1 min read

The day you become happy

Or shit happens.

Journey by Pai Shih, on Flickr

Happiness is grasping the fact that shit happens.

I know this now because I just finished reading Shoe Dog, Nike’s founder’s memoir. A lot of shit happened to Phil Knight.


I’ve spent a fair portion of my life in debt. As a young entrepreneur, I became distressingly familiar with that feeling of going to sleep each night, waking up each day, owing many people a sum far greater than I could repay.

Notwithstanding discouragement from his father, near bankruptcies, and accidents and deaths, just from this line, you know shitty things happened to him while founding Nike. I thought that the shit was too much, in fact, that it compelled me to believe Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

In other words, shit happens.

I can not fathom that the person who made Nike Nike, could possibly be so incompetent that he caused all the shit that happened. Or that he is shit.

But since — fact — a lot of shit did go down, I am forced to accept that shit does happen. No becauses, it just does. It’s a law.

And happiness comes from a deep understanding of this law. Because when you don’t accept this fact, and then shit happens, you go around thinking, “I am shit.” Which is The Ultimate Cause of Unhappiness.

In a way, I read Shoe Dog because shit keeps happening to me. I surmise, if only I were better, more successful, more like Phil Knight, perhaps it won’t. But when I finish reading, I see that Pre-Shit, Phil Knight was also not Phil Knight.

The shit — cleaning it up, learning not to step on the same, moving on to the next — made him who he is, made Nike what it is.

So, shit happens. Don’t insist on finding someone or something to blame for every shitty thing that happens. Don’t insist on a reason. Shit happens, just because. Believe it.

The day your heart finally understands this, is the day you become happy.