Those Without Happiness is the sum total of trying.

Those without dreams are without ideals.
Those without ideals are without beliefs.
Those without beliefs are without plans.
Those without plans are without action.
Those without action are without results.
Those without results are without happiness.
—Yoshimoto bladesmith quote—

Those without dreams are without ideals. Dream, and dream big. Aspire. Hunger for more. Envision your best self, and then see you becoming that person. Most importantly, see yourself doing the hard work needed to become a better version of you; dreaming is good but doing is better. The dream—shedding weight, getting stronger, reclaiming movement in a sedentary life, whatever it might be—determines the path needed to reach it. The bigger the dream, the longer the road. A dream is not a dream if it is bound by the constraints of present reality. So dream. And dream bigger.

Those without ideals are without beliefs. Have a standard. Have many. The more the merrier; the higher, the stricter. Maintain them, try to emulate them in all things and at all times. This is hard. Living up to ideals is not easy. There will be many days when you—and many others—fall short. Not to worry, though, failing is part of the deal; it sweetens the game. Ideals trim the fat off the bacon, they wilt the weeds, they cut the grass so the snakes will show—those who are with you will understand your ideals and help you to uphold them. Stick to your ideals long enough and they become a belief system that affirms and reaffirms your dreams. Do not blame others for not believing as you do, your dreams are your own—others, too, have their own aspirations.

Those without beliefs are without plans. Only the believer can plan; it takes a particular kind of knowledge, confidence, and faith to compile a list of goals that seem to defy rationality—or exceed society’s expectations—and say, “Right, this is how it’s gonna be done.” But, oh, the clarity of plans is unmatched. Write the goals down, say them out loud to yourself. Share them with the most trusted so they can aid in keeping you motivated and accountable to pursue them. Make a training timetable, schedule the alarm. In time, with dedication, everything bends towards your ambitions. Ensure there are days for chasing the dream, and others for rest. Plan, and plan well.

Those without plans are without action. Press the start button and pit all into play. Not tomorrow, now. Not next week, now. Not a year from now, but now. Right this moment. Walk it, run it, lift it, pull and push it, whip it, jump it. Bench this, curl that. Clean. Press. Time it, match it, shorten it, beat it. More of this, less of that. Try. Try again. And again. And once more with feeling. See a sweaty sunrise; enjoy a glowing, aching, and accomplished sunset. Pay back Monday and earn your weekend. Spring and summer, autumn and winter—the right season for putting dreams into action is always. Do not wait, do not hesitate. You do not need everything to get started: what you do not have, you do not need it now; what you do not know, you will discover along the way. The path gives the walker everything they need. Go, get started. Now.

Those without action are without results. A lost kilogram, a pair of jeans that finally fits, a few seconds shaved off a run’s time, more energy in the day, a sense of accomplishment in the evenings, a healthy appetite, sleep patterns that are kinder to the body and life’s routines, finally making the minimum weight to donate blood, one more rep—just one more rep. Once you start two things will happen: you will succeed or you will fail—both are equally instructive. Success is its own motivation; if the formula works, do not change it. Carry on. And if you fail? Try again, harder. Make some corrections and then have another go. Good or bad, desired or undesired, expected and unexpected, results are the lifeblood of those who do; when they are diligently collected every day they are knowledge, when they are learned from they become wisdom. Only a person with results knows the difference between feeling tired and being fatigued—one of them can be slept away, the other needs rest. But you cannot know this truth without doing the work needed to get the results.

Those without results are without happiness. And that that is it: the more one tries, the closer to happiness one gets. Effort is its own reward; happiness is the sum total of trying. Simple. Hard. Harsh. But true.

— Those Without wallpaper —

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Quote: Yoshimoto bladesmith motto heard in Carter.

Design: Rémy Ngamije, 2022.

Rémy Ngamije is an award-winning Rwandan-born Namibian author, editor, publisher, photographer, literary educator, and entrepreneur. He is the founder of The Forge.