Happiness is a CHOICE. (Pursuit of Happiness)

happiness is a choice. pursuit of happiness

Episode Summary

Listen Up. In this episode, I have something to say about happiness, it’s relevance on the culture & on the pursuit of it on the majority of people in society. Does the ’pursuit of happiness’ affect the decisions you make? Do you think it’s something that happens to you or is it something you have control over? Let’s talk about it in the latest installment of The Karat Juice Podcast.

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Pursuit of Happiness

Happiness is a CHOICE. (Karat Juice Podcast)

Spotify Podcast

Happiness is a CHOICE. (Karat Juice Podcast)

Pursuit of Happiness Podcast

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If you are on a pursuit of happiness you will appreciate these episodes related to personal development and productivity.

A Real Conversation: Instant Gratification Culture is STALE. (Karat Juice Podcast)
The DISTURBING reason why you’re NOT productive as you could be! (Karat Juice Podcast)
It’s Here! Now What? How to Survive A Recession (Karat Juice Podcast)

Podcast Transcript

Montay Lee 2:31
Welcome to the Karat Juice Podcast here at the Karat Juice Podcast, we observe society, we digest it. And through the nuance of it all, we attempt to progress forward. I am your host, welcome. My name is Montay Lee, and in this episode, it is my intention to give you some perspective to give you some insight into

happiness, and what it actually means.

And what

I think gets misconstrued by too many people

around what it really truly means to be happy.

I don’t want to waste your time. So I’m gonna do a little housekeeping before we really get into the nitty gritty of it. Okay.

And the first things first, for my audio listeners, I appreciate you really rock with anybody who’s rocking with the podcast.

And if you could do me a favor, please help me out. It really helped me out if you just share, rate and review the podcast on Apple podcast on Spotify anywhere you listen to podcasts, it really helps on Apple five star five star five star as well YouTube stuff. If you enjoy this content, and only if you enjoy this content, please like the video, subscribe to the podcast and get more content like this here on this podcast. We provide commentary and perspective on popular culture. I talk about true crime, a little dating and I also add in productivity tips to help you to get your mentality right also got some content to help you possibly create your own content or your own podcast if you want to talk about things like this in the future. Now, without further delay, let’s get on to the show. Let’s get into what we really came to talk about here today. And that is happiness.

What does it really mean?

What I think and what I’ve started to realize is

people think that to be happy, you need to have something you need to obtain something you need to be live

Even in a particular place, you need to have a certain income.

You need to go on specific trips and excursions and what have you.

You need to have status or power.

Is that something that you think happiness is?

I must admit, I’ve thought in the past that these things are things that would bring happiness.

In the culture today, this is a culture podcast in the culture today, especially in America, we live in an age of consumerism, of advertising, the advertising industry boomed. I think it was in what was it? The 20s, the 30s. I don’t want to digress. But we had a huge advertising boom, right here in this country.

And during that advertising, boom, we got pushed products. We got pushed, you need to have this cosmopolitan, you need to have the white picket fence the house, you need to drive a Cadillac, you need to have a nice watch, you need to wear you need to buy diamonds for your lady, to make sure that what is What the What’s that saying that they say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, right? We’ve been fed all of these things. And at the end of it all, after you’ve worked endless hours, after you’ve saved money, after you’ve invested and after you’ve done all of these things, eventually you’ll find happiness when you buy that diamond, or when you obtain that, that material possession, or you’ve gotten this this house, but no, you got to get another house, you got to get a beach house, you got to get a yacht, you got to get all of these different things, or a boat or a dinghy or whatever it is. You need to obtain things to, to obtain that. That very elusive pursuit of happiness, right. This is what we’ve been sold. We’ve been sold this dream, we’ve been sold this idea that to be truly happy, we have to do what to be truly happy.

You have to obtain something, or you need to be with a certain person, or you need to go to a specific place.

And it has to be some designer peace of material cloth that you’re wearing. What if I told you that the happiest people in the world

don’t have much? What if I told you and this has been studied, the happiest people in the world

live very, very low key lives. They usually work the earth they usually are working in agriculture. And they see their work every day. They their happiness, and their fulfillment and life is not tied to material things. I think there’s something that we all can learn from what they

have experienced and their journeys through life. I’ll tell you a story about myself. I grew up here in Michigan.

I started working at the age of 16. I worked at a grocery store. And I was bagging drove bagging groceries and working minimum wage at that time and going to high school.

Well eventually I went to college and I went to a small Christian College. And while they’re at St. College, I got a summer job.

The summer job I got was landscaping. If you’re not familiar with landscaping in Michigan, it gets humid out here. It’s nothing like the people down south but it gets humid it gets round at 85 Really high humidity and it is tough work. It’s tough work doing landscaping. We will go out I will work from like 7am to 5pm. Monday through Friday. Sometimes we will go work early on Saturday for like a half day. But we will go and we would plant plants trees

do grading where we get a landscape a yard or a residential complex or commercial complex, ready to be seeded for grass. We would

make like barrier walls and retainer walls to make sure that somebody’s landscape looks tight. You’ve guys seen it before. I would think that you’re familiar with landscaping, but it was tough work.

Sometimes we would also do like, small driveways or little like, paved, or what do you call it, we would do like we would lay bricks to on like, on roads and stuff. So we would do some of that stuff too. So it was tough work, it was out there in the heat. But I say all of that to say,

it was very fulfilling work. I really enjoyed it. And for anybody that’s a young person that’s coming up to college, I really highly recommend doing that job. Because you know what it taught me more so than anything.

It taught me how to appreciate

working with my hands, and doing an honest day’s work.

I think in the culture today,

a lot of people are working in jobs where they’re sitting at a desk, they’re writing reports, or they’re doing like analytical stuff, or engineering or customer service, or what have you, they’re not really seeing their work, it’s hard to see your work where you’re doing, when you’re doing work like that.

And what I’ve benefited from, and what I really appreciate it was going to a place at the beginning of the day, seeing it look once one way, dirty, dusty, you know, discombobulated or, you know, just not looking the best aesthetically, right. And then by the end of the day, the whole entire landscape being transformed and actually seeing what I did.

I think there is something to seeing tangibly, the effort and what you put in what you’re doing. And there’s also like a degree of

pride you take in your work when you’re working with your hands, and you’re, you’re doing that type of work. And I am fortunate for that, that I had that experience in college because it, it helped to ground me, it made me appreciative of people who do hard work and hard labor. And I want to tie it to other people. And what I’ll say is having that type of

appreciation for the things that you do, can be utilized by more people, more people can take that experience that I learned by working that type of job. And what they can do is they can use it in their everyday life by

being more present in the thing that you’re doing, taking pride in what you are doing day by day. And if it’s something that you

is going to find a hard time doing, like taking pride in what you’re doing. What is your plan on getting a position or a role or starting your own gig or your own business to where you can take pride in the work that you’re doing? Shout out to you yoga with the with the nice greetings Hola. She says, Hey, from New York, shout out to you.

Put you put it up here. Appreciate you

eat something good in New York for me.

So I say all of that to say that.

I think that happiness. True happiness is not something that comes from material things. It doesn’t come from a job. It doesn’t come from a relationship. It comes from within.

It comes from having

being present, and being grateful for the things that you have going on in your life. I know it seems simple. But trust me with this, trust me with this. Being happy

is not something that somebody does to you. Or it’s not something that people can change about you. You have to make the choice that you’re going to be happy and it’s going to come with being present and in the moment with things that you have going on with your life. I know me personally, when I am anxious or if I’m or when I’m not happy with something that I got going on or if I feel rushed, or if I feel like I’m not

when I feel like I’m not

moving towards my inherent purpose and actually doing something that I feel like I have that is my passion or I’m driven about or moving towards a goal

that I have, that’s when I can feel stagnant. And that’s when I don’t feel like I’m living to my fullest potential. And that’s when I feel the weirdest and like,

kind of blah. And what I’ll say is having purpose.

Having pride in what you do,


everybody else away from it, not deriving your happiness from other people is the key to having a life. That is truly what’s the best way to say it. It truly feels authentic and real.

I don’t rely on other people for my happiness. I appreciate the people that I have in my life. But I think that’s something that you decide.

You decide

what’s going to make you happy. And if right now, you’re not happy in the situation that you’re in? What are you going to do about it to change it?

Far too often, I see people talking about how that some dollar amount.

But what if I told you, I have a study here, I might pop it up, I might not.

There’s been multiple studies.

I might not put it up on the screen, but I’ll just say reference it here.

There was a study that was conducted

by Princeton US university that found that once your salary hits $75,000

For the majority of people making more money past $75,000, adjusted for inflation might be a little bit more now

won’t have much effect on your day to day happiness. People who bring home less than $75,000 a year typically are going to undergo more hardships, such as divorced ill health, while higher earners generally report more satisfaction within their lives. Yes, but the significance of the difference from 75,000 upward isn’t really much. So what that tells me is material possessions alone is not going to make you happy. Now, I am a realist, having more money is not going to hurt. And what having more money does more so than anything is this.

Get my water.

What happened more money more so than anything does is it gives you the freedom of your time.

It gives you the freedom, more options and choices. And that is a great thing. I don’t think people should go and be monks and just completely forgo money. I think having money. Having the ability to buy things purchase property purchase items that you enjoy, is it’s a great luxury to have. But above all else, it frees up your time.


People who are very successful, talk about how they grind it. And they worked 100 hours a week while they were

in their season of growth, and of building up businesses and they talk about how they grind and they dedicate themselves and they sacrifice in the short term so that they can buy back their time later.

And if you are somebody that knows that you’re gonna want to live a more luxurious lifestyle, you’re gonna want to go get on yachts that you pay for or that you commission out. Or if you’re gonna want to go and dress all designer and stuff you’re gonna have to sacrifice for a season in the interim, to eventually get there. But what I’m what I’m here to tell you is the material things, the yachts and all that type of stuff is not going to make you happy. What I think is people who have purpose, are happy. And if you can find purpose in what you’re doing, and it makes money, that’s the key.

That’s the key to true success. When you can do something that you truly enjoy,

and you’re gonna make money off of it.

I got I gotta give you a side effect. That’s the key, okay.

Don’t let people

give you this idea and this notion that

certain things or

a lifestyle that you’re going to have is going to make you happy because it won’t.

It is my belief

that people who have purpose who are driven, who are moving towards a goal, and authentically expressing themselves and moving towards that

are people who are going to be happier, a usually that comes from people taking pride in what they do.

This is just been on my heart because

I consume a lot of content. I am I love podcasts, I love YouTube, I love to learn new things. And I’ve been seeing a lot of people worrying about the inflation,

or worrying about the price of houses, the price of everything nowadays, and I want people

to understand that. What you do from right now in this moment moving forward is going to determine what your happiness is. I’ll tell you another story.

What guys, it’s not a story. One of my favorite movies.

I don’t know what yours is, drop it in the comments below. Let me know what your favorite movie is. I’ll tell you mine right now.

My favorite movie

is the pursuit of happiness.

with Will Smith.

Why do I love that movie.


if you haven’t seen it, thriller, it came out a long time ago. But that movie is a true story. Who doesn’t love a true story? I love dramas, especially if they’re true, because I can learn something from it.

And what I love so much about that movie was the struggle that he endured.

If you don’t know about the story, Will Smith played Robert Garner, and throughout the movie, he has entrepreneurial motivation and ambition. He wants to succeed, he wants to provide for his family, and throughout the story without giving him without me giving you all of the details into trials and tribulations. He keeps on struggling, he gets evicted, he loses. He doesn’t make enough money to make rent, he’s he owes people, he has a bunch of debtors, his car is getting towed. All of these things are happening to him. He’s living in the shelter with his kid, all of these things are happening. But throughout that time, he never stopped moving towards His purpose and His goal which was to succeed, to succeed, he was not going to be denied no matter what.

And a lot of people no matter what your path is, and whatever your and whatever your journey is, people can relate and resonate with that story. We all have our own journeys that were going on. But eventually, with enough persistence, with enough failures, with enough bad times, if you are moving towards your goal,

and you have a purpose, and you have focus, intention on what you want to do, eventually you’ll get where you want to be. And that’s my favorite movie because it’s, it’s it’s called the pursuit of happiness. But there were not a lot of happy times in the movie.

But I think

without us knowing

we are our most happy, quote unquote, and feel the most alive.

When there’s a struggle when there’s when there’s some turmoil when there’s a challenge when we have purpose. I think the main thing that gets lost in society is people think that your life is supposed to be easy. And when you have a lot of money and resources that you think you’re you’ve made it and life is over No. What happens more. So

what happens more than anybody wants to talk about is people who have a lot of resources, sometimes that’s the worst thing that could ever happen to you, especially if it was just handed to you look at people who are very successful and wealthy and then look at them and how they built up their money and how they’ve so successful and driven and have purpose and ambition and charitable and all that. Then those same people look at their children.

Sometimes that’s a detriment to their children. If they’re just handed though that wealth and they never built it because

Those children, if you don’t watch out, they have no was looking at the right camera, they have

the purpose, they don’t have the purpose.

And what are they say idle time is the devil’s playground,

you have to be careful of these type of things.

Because I’m starting to recognize more so than anything.

The real meaning and purpose of life is to impact others

to, to put a positive impact on the world, and to constantly be moving towards your ultimate goal by getting better by one degree each and every day. And I think we lose sight of that. I know I’ve lost sight of it at times. And

for me, creating content that really means something, even if it only helps one person is okay. With me.

I can live with that.

Because I don’t want to just put out things that aren’t going to actually help somebody in a profound way at some point. And I know when I was growing up and trying to figure out what I wanted to do, and buy in stuff that really hasn’t served me. I wish I had somebody to tell me like, you know what, that’s not really what life’s about, man. It’s about finding something, no matter what that is.

Find something no matter what it is, that is gonna fulfill you.

That always doesn’t mean making money.


if you can find something that is going to fulfill you

that you could teach or help other people, and it’s gonna make money, then really get focused like a laser on what you can, what you need to do, to be successful at it and to get more adept at it and go after that no matter what that is, if that’s being a podcaster. That’s being a content creator. If that’s running a business, if you have an idea, write it down, figure out a plan and go after it.

Because you create your happiness, somebody else doesn’t do it for you. You have full autonomy and control over it.

Because what I’ve noticed is happiness just gets thrown about all the time. Like I’m not happy.

This has happened to me this has happened to me, I can’t do that. Do it because of this, this that blah, blah blahs a blase. blase as some people say, no.

You have ownership of that. Nobody else does. Understand that bad things happen to people. Some people have been dealt a shitty hand in life. Some people really have struggles have medical conditions, disabilities, I am not trying to be

what’s the word? I’m not trying to be callous, or disregard those people I understand. But that’s the exception, not the rule respectfully.

If you’re able bodied,

you’re healthy.

You have every opportunity as the next person

to take ownership of your happiness, whatever it is, whatever that is, if you want to be get a Lambo. If you want to get a mansion, if you want to get a yacht, if you want to wear diamonds, if you want to have a Cuban link chain like the rapper’s, then by all means, create a plan and go get it but don’t complain about where you are, if that’s what you want. My only question for somebody that’s thinking like that is is that something that you want? Or is it something that you think you want just because you’ve seen other people on social media have it?

I think more people that you know, are the latter and they just want things because other people have it.

I would encourage you to to figure out what you actually want, and then go after that.

No matter what it is.


we only got one life here, and

I’ll wrap this up like this.

I recently saw a video that Ali Abdullah did

And in the video, he talked about a book that he was reading.

Ah, I’m losing track right now my mind is kind of blanking. Let me pull this up. But he was talking about a book that he read. And the guy in the book, I don’t want to misquote it. So I’m just gonna pull it up real quick bear with me.

The guy in the book he talked about

the author is

Oliver Burkeman. And he talked about the book is called

four thousand weeks

of life, and it’s incumbent upon you. So it’s called 4000 weeks, right? And the premise of the book is this. Shout out to you star bunny.

Shout out to you. Thanks for listening. Like the video, please subscribe to the channel if you’re getting value. But in the book, Oliver Burkeman talked about 4000 weeks? And did you know that we have 4000 weeks? If you live to the average age that a human being lives? Everybody has 4000 weeks, if you live a full life was a majority of people do?

How are you going to spend your 4000 weeks?

That put into perspective for me? And it was just like, What am I doing with my time because time out of everything else we have in the world?

Is something you can never get back. Ever.

How many more weeks are you going to spend? Doing something you don’t want to do?

How many more weeks of your 4000 weeks? Are you going to spend doing something that doesn’t serve you? Does it serve your family

that you don’t like?

How about you take the next

I don’t know how many weeks are in a year, the next 52 weeks, draft up a plan and figure out what you can do. So then the next however many weeks you have, you could do it towards something that you actually want to do. I don’t know, I heard that from that book. And from what Ali Abdullah talked about.

And he really like submit it to me that you know what,

I’m only going to be putting out things and talking about things that I’m truly passionate about that it’s going to help people because I want to spend the weeks that I have actually making an impact and doing things that I want to do that I think are going to serve a bigger purpose.

Whatever it is for you, like I’ve said before, I want to I want you to do that. I encourage you to do that. Oliver Bergman 4000 weeks very powerful.

And like I do all the time.

I don’t want to waste your time. So I’m going to keep this nice and punchy and to the point.

I’ll leave you with this.

I think I’m going to podcast again tomorrow as well. I’m going to I’m going to try to go daily. I’m going to I’m going to try to go live more try to go daily. But I’m going to leave you

with this one of my favorite quotes from none other than Bruce Lee.

absorb what is useful?

Reject what is useless.

And add what is essentially your own.

I’ll say that again.

absorb what is useful.

Reject what is useless.

Add what is essentially your own.

I think that quote speaks for itself. Bruce Lee is so profound. I will highly recommend anybody listen to the Bruce Lee podcast by Shannon Lee.

My name is Montay Lee, we’re not related. But shout out to Bruce Lee. Shannon Lee, his daughter, her podcast. It’s profound if you want to get some insight on just his philosophy, his mentality. He has a lot of depth and it could help you to unlock your fullest potential. And think of things in a different way to be able to be a more productive

Have a healthy and aware person. I recommend it for anybody. And hey, that’s been a bonus episode of the Karat Juice Podcast. If you got some value out of this commentary, this perspective on happiness and what having the right mentality can do for you do me a favor like the video subscribe to the channel hit the notification bell so you get notified anytime I go live because you never know sometimes I just pop up on here. You know, I want to keep you on your toes, keep you on your feet. All right, and also if you’re listening to the audio feed, appreciate all of my audio listeners. I really appreciate serving you here on this podcast do me a favor rate and review the podcast please five star five star five star that’s on Apple podcasts or Spotify. And

before I get out of here, I just want to let you know this podcast is edited written produced by yours truly Montay Lee, and like I say every time here at the Karat Juice Podcast,

love somebody. hug somebody. Do something good for someone not expecting anything in return. And until I see you next time, peace. We are gone.

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