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  • Kai Straw


I’m feeling good, man, and I hope you are, too. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about happiness, and what’s the best road to it, or what’s the best way to sustain it – so figured I’d share those thoughts with you!

I think we can get tricked on our road to achieving happiness. We can import how good we feel about ourselves from external things. ‘Look at my job’, we might say, or ‘look at these friends’, ‘look at how helpful I’ve been’, or look at this and that (or ‘look at these streams!’ haha). Ultimately, though, your job may be lost, your friends may go, and your ability to help others may diminish with time. So – the question would be, if I strip away all the external things that prove to me my worth, do I still feel good about myself? Or am I entirely dependent on the external world to deliver to me my value?

Nelson Mandela was in jail for 27 years. Everything was taken from him. The external structures that would have delivered to him his confidence, his peace, and so on, were all stripped away – and yet, when he got out of prison, he was greater than the man who went in. I think about that often.

I think about my own life; I think about the joy that I get from achieving some kinda success in music – and then I imagine, too, well, is this where I’m getting all of my joy from? If so, when I’m an old man, and maybe my ability to create is no longer, and the attention I’d achieved in this life has faded, will I be laying there feeling valueless? That sounds like failure to me.

The most powerful human being is one whose confidence doesn’t seek proof in the external world, and whose joy isn’t at all a gift from anyone or anything. It can be sustained anywhere from a prison cell to a coliseum, because it is imported from nothing but the thought, “Life is a gift, and the texture of every moment, regardless of circumstance, is a treasure.” Like that, I think real happiness comes from relentless childlike gratitude. For the breaths I’m taking. For the colors around me. And on the most fundamental level, for the fact that I’ve had the privilege of living at all. The further I get from that, the more fragile my happiness becomes. 💀☀️

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