If a Worldview Makes You Unhappy, It’s a Bad Worldview

Notice I said ‘worldview’, not, ‘fact’.  Nearly every gut objection to the above will stem from confusing the two.

Facts aren’t good or bad.  They just are.  They can make you feel good or bad, but that feeling is the result of the lens through which you interpret and give meaning to the facts.  That’s your worldview (or ‘paradigm’, etc.)

The fact that it’s been a rainy summer is neutral.  The fact that it’s harder to play basketball in the rain is neutral.  The fact that on my preference curve, the cost of wet basketball exceeds the benefits is neutral.  These facts (some changeable, some not) result in me playing less basketball. I like playing basketball, so I’ve done less of something I like.

All facts.

If I interpret these facts through a lens that says this has been a ‘bad’ summer, and therefore suffer emotional and psychological bummerness, I’ve got a worldview that makes me less happy.  I think that’s a crappy worldview and I want to abandon it for a better one.

A good worldview doesn’t ignore facts any more than a bad one.  There are billions of facts.  I can decide which to focus on, include in my picture of reality, and weight to varying degrees.  I can also choose how to orient myself and my expectations around those facts.  This summer I also had a baby boy.  This makes me happy.  He also cries a lot.  This makes me unhappy.  I could go on.

Facts don’t do anything to my enjoyment of life on their own.  I could add or remove facts all day long without changing it.  Only the meaning and beliefs I form about facts, and the frame through which I interpret them, generate my fulfillment.

So, if a given set of facts makes my life worse, it’s not the fault of the facts, but the fault of my worldview.

If your worldview makes you unhappy, it’s a bad worldview.  Ditch it and create a better one.

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Isaac Morehouse is the founder and CEO of Praxis, an awesome startup apprenticeship program. He is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. He’s written some books, done some podcasting, and is always experimenting with self-directed living and learning. When he’s not with his wife and kids or building his company, he can be found smoking cigars, playing guitars, singing, reading, writing, getting angry watching sports teams from his home state of Michigan, or enjoying the beach.

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