The single good lesson you should take from Breaking Bad:

Do yourself a favor and learn to take yes for an answer.

Accept success. Accept the easiness of life. Be ready to win. Don't expect failure, expect winning. Law of attraction, you-are-what-you-think-about, etc. Remember the frame: expect the world to be like you want it to be.

If life has purpose, great! If life doesn't have purpose, it doesn't make it harder, it makes it easier. If you have a destiny, great! Be happy to fulfill it. If you don't, great! You have absolute freedom to be whoever and whatever the hell you wanna be.

Why would you deny yourself something you want?

Joy, Mad Men

Why would you, indeed? Well...

Ah, the unbearable lightness of being, the unbearable easiness of life. Of course.

Making life harder is one of those great mismatches, like allergies: we're programmed for survival, defense against danger. Action, reaction: threat, response. That's how you operate when you answer your e-mail, when you clean your house. When you go to a wedding, because, you know, "you have to". The passive mode. The bad interpretation of extraversion: having to be surrounded by people to avoid facing yourself.

Filling your life with occupations to avoid thinking. Hmm: have we not yet gone beyond the Calvinist-protestant "work ethic"? Some people seem desperate to make their lives harder, to refuse success, happiness, leisure.

As usual, we have both a gene mismatch and a meme mismatch working in conjuction. The meme mismatch is, people become so accustomed to dealing with failure, it becomes a way of life. They've learned to cope with it so well, to structure their relationships and social life around it, that they end up "enjoying" it, inasmuch as it can be. They revel in it.

The meme mismatch has another aspect: people have become so much trained for accepting effort, pain, sacrifice, as a means towards a longer-term end, that they've become one with the means, while forgetting the end. This is what Cicero tried to warn us against:

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur?

But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?

– Cicero, de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, Sec. 1.10.32, 45 BC

This was written before Christianity. Before pain became an accomplishment, guilt a way of life, and poverty a virtue.

It has become so ingrained, that people will even jump at the opportunity to forego whatever arbitrarily defined list of pleasures in this life, or even their life, for a mere promise of pleasures in "another life". Now, call me religiously illiterate, but why would anything be both an end later and a "sin" now? And why would anyone take such a rotten deal?

So why has sacrifice, failure, pain and suffering become so popular?

  • Finding excuses for failure is more comfortable than working towards success.

  • Pity is easier to win than admiration.

  • Pity is farther from resentment than admiration.

  • Everyone will shit test you in order to push you to fail.

  • Failure is safer: you can't fall down unless you stand up.

But you have to go beyond your genetic and social programming. Hack it. Reprogram yourself. Everyone does it, at some level. But you'll do it consistently, systematically, and unapologetically.