know how to spend the time that we do have well enough.

If we constantly fritter away our time at work and in our spare time, it’s no wonder we fee overwhelmed.

If we let others encroach on our time instead of guarding it vigilantly, then of course we’re going to feel stressed out, and like we don’t have enough time to do all the things we feel like we have to.

If instead we make a conscious choice of how many hours each day we’ll spend on any given task, then we will have a map of what to do, when to do it, as well as how much time we can afford to ‘waste’ on things like watching cat videos – because shit, cat videos are the bomb. My point is that it’s not about becoming a time-hoarding calendar nazi who only has 12 minutes to drink coffee with their mother every other Wednesday. Instead it’s about being aware of the choices we make, and make sure that we set aside time for our top priorities, and ensure that we figure out a way to do the things which are most important to usIt’s about being aware that if we make better choices about how we spend our time, then we will get better outcomes.

You don’t need more motivation – what you need is discipline

A lot of happiness in life comes from the ability to self-direct our efforts. In other words, if we want to be happy, it’s a good idea to figure out a way to make a living from something where we have considerable influence on what we do.

Most artistic pursuits fit this category. So does writing. So does a million other professions – but the point is, if we want to make ourselves a life where we choose to be self-directed, we must realize that only doing it when we feel motivated is not enough. We have to show up whether we feel like it or not.

This is even truer if you are trying to make a living in a profession where there is not necessarily an obvious path. Or at least where most people’s path is different. And it is especially true if you strike out in a profession where you have to work for 0 income for a while, or even have to put money into the endeavor with little to nothing to show for it like most inventors.

The essence of this brief blog post is that you don’t need motivation. What you need is discipline to show up every day and do the work whether you feel like it or not.

Once you have that discipline, you’re all set to strike out on your own.

Are you ready to forgive?

I’ve had some weird experiences in my life – I’ve had some ups and some downs, made a few enemies but even more friends. I’ve been an asshole, and I’ve been assholed against.

And you know what? It all passes.

Forgive and forget.

Life goes on.

The quicker we forgive, the quicker we move on. This forgiveness goes for others, but it certainly goes for ourselves. Sometimes it can be hard to forgive ourselves for things we did in the past, but hating ourselves is not going to solve the problem – only diving deeply into the situation with yourself and anyone afflicted will.

Of course there are some wounds which are deeper than others, and they might take longer to forgive, but we must never lose sight of how powerful forgiveness is.

The longer we hold a grudge, the more we suffer – this goes for ourselves as well as for others.

We must ask of ourselves that we forgive. We must demand it.

The power of a good story

Since the dawn of time men and women have told stories. More than anything this is what makes us human. Stories is how we’ve passed on our knowledge to the next generation.

We’ve told stories of all kinds – through songs, through cave paintings, through rhymes, through books and through every kind of imaginable medium.

We still do.

Stories are what binds us together and what can tear us apart. If the stories we believe to be the most true are too different we might have a hard time getting along.

If you believe that a man walked on water and will save us all in the end and someone else believes that a spaceship will come and take the righteous ones away at judgment day, then we might have trouble getting along.

My point here is that stories is a very human phenomenon, and if you want to level up as a human you must learn how to tell a good story. No matter your chosen profession, stories will increase your impact, and the better stories you’re able to tell about yourself, your work, your organization and the ideas in your mind, the more successful you will be.

In order to be the best you, you can be, you must learn to tell a magnificent story, a beautiful story and a terrifying story.

Want to level up?

Learn to master the power of stories.

Who’s got your back?

There is nothing better than realizing that someone supports you even when you’re not at your best – in other words, when you need their support the most.

Good friendships. Strong friendships, which are based on you and your friends love for each other is literally one of the best things in the world. These friendships are rare, few and far between, so we must cherish them when we find ones which are real.

I don’t have too many friendships like this. In fact, I would say I have a single friendship which is truly special, because it is founded on nothing but our love for each other and our common interests in football, books and philosophy.

We are eerily similar, but also very different at the same time. We have known each other for more than 15 years, and at this point I have a very hard time seeing what could ever break us apart.

We can sit in silence together. We can talk about important things. We can talk about simple things. We can talk about the big things and the small things, and the time I spend with him is some of my favorite time to spend.

I wouldn’t trade our friendship for a billion dollars and if someone asked me if I would sell my friendship with him to them for all the money in the world I’d tell them to go fuck themselves long and hard.

He has my back.

I have his back.

Forever and always.

And that is one of the things I am truly grateful for in life.

Who has your back?