CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 128 – Diary of a Self-Isolator 28.7.2020 BLOG 30th July 2020

CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 128 – Diary of a Self-Isolator Tuesday 28th July 2020

I think I might have discovered something about unhappiness today.

In my life I’ve read quite a few good books. But two of the most practical and helpful books have been:

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (2 Book Series)) by Mark Manson

Ok, I know, language. But they are both best selling books and the way he uses the language is very fitting and feels quite natural.

I signed up for Mark Manson’s weekly newsletter because he is good. He knows what he is talking about.

Part of today’s newsletter was very interesting and thought provoking. Please don’t be offended by the language.



“Unhappiness is a mistake

I decided to read the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer’s principle work, The World as Will and Representation (yeah, I know, fuck me). Well, about 80 pages in, I made an exciting discovery.

If you’ve read a number of articles or books about happiness, you’ve probably come across, at some point, the following equation:

Happiness = Expectations – Reality

It’s pretty common. In fact, I even shared it in this newsletter once, many moons ago. I always figured it was a cute thing that came from some happiness researcher or self-help author.

But it turns out that it actually comes from Schopenhauer! Here’s the man himself:

“All happiness depends on the proportion of what we claim and what we receive. It is immaterial how great or small the two quantities of this proportion are, and the proportion can be established just as well by diminishing the first quantity as by increasing the second.”

He then goes on to explain that to maintain our happiness, we adopt one of two strategies. The first strategy is to simply want or expect less. This is the Buddhist strategy — to remove oneself of all desire or attachment so that reality can never upset or disappoint you.

The second strategy is to live in so damn well that all of your expectations are fulfilled. This is the Western way — the way of expansion and growth and living in virtue. 

But here’s the really cool part. In explaining this, Schopenhauer points out that, regardless of your strategy, all unhappiness is ultimately rooted in the same thing: mistakes.

“For whenever a man in any way loses self-control, or is struck down by misfortune, or grows angry, or loses heart, he shows in this way that he finds things different than what he expected, and consequently he lived under a mistake.”

Translation: if you’re unhappy, it’s either because you had the wrong expectations, or you failed to materialize your expectations in reality. Either way: you fucked up. And this is what drives unhappiness, the sudden realization of one’s assumptions and expectations being so terribly wrong.”



So, there you have it. Straight from the horse’s mouth. I’ll say no more.

Today I finished the grandchildren’s magazines after a lot more work. Finally posted them about 4.00pm. To be honest they took a lot of work and cost quite a bit of cash, but I feel sorry to be resting from it.

TV was superb tonight. We watched the amazing “Our Yorkshire Farm” Documentary. It’s about Shepherdess Amanda Owen, her husband and nine children. A wonderful family. The children see so much of life (and death) on the remote Yorkshire farm and are living proof happiness is not about material things but natural life.

Tonight’s episode was about Christmas and bringing a premature calf into the world. They fought for it and kept its fragile life going for weeks but only to lose it after so much time and effort.

They caught mice in traps to feed to owls who had taken up residency in their barns too and filmed them.

All the children make you feel so inadequate but especially their four year old daughter who knows more about real life and farming than I will ever know. And she puts it to big practical use.

They must win some awards for this series.

Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen driving tractor.




“It’s a gift to exist, and with existence comes suffering. There’s no escaping that.”

— Stephen Colbert


Happiness is…good


What animal is always at a cricket game?

A bat


Love is…knowing you have come a long way together

5 Things To Be Grateful For During Lockdown/Coronavirus

We are grateful  Lockdown gives us  a time…

  1. A time for a minimalist life of happiness…A time to live well and fully for happiness.
  2. A time to be Buddhist happy…A time to be Western World happy.
  3. A time to have no children…A time to have nine children.
  4. A time for a basic Yorkshire Farm homely Christmas…A time for an extravagant Christmas.
  5. A time to let the mice roam free…A time to feed the mice to the Tawny Owl.


DAY 115        16 Times – 144 Feet              Cumulative Total 17,127 Feet




©2020 Phil M Robinson