Is Happiness the Goal?

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Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a happy week! Even if you didn’t, we will talk about happiness today, so we will end it happy. Maybe.

Up until recent years, I had decided that happiness was the goal of life. We go through all ups and downs so one day we can learn how to be consistently happy. How to stay happy no matter what happens. I had this ideal in mind of people who achieve supreme humanhood (if any) that they were essentially numb towards what happens to them. They always reacted with joy in my ideal.

Then, two related changes happened. One is that I realized what I was referring to was not really happiness but more like being content with whatever we have at a given moment. If I am rich, I need to be content with it and not want more (or want more in a proper way, without being greedy). If I am poor, I need to be satisfied with whatever has been given to me. If I was able to read 10 pages today, I should be content with my performance (on the condition that I did my best in those conditions). If I read 100 pages, I should be content with it too. This should be the stable part of life, not happiness, which ties to the second point, which is that:

There is no one person that ever lived that was happy at all times. As part of our human experience, we have to be sad at times so we can understand happiness better and so we can get some benefits from sadness (for example, art often is born from sadness). We have to experience happiness too because too much sadness would kill us and we also need to benefit from happiness (for example, happiness keeps us productive and keeps life going, at least search for happiness). Given that, it is more proper to not blame ourselves for feeling bad at times. That just shows that you are a human being. That also shows that there is more to us than just happiness and we need to discover our sad side as well. That is richness.

Now, I am working on being content with life as much as possible and try to accept the fact that I can be sad sometimes. Are you also working on these? What is happiness for you? How do you utilize the sad times? What is an ideal human experience? Let me know what you all think about this topic.

Betul

 

149 thoughts on “Is Happiness the Goal?

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  1. This is so true! I tell my family all the time that it’s interesting to think that life is mainly a neutral existence spliced with moments of happiness and sadness. Everyone assumes that we’re supposed to be happy or that happiness is what we have to strive for. I suppose that’s true in a sense but not when we’re talking about the feeling everyone knows as happiness. It’s more of a feeling of…satisfaction or contentment as you described. Sometimes it makes me question the point of it all but there’s a beautiful simplicity to it, isn’t there? To pursue happiness constantly is a lot of pressure and once you realize that the predominant emotional state is significantly more neutral – contentment – its almost a relief.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very well-said! I agree that chasing happiness is stressful because if you don’t feel one moment, you become unhappy again. I also like your description of life as a neutral existence spliced with moments of happiness and sadness. Good one!

      Like

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