A fun thought experiment: if you wanted to life the happiest possible life, and you had unlimited money and resources — how could you achieve this goal in 24 hours?
What if You Had Unlimited Money?
First of all, I don’t think happiness is sensory or sexual pleasure.
For example, if you wanted to maximize your own pleasure, it might look like this:
- Have a massive sexual orgy, with all the most beautiful people, with them tickling all your sexual organs.
- Eat unlimited delicious foods, drinks, beverages. Unlimited meat, beer, alcohol, desserts, sweets, etc.
- Have unlimited mind and body altering drugs. Unlimited weed, cocaine, LSD, ecstasy.
- Unlimited play: Drive around a race track with any sports car you desire at 200mph+, play all the fun video games, watch all the entertaining shows, etc.
- Unlimited praise from others: Have a million people in a stadium (from all social classes, from the rich and famous to the common folk) all bowing at your feet, and telling you how great, talented, attractive, skilled, and fantastic you are.
- Unlimited shopping and buying anything your heart desires.
Doesn’t this seem a bit preposterous? But funny enough, I think this is what we have been suckered to think will be “true happiness”.
And what if we took Nietzsche’s concept of the “eternal return”; what if you could theoretically do all of that stuff above in a single 24 hour day, and do it for the next 100 years. Would that be heaven, or hell? Or what if you could do it for the next 300 years, 500 years, or 1,000+ years plus?
I think any “reasonable” person would agree that above scenario is ridiculous, and isn’t true “happiness”; but then, what is?
We all must define happiness for ourselves. We must dictate how we live our lives. To me, true happiness is doing what you want to do, and not doing what you don’t want to do. It’s that simple.
Yet, why do we desire more money, possessions, and experiences? What do we really want?
I think some of us want more recognition, status, wealth, power, and admiration from others — but why?
Will it really make us feel happier?
I don’t think so. To use myself as an example, I’ve bought all the toys I’ve desired in life, I’ve got all this fame and world acclaim, I’ve saved up a bunch of money, etc. I’m self employed, travel the world, and have total control over my time and mental energy. Yet — these conditions of my life haven’t made me “happy” in a general sense. Having all this stuff is my new “normal” baseline in life. I’m neither happy nor depressed from those conditions of my life. I’m simply in a pleasant, good, and satisfied mood.
Yet, is that what I desire — to be pleasant, satisfied, and to feel “good” for the rest of my life? I don’t think so. A cow or dog feels the same emotions. I think I want something more epic. I seek to create —this is when I feel the most epic; when I’m drunken off the Dionysian gin and tonic; this frenzy of artistic creation and power!
Contrary to popular belief, I don’t take any drugs or alcohol, or mind altering substances. I get my natural high from creating my own artwork, and also being inspired by the artwork of others.
To me this is what will bring the maximum happiness in our short human lives: to maximize our own artistic creative production, and also to be enthralled and inspired by the artwork of others!
So as a practical takeaway, do the following:
- Never stop making and creating your own artwork and sharing it with others
- Only consume the artwork of other great artists who inspire you; you are what you eat!
NEVER STOP CREATING!