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Protect the flock! From JP and Hachette!

My life right now is... insane.  School primarily, but more than that it's in trying to grow up.  Every once in a while, I'll just try and slow life down for an instant and ask myself what I'm really doing.  I ask myself why I do the things I do, why I try to get good grades, why I care about other people's opinions.  I go through life on autopilot, just watching as people and events fly by and leave forever, and ask myself if it will make me happy.  And the more often this happens, the more I feel like I'm slowly losing my mind, and things in the world seem to be following the same downward spiral.  Dissent in the Middle East, Japan, the recession which was supposed to have gotten better by now, and politicians that destroy unions and cut education hundreds of millions of dollars while I'm in their system and two of my family members work as educators.  As to religion, I don't even care to begin.  I sound like a rambling idiot, or a whiny prick, but while all of this continually happens I kind of search for happiness more and more desperately, because I get the feeling that soon I won't have the opportunity to.  And I look everywhere, from religious principles, to a partying lifestyle, from the innumerable plots floating around my head that I'll never put on paper, to trying to find answers in music.  Everybody claims to know how to be truly happy, but hell, practically half of America is on antidepressants. Logic tells me that happiness is in the simple life, in the little things, at the core of what everything western culture preaches against, but my own obnoxious mind tells me that what I really want is recognition, influence, a house in Barcelona and a convertible Porsche 911 Turbo.  

I just don't want to waste my life pursuing a dream that was never going to make me happy anyway, blind to a simple solution that was there all along.  You guys seem... like you might know a thing or two about happiness and the frustration of pursuing it.  Thoughts?

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Comment by EndOfTheEarth on March 17, 2011 at 2:21am

Well, life consists of two distinct parts. One is maintenance, one is free time. Maintenence is all of that "autopilot" stuff that you meantioned earlier, and practically all of it is vital to keeping yourself alive in your environment. Free time is the time where you have control over whatever you feel like doing?


And what do you feel like doing? An issue that many philosophers run into is that they're looking for things with inherent value. The truth though, is that value is never inherent, but rather imbued. It is this reason, the concept of inherent happiness in a task, that explains why half of Americans are on antidepressants.

So, happiness for you would be in connection with whatever you find that actively makes you happy, not what society or other people tell you ought to make you happy. You know what these things are, because you probably consider them to be little, stupid things that have no connection to religion, society, or modern moral thought. Focus on that, and do it--though not at the extent that it interrupts your maintenance time.

Comment by Brandybuck on March 19, 2011 at 8:45am
'Problem is... I don't really know what makes me happy, though that does kind of put it in a scientific light I hadn't really thought about.  I know that I'll probably be happier doing my own thing, not what popular culture tells me to do, but I just can't really fathom that so many people are just inherently wrong about how to be happy.  It's sort of naive, but I suppose that if practically everyone in America wants to be rich, drive a nice car and live in a big house, there must be at least some happiness there.  If not, and everybody is striving to make a fantasy that was never even real a reality, it's...  Well, that's just a really depressing thought.
Comment by EndOfTheEarth on March 21, 2011 at 1:39am

p1: "I just can't really fathom that so many people are just inherently wrong about how to be happy."

p2: "but hell, practically half of America is on antidepressants."

p3: People that know what makes them happy wouldn't need to be on antidepressants.

c: Most Americans are wrong about how to be happy.


"If not, and everybody is striving to make a fantasy that was never even real a reality, it's...  Well, that's just a really depressing thought."

The act of working towards something makes some people happy, depending on what it is. Even if it isn't a reality.


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