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12: To be Strong or Miserable: The Amount of Work is the Same; Well-being was a Condition One had to Groom

(Journey to Ixtlan)

In a dramatic tone don Juan stated that well-being was a condition one had to groom, a condition one had to become acquainted with in order to seek it.
“You don’t know what well-being is, because you have never experienced it,” he said. I disagreed with him. But he continued arguing that well-being was an achievement one had to deliberately seek. He said that the only thing I knew how to seek was a sense of disorientation, ill-being, and confusion.
He laughed mockingly and assured me that in order to accomplish the feat of making myself miserable I had to work in a most intense fashion, and that it was absurd I had never realized I could work just the same in making myself complete and strong.

“The trick is in what one emphasizes,” he said. “We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”

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