You earn feeling good through experience.

Through experience, you gain competence, which of course will also make you feel good. I know how to swim, ski, ride a bike, play soccer, etc. I feel good doing all of these. But I don't constantly have to be doing ANY of these to feel good about myself. So how the can I feel good about myself then, if I'm not doing them? I'm sitting here behind a keyboard and I feel a million bucks. What's the logical reason for this?

Of course my ability to do these is based on a psychological construct, otherwise I wouldn't even be able to walk, talk... anything.

Sometimes I feel good because I'm in the moment, mindfully immersed in what I'm doing. I'm not thinking of the past or future, because that'll take away my awareness from the moment. Being in the moment (being immersed in the moment) makes you feel good, regardless of what the moment is. It is about allowing awareness and unity of mind to exist. This is the core of self-esteem. Self-esteem is not a THING to be grasped. It's the FLOW that you feel.

Look, if I point to a river, you'll agree it's a river. However if I take a jar and fill it up with water from the river, I can't call the water in the jar the RIVER. Make sense? That's what Ego is trying to do. It's trying to capture a moment and constantly refer to it for your sense of "feel-good-bubbly-emotions" ... rather than just relying on the flow of the moment, which is the river.

Your first error of mind is mistaking "self-esteem" for a THING, in fact it is not a THING.

Keep in mind we're always learning things. And the things that we learn has to do with content. With years, you become habituated to content. This isn't a mystery. That's why growth is essential. In other words, content cannot be your basis for feeling good because it doesn't last. I used to refer back to experiences of the past to remind myself how awesome I am - these are called reference experiences, and they work for a very fleeting moment. But I soon learned that I can't choke off a glorious experience from the past, write it on a notecard and keep reminding myself of how MUCH I'm awesome. However, if I consistently impress NEW people ALL the time, then maybe I can live that experience again THROUGH these people. But that's what bragging is. That's Ego.

If you don't believe me, ask yourself if you have made some rational construct of feeling good based on your ability to speak coherently. Probably not. You don't need to "prove" it anymore. As a kid, when you did something new, you felt good and thus felt the need to show your parents for approval. Approval then was fine because the adults were the authority in your life. But when you grow up, the locus of control shifts and you now become the authority of your life. In other words, no one else really is responsible for you. If you die on a mountain hike, no one will ask who was responsible, because you made the choice to go there. If a child dies on a mountain hike, people will ask who was responsible.

I've had many times when my situation in life was shitty and yet I felt happy and at peace. And I've had times where my situation was great and I've felt like shit. This actually, is more common. There is literally NO correlation between your situation in life and level of happiness. 

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