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The Happiness Change Curve
I’m about to show you one of the core concepts I always talk about, and if you get this, it will change your life in terms of how you view happiness and doing things to make yourself happier.
This is called the Happiness Change Curve. I have talked about it on my business blogs and in The Unchained Man. It meshes perfectly with the topics Alpha Male 2.0 addresses because it’s about happiness. You’ll never view happiness the same way again, and because you understand this concept, you’re more likely to be successful the next time you take action to make yourself happier.
The Happiness Change Curve
Imagine a line graph with happiness on the X-axis (0 to 10) and time on the Y-axis. Let’s say you’re starting out in a place in your life that isn’t very happy—maybe a five on the happiness scale—and you want to make a change. And let’s say you don’t make enough money and want to start your own Alpha 2.0 location-independent business. It really doesn’t matter the part of life you’re talking about or the change you want to make; this will apply no matter what. You start out at a certain level of happiness that isn’t great, but then you decide to make a change and start working toward it.
Does this new change make you happy? No, it usually doesn’t. If you’re a fat guy who decides to lose weight by running every morning, does it make you happy once you start? Are you having fun? No, you’re fucking miserable. Likewise, if you’ve been a wage slave your whole life and you’re just starting your own Alpha 2.0 business, are you happy when you’ve just started marketing and you’re stressed out that you might be doing everything wrong? Of course not. You’re outside your comfort zone; it’s not much fun. So your happiness level actually drops at first.
You’re doing the correct things, but your happiness actually drops. At that point, you’re thinking, What the fuck? This is terrible.
But if you stick with it—and that’s a big “if,” which we’ll cover in a moment—you’re going to start seeing results. As you continue to get results, your happiness will begin to increase incrementally. You’ll start hitting your objectives (or close), and suddenly, this new thing, which is really no longer new to you, just becomes part of your life. You have a business now; you’re good with women; you’re at your new weight. Whatever it is, you’ve reached a new, higher level of happiness.
So What’s the Problem?
What do most people do when they start engaging in something to better their lives and they hit that temporary decline in happiness I just mentioned? They quit. They don’t like being uncomfortable, and they wind up right back at the shitty level of happiness where they started.
If you do that, then all you did was be unhappy for no reason. You might as well have done nothing. You’re literally better off not having done anything if you quit when you hit that low point. That low point is completely normal; it’s part of the price you pay for improvement and the increase in happiness that is coming if you just stick with it.
One of my mentors, Robert Ringer, used to talk about how I had to consider the price I wanted to pay for any improvement or achievement I wanted in my life. He always said, “I resolve to make sure I pay that price as quickly as possible.” So ideally, you want to make sure you do everything within reason to make sure that low point mentioned above doesn’t last very long. If it lasts three years, you’re not going to do it, but if it lasts a few months, you’ve got a fighting chance.
Once you’re at your new level of happiness, you can do the whole thing over again. This time you’ll start at a much higher level of happiness than you did before. You’ll make the changes you need to accomplish your goals, your happiness will drop temporarily, since that’s part of the process, and once you start seeing results, you’ll reach an even higher level of happiness than ever before. And you can keep doing these happiness change curves—and moving upward with it—for the rest of your life.
How This Helps
The reason this helps is that now, once you decide to do something that makes you happier and improves your condition, you will be expecting those highs and lows, and they won’t blindside you. You’ll know they’re coming, and you’ll be able to ride them out much more easily and stick to your plans. Becoming familiar with this process actually improves the odds that you’ll be able to see it through.
Most people don’t do any of this; mostly, they just sit on their asses their whole lives until they die. But even the people who do make the effort sometimes quit when they hit that initial wall of temporary unhappiness. The fact that you’re aware this exists gives you an edge most people don’t have.
This is the Happiness Change Curve. I’ve built my whole life around this. The thing to remember is that it takes time. You’re not going to start your Alpha 2.0 business and immediately make $6,000 a month, right? But as long as you’re doing everything correctly, you’ll get results if you stick with it.