It’s funny, the places we find unexpected insights…
Not too long ago I got roped into one of those horrible, corporate-fake, business lunch meetings. The kind that’s like a cheesy motivational poster come to life.
Normally I avoid those things like my soul depended on it. But this one I couldn’t get out of.
I’ve mercifully forgotten most of what went on. But there was one part I’ll always remember…
At some point in the meeting, the conversation shifted to philosophy and spirituality. (I was actually hopeful for a moment.) And the man became very animated, and demanded to know my secret to staying happy all the time.
He clearly had his response rehearsed and ready to go. No doubt honed to perfection over years of captive, cocktail-party monologues.
But apparently he wasn’t expecting my response…
It’s not about being happy.
And suffering is underrated.
Modern culture is obsessed with easy answers and endless distractions—all in the pursuit of happiness.
But spirituality is about cultivating depth.
It’s about exploring distant horizons.
It’s trading distraction for direction.
It’s about nurturing the wild things that whisper and stir within you—and coaxing them to roar.
And none of that comes without suffering.
None of it comes without fear.
The horizon hides the unknown… and the unknown isn’t always happy.
Choosing a direction means forsaking one destination for another… and that means mourning the road not taken.
And the wild things within aren’t always cute and cuddly kittens…
But that’s just the nature of the quest.
That’s the cost of it all.
The reward is a life punctuated by profound joy, and meaning, and transformation.
Of course, happiness.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be happy a lot. And for countless different reasons.
But happy is such a thin word… It pales behind the rest.
It’s a pleasant smile beside a passionate embrace.
It’s the meager price you pay for something much, much greater.
If you aren’t willing to leave happiness aside—if you’re never willing to descend into suffering—then you’ll never rise up to the things that matter most.
The horizon will never come.
The wild things will never roar.
You’ll never be fulfilled.
You’ll never be truly happy…
And that’s a sad, sad way to live.
So what’s my secret to staying happy all the time?
I’m sure I must have been silent for a moment. His perspective was one I’d honestly never considered—that the sole purpose of spirituality was to get and stay happy…
It was such a foreign concept…
And he seemed so proud of his planned reply, that I almost played along…
But then I remembered how much I fucking hate those ridiculous fake fucking meetings!
So I said something along the lines of what I wrote above…
On the upside, he was so stunned that he never did deliver his monologue. (I probably spoiled the setup.) And he never requested another meeting.
So I guess there are two morals to the story:
- Don’t waste your life pursuing happiness… at least, not if you want to be happy.
- Never humor a puppet in a suit.
If you liked this post, please consider sharing, along with a brief comment of what you thought… It doesn’t sound like much. But these small gestures make a tremendous impact on building our community, and helping other wayward rebels find a perspective that they can resonate with.
And if it spoke to you, why not Join the Tribe? It's free.. And this is just one tiny piece of more than two decades of impassioned work...... And YOU probably belong here with the rest of us!!
In any case, thanks so much for stopping by! – \m/ – Z
About Zach Herbert
I teach people to do cool things with their consciousness, and break their brains with beautiful ideas.
Professional heretic. Unlikely mystic. Host to rebels, misfits and independent thinkers.
Find out more here. And follow me on Facebook at: