Agree? “It Is Hard, So Terribly Hard, to Please Yourself…It Is Almost the Hardest Thing in the World.”

“It is hard, so terribly hard, to please yourself. Far from being the easy thing that it sounds like, it is almost the hardest thing in the world, because we are not always comfortable with that true self that lies deep within us.”
–Christopher Alexander, The Nature of Order Book Four: The Luminous Ground

I agree. It is so, so hard to please yourself.

The more I write about happiness and human nature, the more clearly I see this.

But it sure does sound easy.

What do you think? Do you find it hard, or easy, to please yourself?

  • Herbie Smith

    Absolutely agreed. We’re all our own harshest critics, right? It’s the most natural thing to focus on our own shortcomings, but being proud of our accomplishments doesn’t always come as easily.

  • Dee

    I agree. Just starting a room painting project. I know I will hate the execution phase. I always do. Every little flaw bugs me. I can’t see the project as a whole – I just see every imperfection. About a month after its done, I will be able to look at the whole room and finally enjoy the result. Happens EVERY time – with whatever I do!

  • Aurra

    Agree. I hold myself to much higher standards than anyone else. Also, when creating art, I rarely am happy with it, until I hear other people say nice things about it.

  • Cheryl

    I very much agree that it is hard because even when I think I am taking steps towards something I think will make me happy it often times doesn’t turn out the way I thought. But I recently heard that if you reframe the way you think of these experiences as an experiment istead of a failed attempt at happiness you always succeed because you have learned something new about yourself. (Paraphrasing a Good Life Project recent podcast)
    How did you enjoy the book you are quoting? Would you recommend it? It appears to be a series. Did you read it all of it?

  • Kathlene Giese

    I agree. I am my own harshest critic and it doesn’t help that I’m a worrier. I judge my own actions harsher than I would someone else’s and it can really affect me to the point of losing sleep.