I think a good proxy for a happy life is to live a life that wasn’t possible ten years ago—or at least that was highly-improbable ten years ago.
There’s always new technology to make your life convenient and easy, but if you don’t use that new freedom to push your boundaries, it’s a recipe for making yourself miserable.
As you reduce your problems, new problems will always crop up. It’s better for them to be problems of pushing boundaries, rather than problems of your Amazon Prime shipment being a day late.
Some examples of how my own life would be impossible (more accurately, improbable) ten years ago:
- My girlfriend doesn’t speak English. Our first date, years ago, was heavily assisted by Google Translate. When you speak the same language in a relationship, you can often not hear each other. When you speak different languages, you try harder to make sure you understand what one another are saying. Technology makes it easier to have the new problems of learning a new language, and connecting with someone from a different background.
- I have conversations with my heroes from my closet in Colombia by interviewing them on my podcast. By publishing the conversations, I can convince them to take the time to talk to me. I don’t have to travel or live in a certain place to get their mentorship. Technology makes it easier to have the new problem of being more prepared for conversations, and polishing them for publish.
- I live in another country. Being able to FaceTime with friends and family makes it easier to be away from them. Internet banking makes it easier to run my business. Facebook Groups make it easier to navigate life as an expat. These technologies make it easier to have the new problems of living in a foreign country.
When you solve a problem with technology, a new problem will replace it. Replace your old problems with problems worth having—otherwise they’ll be replaced by petty problems.
Is there a new challenge you’ve brought into your life that wouldn’t have been likely ten years ago?
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