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Archive for the ‘Happiness’ Category

Quotes from Einstein

I’ve been reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Einstein lately and I thought I’d share with you some of the great genius’ philosophies on life.

On keeping your balance:

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

On leading a full life:

Life for its own sake is hollow. People who live in a society, enjoy looking into each other’s eyes, who share their troubles, who focus their efforts on what is important to them and find this joyful—these people lead a full life.

I hope you’re healthy and happy as you read this, son. Take good care of yourself always.

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Son, don’t pin all of your hopes on a single relationship. I know I said previously that true happiness can be found in relationships, but don’t expect that all the happiness in your life can be supplied by a single relationship. It’s not fair to the individual (or individuals) with whom you share that relationship and it’s certainly not fair to you.

Learn to balance your expectations of each relationship. Understand that all the relationships in your life are important. Borrowing from the domain of corporate finance, work to achieve a balanced “portfolio” of relationships that optimises your level of happiness.

I say “optimise” because there are trade-offs in two levels here: In the level of the relationship and in the level of the “portfolio” of relationships. Let’s take a look at the trade-off in the relationship level first. On one hand, you want to maximise the happiness that you can derive from a relationship. On the other hand you also need to maximise the happiness derived by the individual (or individuals) who share that relationship with you. Achieving a balance between these two ensures the health of the relationship and thus allows everyone involved to continuously derive happiness from it. Now let’s take a look at the trade-off in the “portfolio” level. One the one hand, you’re trying to optimise your happiness from one relationship. On the other hand, another relationship might partly conflict with it and also needs optimisation. An example of this would be the conflict that sometimes arises between work and family. Achieving a balance in this level assures you of a constant source of happiness.

It all sounds overwhelming at first, doesn’t it? I must admit, I haven’t mastered it myself. Lucky for you though, you’re still young and you still have a lot of time to learn about this aspect of life. Baby steps, son. Baby steps.

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A large part–if not the whole–of your own happiness depends on the quality of your relationships with other people. Maintain high-quality friendships, business relationships, romantic relationships, family relationships and other formal and informal relationships. Do this by making sure that the relationship is beneficial to all parties. Make sure that the relationship contributes to the betterment of the lives of everyone involved (including yourself, of course). This is where true happiness lies. Always remember that.

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