In modern times, everyone wants to be ‘happy’. It seems much of consumerism and capitalism is to maximize our ‘happiness’.
But what is happiness? Is this even something to be desired?
First of all … what is ‘happiness’?
Individual creative and physiological flourishing and power-overflowing.
Why seek happiness? And is it a binary state (either you are ‘happy’ or ‘unhappy’) or is it *degrees* of happiness? Like a scale of 0-10 of happiness. But then is it possible to go *beyond* the 10/10 in happiness? To become a 12/10 in happiness? Or even a 100/10 of happiness?
Beyond base pleasures
Many people think that ‘happiness’ as base (basic) pleasures like sexual pleasure, alcoholic weed/drug pleasure, or the adrenaline rush you get from purchasing new things, or eating new delicious things. I think these pleasures are great and I wouldn’t desire a world or life without pleasure, but I think we must think about happiness *beyond* these basic pleasures.
Happiness as ‘fulfillment’?
Is happiness about ‘fulfillment’, or achievement?
Then the next thought:
Is happiness about living a ‘fulfilled’ life?
But what if you’re very fulfilled in your life, but you die (on your deathbed) feeling un-fulfilled?
Also, a thought I had:
Perhaps the notion of ‘fulfillment’ is overrated.
Because a cow can feel fulfilled (Nietzsche calls this ‘bovine happiness’). And what if you feel fulfilled in your life, but you actually lived a pretty basic life?
Would you rather be unhappy and hugely achieving (Elon Musk) or be ‘happy’ but low in achievement (a ‘normal’ person in America?)
I would choose to be unhappy but higher achieving in life than be ‘happy’ … but having achieved basic stuff in life.
Certainly this is my personal preference; you must decide for yourself.
Is it possible to be high-achieving in life *AND* happy?
Certainly it is!
My simple idea:
- Focus on your physiology: Ideally you can sleep 8+ hours a night, not face superfluous stresses and anxieties (not in your control), eat well (towards a more meaty diet), workout, get some variation of environment (cold weather, hot weather, cold showers, fresh air, walking outdoors, etc).
- Focus on high-achievement: To achieve much means to do things which impact society much. It can be via your artwork, the products you create, the ideas knowledge and education you share, etc. Towards a more risk-loving and new experimental forms of living and undertakings (entrepreneurship is the future).
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