To Be Happy, Fail and Try Again

Actor Nick Offerman gave up perfection in favor of "halfway decent": leaning into the mistakes you make in pursuit of a discipline or craft that makes you happy.

Nick Offerman, actor and woodworker, grew up working on his family farm in Illinois. During this time, he learned to enrich his own life through hard work, instead of relying on modern comforts—a philosophy he continues to practice today.

In this video from BigThink, Offerman shares three lessons on happiness that have carried him through life.

1) Discover what you love

Offerman notes that for many people, it’s easy to do the minimum amount of work and still manage to have a comfortable life.

“You can cruise through school as long as you get passing grades. You can get some job with which you can cover your living expenses, and that allows you to just watch TV, play video games to amuse yourself, engage in leisure all of the time you’re not earning your living,” he says.

The style of life he describes may sound appealing to some people. But he says when he lived that way, he quickly found it depressing. He realized that simply earning money wasn’t enough to be happy — he needed to find something he truly cared about.

“There are a lot of people who don’t like their jobs, but who go…