April 10, 2013

How To Be Happy

As laid out in 'The Pleasure Trap,' happiness is nature's way of letting us know we're moving in the right direction, and pain (or painful emotions) let us know when we're doing something wrong.  How does it distinguish between right and wrong?  Happiness is how we feel when we're in pursuit of gratification.  You may think gratification and happiness are the same thing, but apparently they're not.

In nature, our purpose is to a.)eat so that we can live in order to b.)procreate and get that done while c.)preserving energy and avoiding pain.  Each of these things have rewards when you do them - gratification. But if we don't get the gratification until we actually meet the goal, then what motivates us to stay on task?  It's not knowing that you'll be gratified - if that were the case we would all have no trouble achieving all our goals just because we know we'll feel good when they happen.

When you're on a journey, you use a compass to point you to north. If you get lost, you feel bad, discouraged, frustrated, etc. but when you get on the right track you feel a sense of purpose, you know you're where you should be, and you feel good.

The compass we have inside is our emotions.  It's as simple as that - if you feel happy, you're doing good.  If you feel bad, something isn't right.

The mistake a lot of us make is not enjoying the journey because we think we can't be happy until we've reached our destination/goals.  But the point is that happiness doesn't come from achieving, it comes from the journey to achievement.  So what's the point of achievement?

Humans still have those same innate instincts for survival that the rest of the animal kingdom have, the difference is how we live in society verses out in nature: our journeys and destinations may look a lot different, but we're still wired the same.

My point is, if gratification = happiness, and we want to be happy most of the time, than we'd all be fucking, gorging on fatty foods, and relaxing all the time.  If gratification = happiness, we'd all die out in no time.

Happiness is the pursuit of gratification, and gratification is doing something that helps your survival.  Survival just looks a lot different for us than it does in the animal kingdom.

So paying attention to how you're feeling now is important - you want to make sure you're on the right track and if you are on the right track, you're gonna wanna be present to actually enjoy the happiness.  And if you're not on the right track?  You can do something to get back on the right one.

Todays' lesson - always pursue goals that are important to you and what you value.  Enjoy the journey and the destination is unavoidable.

<3 M
Search & Win

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