The Key to Happiness? Love Something to the Point of Ridicule

By Justin Zoradi
Originally posted on the Storyline Blog

A while ago I stumbled upon an amazing video of a guy in New York seeing a limited edition train for the first time.

May sound irrelevant to you and me, but this guy is absolutely obsessed with trains and it makes for one of funniest videos I’d seen in a long time.

Enjoy this wonderful 4.5 minutes.


After sharing the video on Facebook, a friend pointed out one of the youtube comments that read:

“Wow. I wish I cared this much about anything.”

We can laugh at this guy for getting fired up about something most of us know nothing about. But the truth is, very few people can honestly say they care this much about anything.

And then it dawned on me: Loving something like this guy loves trains is the secret to happiness. It’s also the secret to humanness.

I believe we were created to build, strategize, love, scheme, obsess, and innovate. For this guy, limited edition trains probably keep him awake at night. In a world where so many can’t even name one positive thing they are passionate about, there is something beautifully human in this guy losing his mind over a train.

Excited train guy from New York gives us a small glimpse into the great capacity for joy and excitement we as humans have the ability to experience.

Furthermore, loving something to the point of ridicule is extremely important. Especially if it’s something of value or purpose. I knew I was on to something when a few years back people started poking fun about my work with These Numbers Have Faces.

A good friend once told me he was in the process of starting a similar organization called “These Braces Have Faces,” whose mission is to provide counseling for kids who had undergone embarrassing dental work. We got a good laugh out of that.

People poking fun at your passions is a very good sign. It means they care enough to notice what you’re doing and are most likely a little bit envious.

So what is it for you? What’s the thing you’d film a video of yourself doing, knowing full well that people might make fun of you?

Don’t know? I encourage you to figure it out. Take a tip from the excited train guy in New York.

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