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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Pursuit of Happiness - Day 1

Why am I a libertarian? Because I believe liberty is a necessary condition for human flourishing, or as the U.S. Declaration of Independence puts it: happiness. But the pursuit of happiness-- your own human flourishing-- cannot be postponed for some indefinite time when a truly free society has been created. It would be pointless if our lives were consumed 100% by the pursuit of liberty with happiness as an after thought. We must pursue our own happiness here and now despite the imperfect conditions for it (and with a grateful nod to those who have come before us and made it arguably the society with the closest-to-perfect conditions that has ever existed).

The added bonus you get is that as a better, happier version of yourself, you will be more capable of pursuing a political program of liberty and in a better position to enjoy its fruits, having already improved yourself. Yes-- that is what I'm driving at here and I'll cut straight to the point-- I am embarking on a journey of self improvement (something Benjamin Franklin would strongly approve) and I wanted to share it with all of you so I may have your encouragement and because it excites and motivates me.

This is Day 1 of a 30 day trial I'm doing. I'm trialing out living entirely substance free for the next thirty days-- and that includes alcohol (which isn't too much of a problem for me, but which I do enjoy to excess, I admit), nicotine (also not a big one, but lately a bit of a problem for me, especially after my six week stay in Paris where everyone smokes like a chimney and I enjoyed one of my favorite past times-- smoking hookah-- a little too much), and caffeine (which I am positively addicted to). Additionally I am going to take up daily vigorous exercise (instead of the 3 - 4 times per week of vigorous exercise I've been doing of late).

Already my head is hurting without my usual morning 5-hour-energy drink (extra strength kind) and my Monster or Red Bull to top it off, but I've found something interesting: Instead of impeding my ability and desire to work today, because I have this new resolve, I have a much stronger stimulant than I had before: genuine excitement! I've been stimulating myself to get work done for so many months now that I've really become dependent on it and it needs to stop. Excitement is a more thrilling stimulant anyways!

I'm considering blogging about my experiences and progress daily or every other day to stay motivated and committed to this. What I want you to consider is what change would you like to make in your life? What addiction would you like to give up? What bad habit would you like to stop? Would good habit would you like to cultivate? What goal would you like to accomplish?

Here are a few of my goals:

1) Most read libertarian blog on the Internet by Jan 2012. 2) [otherwebsitei'mcurrentlyworkingon].tv: One of the most visited political news websites on the Internet by Jan 2012. 3) Finish my non-fiction book proposal by the end of June 2011. 4) Learn to juggle by mid July 2011.

Feel free to share any self improvements you'd like to make for yourself so we can support and encourage each other. If anybody wants to do a 30 day trial of something along with me you can start today (30 trials are great ways to take action because the changes are only temporary and you can always go back if you don't like the results) and post it in the comments below, and then update your progress on each of these progress update posts I do.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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