More To That

The riddle of happiness 🤔

Published about 2 months ago • 3 min read

Hey friends,

Hello from Vancouver, where I’m visiting family until early next week. This city holds a special place in my heart because my wife and I got married here, and it’s wild that we’re now here with a child. The pages of life turn quickly, and I hope you’re taking a moment to slow down and bookmark the most special ones.

Today, I wanted to share a reflection on one of life’s most important topics: happiness.

In a sense, happiness is the greatest aspiration of all. It’s what makes the knowledge of our finitude palatable, knowing that we can make the most of our time on the planet. We’re only here for a flash in the context of human history, but it’s beautiful knowing that we can make that flash as bright as possible.

With that said, I’ve come to realize that happiness isn’t something you can aspire to attain. Because if that’s your framing of it, then you’ll always be chasing it, and any pursuit of this nature introduces restlessness.

So in today’s post, I want to offer a better alternative. It’s something that’s helped me greatly, and perhaps it can do the same for you. When you’re ready, let’s dive right in:

The Riddle of Happiness

Free 5-day email series on drawing

I'm often asked about how I create my illustrations, so I put together a free 5-day email series on using visuals to elevate your work.

You'll learn why drawings are so effective, when to place them in a given piece, and how to iterate your way to a unique visual style.

To get the first lesson in your inbox, just click here (or the preview image below) and you'll get it shortly. Enjoy!

A Book I’ve Been Enjoying

On the Meaning of Life by Will Durant — Will Durant is known as one of the greatest historians to have ever lived, but he also had a great interest in philosophy as well. In the first chapter of this book, Durant offers some explanations for the meaning of life through the lenses of religion, science, and history.

In the second chapter, he provides a collection of responses he received from many of his peers on what gives them meaning. There are some names I recognize and many I don’t, but it’s fascinating to see how many bright minds have thought through this puzzle.

A Thought I’ve Been Pondering

Ultimately, envy is the result of not knowing who you are. It arises when you outsource your definitions of success to whatever norms you've adopted - whether consciously or not.

In one person's case, it might be wealth. In another, it may be social media followers. In another, it could be the size of a home.

Regardless of what the barometer is, the fact that you desire it means that you're looking beyond the contents of your mind and into the collective pool of society. You're ceasing to look into what makes you uniquely you, and are gazing into the chaos of chasing that which you don't understand.

(Share on Twitter / X)

A Note of Gratitude

Last week, More To That turned 6 years old. What a journey it’s been, and I feel like I’m just getting started.

Of all the communication channels I have, this newsletter is by far the most meaningful. Thank you for your support over the years, whether it comes in the form of reading my work, enrolling in a course, replying with your thoughts, sharing a post, anything. I’m in awe of the amazing people that More To That has been able to reach, and that includes you as well.

I look forward to sharing so much more in the coming months and years. Thanks again for being here =).

A Brief Parting Question

Here we are, already at the end of March. I’d like to do a brief check-in on how the year’s been for you.

What’s been a win for you in 2024 (regardless of how big or small)? And what’s an obstacle that you’re looking to overcome?

As a reminder, I read every email. Excited to hear about your wins and challenges.

As always, hit reply to share any thoughts, to respond to the parting question, or to simply say hello. I love hearing from you.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to share this email with anyone who might enjoy it. Have a great rest of your week!

-Lawrence Yeo

P.S. Thanks to all the wonderful people that support the blog on Patreon! It means so much. If you’d like to support More To That and get access to book recommendations, exclusive AMAs, offline posts, and other reflections, join as a patron today.

If you were forwarded this email, subscribe to the More To That newsletter and get the next edition in your inbox.

More To That

by Lawrence Yeo

Illustrated stories on the human condition.

Read more from More To That

Hey friends, In the last edition of the newsletter, I mentioned that I was working on a big writing project. Well, that’s still where I’m directing a majority of my creative attention toward, and in due time, I’ll share more details here. I feel like I’ve grown so much as a result of working on it, and perhaps you’ll sense that when you get to read it as well. In the meantime, I wanted to share a reflection on an important topic: what it means to follow your passion. One of the ways we’ve...

24 days ago • 5 min read

Hey friends, I’m back in Los Angeles after a wonderful stay in Vancouver, and I’m back in the groove of my writing schedule. I’m working on something I’m very excited about, and in due time, I’ll share more details here. I haven’t been this energized when it comes to my writing for quite some time, which signals that this is the exact project I’m supposed to be working on. Hope that there’s something in your life that fuels you in a similar way as well. In the meantime, I’d like to share a...

about 1 month ago • 4 min read

Hey friends, Of all the virtues we aspire to embody, kindness should reside near the top. If you take inventory of all the world’s problems, almost every single one can be resolved with it. With that said, there is a nuance to navigate. It turns out that there’s a species of kindness which doesn’t add to one’s well-being, but detracts from it. Instead of acting as a force for compassion, it becomes a proponent of cowardice. So in today’s post, we’re going to explore the border between the...

3 months ago • 2 min read
Share this post