The Way it Is and The Way it Could Be

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I just heard on a podcast that unhappiness is when the way you want the world to be is not the way it is and that you should accept your world to gain happiness.

At first, I thought, “What a pleasant thought…” and then my brain started working. (It was early in the morning)

Progress and great things are made exactly by people who do NOT accept the way it is. As a designer, you should never accept the way it is. You should always be dreaming of how it could be, should be, aught to be, and will be. Nothing changes if you accept the world as it is.

Big and small, there are things I think could be better and I am working towards it. Some examples:

  • This UI I am working on could be easier and more elegant
  • My son could write essays better
  • I’m 2 pounds over my target weight
  • Public policy (Federal and State) could be more compassionate and nicer to poor people and minorities.
  • People need better ways of understanding the risks of climate change
  • Immigration use cases are all blended together and need better data points for people to grok
  • Android P messes up my Car navigation a little

Some are big and some small. Some are in my control and others need world-wide coalitions. The point is that it doesn’t make me unhappy to imagine a better world. Quite the opposite.

What makes me unhappy is when I can’t imagine a better world. When I lose hope, that is when fear, uncertainty, and doubt take over my consciousness.

Does this gap between what IS and what COULD BE make you unhappy and sad or inspired and motivated?


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