Why pursuing happiness is not the best goal
In February 1979, I began pursuing happiness. It took place in my mother’s womb. After nine months, I inhaled some air and continued my search. I was looking for happiness in games, communication. My body, cells, and fingers were looking for happiness. I wanted my mom and friends to pay attention to me, so I started crying when I didn’t get what I wanted. (Because when you are petite, everything revolves around you.) After all, every day of my life was focused on it! And then I found out on TV that this goal was right. It’s fashionable to say that you have to strive for happiness, which is why it motivated me. Since I’m stubborn, I have found a source of happiness.
Why do people who discover the secret of happiness get bored over time?
Putting my head in happiness, I drowned in satisfaction. Uh-huh, man, it’s wonderful, amazing, astonishing. I hacked the system, so 24/7, I felt happiness surrounding my body and soul. When I was in this happiness phase, women were crazy about me. They paid enormous attention to me. But one day, an interesting thing happened; I OVEREAT HAPPINESS. Happiness was all over me, below me, and inside me, so hedonism began to push back…
(By the way, I have encountered a similar situation many times. For example, there were times when I loved apple pies. I tested them in Paris, Amsterdam, and England. I ate them always and everywhere. But when you do one thing all the time, you get bored—the apple pie has lost its charisma. Precisely the same will happen to you if you achieve lasting happiness.)
When you learn to control your emotions, when you learn to wake up happiness with one snap of your fingers, happiness becomes routine. The dilemmas start hitting the walls of your brain: Is happiness the main goal in life? Maybe happiness is not a goal but a way of life? And what is my value? Why do I feel a void in my soul even though I know the art of happiness? Or maybe there is something more? MAYBE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS NOT MY PERSONAL HAPPINESS, BUT THE HAPPINESS OF PEOPLE AROUND ME?
You think, “What people taught me About “Happiness” Isn’t True. The Purpose Of Life Is Not Happiness. And if from today I didn’t only care about my personal happiness????”
The wish is good, but…
…you don’t know how to make your loved ones happy. Why? You’ve been striving for personal happiness ALL your life! Well, I lie, you have devoted time to your loved ones, but you have spent more than 50% of your time CREATING YOUR OWN PERSONAL HAPPINESS, so you’ll have to learn everything from scratch.
You are looking for solutions and answers; you read articles and books; you look around and around. The investment pays off, and you feel the answer with all soul receptors. You realize that these people close to you are so unhappy that they will scold you if you ask them for something. The only way is to set an example for them! You try one thing, second, third, fourth.
Years pass, your children are born. First, fifth, tenth birthday = children leave, and you discover more time. And finally, you managed to achieve your goal! YOUR ACTIONS INSPIRE PARENTS AND CHILDREN TO CHANGE! INSPIRED BY YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS, THEY DECIDE TO CHANGE THEIR THINKING! Sure, they don’t realize you inspired them, but it doesn’t matter.
Voilà—your parents, your children smile and clap their hands, so you feel fulfillment. You feel something indescribable that 99% of the planet’s population will never feel, BUT…
… a few years later, new questions come knocking on your door: Maybe I can bring happiness not only to my loved ones? Perhaps I can do something more?
When you think about it, you go out to the streets. You enter a store. You grab a few croissants (not only for yourself, because your loved one is waiting at home). Grrrr… someone accidentally pushes you. You smile anyway, but the culprit starts barking. Because why are you standing here?! But you don’t start barking. You understand this unfortunate man because you used to be them. Once, you only pursued personal happiness and didn’t care for the well-being of other people. That’s why you also barked because pursuing personal happiness Makes Us Miserable.
Realizing all this raises the question of why humanity is so blind and why the whole world is screaming, “The most important thing is to be happy!”
I understand that Coca-Cola and Snickers, Red Bull, and alcohol dealers benefit from it, but why are your friend, acquaintances promoting this goal? Why do they say, “The most important thing is to understand yourself,” when the most important thing is “Help others and yourself.” After all, this is how the world promotes selfishness?
Therefore, more needs to be said about it. The more I, you, and others will say, “Selfish happiness is not the primary goal,” the better.
We are not alone.
Some intelligent people support this idea.
Why is happiness a bad goal? Several quotes by famous people
Eleanor Roosevelt once shared an idea about happiness, “Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product. Paradoxically, the one sure way not to be happy is deliberately to map out a way of life in which one would please oneself completely and exclusively. For what keeps our interest in life and makes us look forward to tomorrow is giving pleasure to other people.”
A similar sentence about happiness was uttered by William S. Burroughs, “Happiness is a by-product of function, purpose, and conflict; those who seek happiness for itself seek victory without war.”
“You’re a fool, Alex, you keep writing, “Be happy about what you have,” why? After all, you encourage people to enjoy life, to propagate hedonism?” a charismatic reader will say. I have an answer for him. I often suggest enjoying this life. However, I don’t write that this is the primary goal. Moments of happiness are a bonus—an extra to other values. And the main goal is different.
The essential question is related to your value. Answer: Does what makes you happy create value? After all, when you enjoy your food, you don’t create any value? Watching a comedy that gives you a lot of happiness doesn’t solve humankind’s problems, does it? Or maybe I’m wrong, and watching movies is the most important thing in the universe?
Meanwhile, the philosopher of the new generation is writing a new work that will inspire millions and change the direction of humanity, just as Kant did. What do we know about Kant? Was he having a lot of fun? Did he enjoy spending time with computer games to move time well? No, there was no internet in his times! And even if there were, he would only have fun from time to time. He would work most to create value.
I’m not saying you have to be a philosopher, but the question sounds like this: Are the people around you happy? Do you only care about your loved ones? WHAT IS YOUR VALUE?
Imagine you have a simple job.
You work it through all days…
Your actions inspire colleagues to do meaningful work. If that happened, you could tell yourself, “My life is meaningful.”
Did you see the movie, Hacksaw Ridge? This amazing movie is a true story about a soldier who received a medal of honor, although never fired a shot. They would have made a movie about this man even if he hadn’t won a medal.
It’s hard to believe that someone’s actions can be so inspiring, but anything is possible. But miracles only happen when you dare to laugh in the face of selfish happiness.
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