Friday, February 15, 2019

Self-reliance is the secret to happiness

Here's an interesting article I came across a couple weeks ago: "Self-Reliance Is The Secret Sauce To Consistent Happiness" (warning, some bad language scattered throughout).

The author, a Dutch productivity specialist by the name of Darius Foroux, points out how society hasn't changed much over the course of history in that "And one of those problems is that we are needy. VERY needy. Why is that a problem? Without self-reliance, you can never be consistently happy. And even though the purpose of life is not happiness in my opinion, being happy is still something that’s important to us. Happiness determines the quality of your life. No one wants to live a [expletive deleted] life."

Foroux seems to define "self-reliance" as emotional health: the confidence of not needing the approval of others. He writes:

"Let’s look at how self-reliant you are.

• Do you expect your romantic partner to make you happy?
• Do you think your friends should always be there for you?
• Do you expect that your boss will always give you money?
• Do you say people are stupid when they don’t buy your products or services?
• Do you find it difficult to be alone?
• Do you feel like a nobody when people ignore you at work?
• Do you feel hurt when someone doesn’t invite you to a birthday or any other social event?

In life, we always turn outwardly for everything: Happiness, advice, affection, love, approval. We ask experts for advice. We use drugs when we’re in pain. We expect others to solve our problems. ... Being part of society is great and all. But never take it too far. ... It’s one of the paradoxes in life. We want to be liked and loved by the ones we care about. But the moment we lose ourselves and our identity, we can no longer be the person we want to be. When you’re needy, you only damage your relationships in the long-term."

Foroux urges this emotional self-reliance "because when you’re self-reliant, you can enrich the lives of the people around you much more."

I couldn't help but compare the emotional self-reliance this writer discusses with the homesteading self-reliance quest Don and I embarked on so many years ago. In this regard, Foroux is correct: self-reliance is the secret to happiness. We can't imagine living any other kind of life.


  1. He is correct in that. We are the only ones responsible for our happiness, not others or what someone else thinks of us. First we must be happy with who we are, if not, then we are the ones to change ourselves. There will always be other more privileged, prosperous, more attractive, etc. We are the only ones in charge of our destiny.

  2. i don't know about happiness but if those young ghetto guys were in charge of something requiring responsibility they would not turn to crime for something to do
    a morally uplifting purpose in life is what drives invention and thoughtfulness.

  3. I must concur. I have known people who have been dealt a rather raw deal in life - through accidents, health issues and/or diseases that are in no way preventable and in no way their fault. These individuals are always upbeat, smiling and often ready to "do something or be there" despite discomfort or inconvenience on their part. They are also so pleasant (and fun) to be around that others go out of their way to include them and spend time with them.

    I have also known people with few (if any) perceptible problems/troubles that are miserable, mad at everyone and blame any issues they might have on others. They have few to no friends and wallow in self pity. They make any company miserable.

    As stated - there will always be others, but we are the only ones who will determine how we greet each day. Natokadn

  4. Don’t get me wrong, I believe strongly in self-reliance and it being a foundation for liberty.

    I think someone can have emotional self-reliance without physical (such as homesteading) self-reliance. The latter takes an incredible amount of work, sacrifice and considerable wealth.

    Grandma used to say, ‘Ignorance is bliss’. I think many people are truly happy even though they are 1 small step from much suffering. They may be clueless, but they are happy.

    Frederick J. Miller said, "Happiness is not created by wealth and luxury, but by simplicity, moderation, a pure heart and a peaceful disposition." I think one can have all of these attributes without self-reliance.

    Montana Guy

  5. I agree! Unfortunately it's not something that can be told or taught. Happiness is something that we must each discover in ourselves!

    1. Happiness is like self esteme - it is the result of other factors. As the author pointed out, self reliance - knowing that you are competent gives you confidence and a sence of well being which are the road to happiness.

  6. It comes with age, IMHO. And experience. I wasn't raised with a silver spoon in my mouth, but my parents made my life quite comfortable. And I strove to do the same for my children. Big difference, I took my kids camping, and they learned basic skills. I also shared skills that my grandparents taught me. No diss to my parents, but what I saw them struggle through and what grandparents insitlled in me showed me what to teach my kids and the grands. Am I happy 24/7? No. None of us are. My life isn't all peaches and roses. But I can live with that! THAT is what the younger generations need to learn.