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

 

104 thoughts on “Is Happiness the Goal?

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    1. I have come to a similar crossroad recently. I thought that happiness should be the goal of my human existence.

      I no longer believe this.

      Rather, meaning should be the goal. Exploring what it means to Be in this life, what I should aim for in life (knowledge, wisdom, family harmony, nurturing relationships).

      Happiness is a commodity that has been packaged, branded and sold like a infomercial.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. We have. But it’s encouraging to encounter people like yourself who have opened themselves to the realisation that there’s more to our existence than happiness. I feel less alone.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. I am definitely trying some new things this year to make me happier. Things like taking more time off of work, trying to make new friends, trying to get back into dating. I think at least putting importance on trying to be happier and taking care of yourself is a good step towards happiness.

    I don’t get too sad often, more like irritated lol.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I also believe that happiness is the result of being content and a sense of reality about your own capacities. In fact, a recent study demonstrated that those who’re making the chase for happiness to the center of their preoccupations, end up being unhappy. (Vogt, J. (2019) Wanting to be happy but not knowing how: poor attentional control and emotion-regulation abilities mediate the association between valuing happiness and depression. Journal of Happiness Studies. ISSN 1573-7780).

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Nice topic.
    I have shared a similar topic on my blog. In my view happiness should not be the ultimate goal. We should be seeking more growth in life.
    As you said, as a part of being human, we feel all emotions like sadness and happiness. In my view happiness is just one of those emotions, which is temporary. On the other hand growth sticks to us for life.

    On my blog there is a post titled ‘ why you need to seek growth instead of happiness.’ You can check it out if you like. Thanks:)

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Your cover image of the rainy day put me in mind of Pete Townshend’s song “The Blue, Red and Grey” and his memorable lyric:

    “I dig every second, I can laugh in the snow and rain,
    I get a buzz from being cold and wet,
    The pleasure seems to balance out the pain.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have come to a similar conclusion. For me not chasing happiness somehow leads to contentment. There seem to be something vaguely Buddhist in all this. Being aware of our feelings is also of interest. I’m not suggesting we chase that awareness either.

    ps thanks for the like

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’ve just recently come to the same conclusion. As I get older, I spend more time thinking about my purpose in life. I know that happiness is an important part of getting enjoyment out of each and every day. Our mindset is key to putting things in perspective, expressing gratitude, helping others, and choosing to be happy.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I think you are right on…contentment is more my goal now than the euphoria of happiness. And in the moments of greatest sadness I have learned to know myself better, press in to God, and turn it into a “sweet” time of rebirth. I agree, a lot of beautiful art springs from sadness. Thanks for such an interesting post!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. good topic & post…i believe personally that there are degrees of “happiness”..and at any given time i am present in one of those degrees. To me, the same applies to many other emotions…it’s not a straight line or a goal, but a state of being which we either accept or do not….Namaste..

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Hi Betul
    This is a wonderful post and one that really got me thinking. After saying this, I do believe happiness is our goal in life but it may not be genuine happiness. As a Buddhist I believe every type of experience whether it’s phenomena, material or sentient is subject to suffering due the the issue of impermanence. As humans we like to think everything is forever and so we grasp on to things as if we own them. The big house, the great car, top of the range phones etc. All those things will rot or break but whilst we chase them in the desire to own them, we believe they’ll make us happy. So you see we’re always chasing happiness. Now, when we get those things, we are momentarily happy, until we see a better newer & more beautiful model and we start again chasing the illusion of happiness. We don’t stop to consider, what we have now was once our ultimate happiness – enough. in Buddhism this is called negative attachment. So to answer your question… Yes I believe our goal is always happiness.
    Please keep your posts coming best wishes Julie x 🌹

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Happiness isn’t my goal because when it was I got frustrated at how fleeting it was. As a Stoic I’m indifferent to happiness and sadness and this not minding leads to contentment, which is a deeper and more lasting and satisfying state than happiness. Not minding when you’re sad can avert depression.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Me too. Someone said I was recovered. I asked, what do you mean by “recovered”? I mean, we’re learning every day, constantly growing. I don’t think we’re actually recovered from being human until we die.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Everyone has a blessing. In fact, we all have many blessings. It’s just about noticing them. We are genetically conditioned to notice what we lack, rather than what we have. To get out of that takes discipline. It doesn’t matter where this discipline comes from. It could be Buddhism, Christianity, Stoicism, the Power of Now… Anything that encourages you to switch your view, and see things from another side.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Such a beautiful blog post🌻Happiness comes to me from my unruffled belief that the universe is perpetually calm amidst all the apparent chaos! Everything happens for a reason indeed💛

    Stay blessed! ☺😇
    -theinkwarrior

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’m not sure what I want actually. I feel like it’s been a while since the last time I was really genuinely happy. I’m currently at the stage where I don’t really know what I want, what my goal is. I feel like something is missing. I thought it was because I had too many excuses to do or not do something…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I have been there too, and am still partly there perhaps. We need those times so we can later have the courage to get something. Like how we cannot know what hot is if cold did not exist. I am sure you will get out soon. In the meantime, try out different things. They may not work out, but at least your brain will get the message that you are trying and there is a goal out there.

      Like

  13. This is such an insightful post. I actually appreciate EVERYTHING I go through and have gone through. Nothing has ever happened to me that did not leave me with valuable lessons about life and living. I’ve learned gratitude, which is what I think your post is really getting at.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Hi Betul, it is BluePansies! This is another great article! Happiness is a great feeling. Sometimes it is hard to achieve for various reasons. But the Bible promises us true, lasting happiness. It says: “the meek will possess the earth,And they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” Are you interested in learning more about this?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We are a materialistic and consumption society. Well, that is my experience… I just touched on this in a post. The idea of enough. I too am trying to see that things are for a reason and value can be found. It is there. A thing is not good nor bad but our attachment to that thing makes it so. Love the post. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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