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View Full Version : Are most people misguided in their search for happiness?



bighead384
03-04-2012, 01:44 PM
(Say whatever's on your mind regarding anything related to this subject)

Do you think that, for whatever reason you may have, that most people do seriously misguided things in their quest for happiness?

In their approach to relationships?

Or their career?

Or how they spend their free time?

Or any other reason?

It's a very big issue. Random idea that is related: What about living in an extremely tiny house, which surely goes against societal norms: http://weburbanist.com/2010/06/10/10-tiny-houses/? Why do so many people go for huge houses and properties that cost so much time and money to maintain, and even buy in the first place?

What's been on YOUR mind if you've recently questioned popular behavior that most people think leads to happiness?

KickHimWhenHe'sDown
03-04-2012, 02:23 PM
Happiness is primarily associated with material gain. That was bound to happen though with the humanist perspective increasing in popularity in the Renaissance, and now all the advertising from businesses wanting you to buy their products.

Don't get me wrong, money and objects can bring tons of happiness, but it isn't always a good idea to set that as your main way to obtain happiness.

I think there is too much of a focus on selfishness in our world.

It seems like guys always think they'll be happy if they can find a sexy girlfriend that will have sex with them all the time with out making any serious commitments. I'd much rather have a beautiful young lady with a strong character that would prefer to have a happy marriage. I think that would bring long term happiness. People don't seem to go after the right things in relationships anymore.

the_real_potomek
03-04-2012, 03:31 PM
I think nowadays people focus too much on possesing goods and having money. Of course, money can make it possible to achieve something that brings you happiness, but shouldn't be the goal itself. I think our world is becoming more and more superficial. You have to be pretty, slim, young and rich, otherwise you're not happy. I guess that nowadays people are chasing the image of happiness created by media, losing what is really important on the way.

personal_loans_1
03-04-2012, 03:49 PM
That house on a stick is rad. I think I could sacrifice life as I know it to enjoy its awesomeness, really. Placed somewhere over the lake in a city, ou yeah.

bighead384
03-04-2012, 04:02 PM
Some office jobs are so lame and devoid of anything that could be fulfilling that I often wonder about the people that do those jobs.

Are they just wired differently in a way that makes them accept this part of their life?

Perhaps they can psychologically adjust and accept the day to day monotony, but are they unhappy about how their career plays into the big picture, per se? Doesn't it wear down their soul and make them feel empty?

Do they really have enough fun during the weekends and weeknights with the money they earn to justify how boring and awful the rest of their life is?

jacknife737
03-04-2012, 05:00 PM
^What's boring to you may not be to others.

I've worked a couple mindless office centric data entry type positions. Dull sure, but it beats anything to do with retail, or manual labour in my mind.

bighead384
03-04-2012, 05:17 PM
^What's boring to you may not be to others
Obviously I'm not denying that that's true to some extent, but surely there are some jobs out there that are so lame that the only sort of pleasure you can derive from them is the money you get in your paycheck.

Baldwin
03-04-2012, 06:11 PM
What do you do for a living, bighead? And how is it that you're so naive that you think people are supposed to enjoy their jobs?

bighead384
03-04-2012, 06:53 PM
Not necessarily enjoy, but perhaps you find the work fulfilling, or interesting, or meaningful. And sometimes the job is enjoyable. And for the purposes of this conversation, I'm more talking about when people do jobs that they hate because of the money.

I think perhaps a lot of people sort of miscalculate how much extra money will make them happy enough to justify a sucky or stressful job.

Little_Miss_1565
03-04-2012, 07:41 PM
Enjoyment or fulfillment from work is a luxury that not everyone can afford. I'm really lucky and have that in my job for the first time in a few years, but I've worked a lot of shitty jobs I hated just for the paycheck. Bills don't pay themselves.

Llamas
03-04-2012, 08:23 PM
This is all you really need to answer your question. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying)

Baldwin
03-04-2012, 08:35 PM
I think perhaps a lot of people sort of miscalculate how much extra money will make them happy enough to justify a sucky or stressful job.

You know, when you started claiming rural pride and railing against big city intellectuals, for a long time I wondered if you're from some shitty backwoods trailer-park type part of Jersey, or one of those ultra-rich bastions of overprivilege. You've just answered that for me.

Working, for us mere mortals, isn't about having extra money to throw around. It's about the money that buys groceries and keeps a roof over our heads. Ass.

XYlophonetreeZ
03-04-2012, 10:54 PM
Random idea that is related: What about living in an extremely tiny house, which surely goes against societal norms: http://weburbanist.com/2010/06/10/10-tiny-houses/? Why do so many people go for huge houses and properties that cost so much time and money to maintain, and even buy in the first place?
On a personal level, I agree with this. I've never had the slightest bit of discomfort living in a small space. I don't really want to be too comfortable in my home, because I think the less time you spend in your home, the better. I like having motivation to get out.

The happiness thing is stupid. If you learn to appreciate what you've got then building on it becomes a natural part of your life. I consider myself a pretty primal person- if I'm doing something, I'm probably doing it because it makes me happy, or else I wouldn't be doing it. When I get bored I do something else.

Example: I don't have the greatest social skills. I prefer to spend several hours of my day alone. I used to think this was a weakness, but then I started hearing people say stuff like "oh my God, I can't stand being alone EVER." So now I look at it as a strength. It's something I can do that other people can't. Most insecurities can be erased with reason and it doesn't have to involve changing your habits all that much. If you try to change your habits all the time, you're going to get stressed and be ultimately unhappy.

T-6005
03-04-2012, 11:41 PM
I find it interesting that, despite the open-ended question, this moved immediately to jobs.

bighead384
03-05-2012, 12:09 AM
You know, when you started claiming rural pride and railing against big city intellectuals, for a long time I wondered if you're from some shitty backwoods trailer-park type part of Jersey, or one of those ultra-rich bastions of overprivilege. You've just answered that for me.

Working, for us mere mortals, isn't about having extra money to throw around. It's about the money that buys groceries and keeps a roof over our heads. Ass.
Drunk here. So when I said "extra" money, I'm referring to the perception that working a really demanding and stressful professional job is worth it because of the extra money you make compared to a more easily attainable and less stressful job that is still sustainable.

I never claimed rural pride, you imagined that.

Look, I'm not suggesting people ignore the realities of the real world. In fact, my question could also include how society is designed, and the realities of society, and how people have to compromise in order to fit the mold. So it's not just necessarily about individuals, and how and individual might just have to bite the bullet at a sucky job.

Also, yeah, as t-6005 pointed out, this isn't just about jobs.

Also, I'm not claiming to 'know better', which by the way a couple of you responded, it seems that's the case. I'm just questioning things.

- - - - - - -

On the topic of society as a whole, I believe capitalists have influenced others to behave in ways that meet their demands and ignore their own happiness. I mean, it's obvious to some extent, but perhaps it goes deeper than we imagine.

T-6005
03-05-2012, 12:24 AM
capitalists

whoa now. Neoliberal capitalists, if you please. Leave the Keynesians out of it.

Defender
03-05-2012, 01:18 AM
The life changes,the circumstances change the people too. Most of them out there don't care about the type of their job! They are working just for surviving or living comfortably. I also don't give a damn about the type of my job. I am an accountant and don't like it much but that's the way it goes.

samseby
03-05-2012, 07:34 AM
Well people nowadays can be happy if they have jobs, moderate housing and working relationships at all.

HyRoMoNoXiDe
03-05-2012, 01:56 PM
I just turned 25, I live with my parents and sister at the moment and work as a fast food cook. Im happy enough with that, I pay for a share of rent, internet, cell phone, car insurance. The only thing that makes me unhappy is not being able to find a relationship. Ive never had a girlfriend and lost my virginity at 21 to a 32 year old with 3 kids who straight up asked me if I wanted to play on Myspace. I guess I can say I wont die a virgin but it still be nice to have a girlfriend.

Isolated Fury
03-05-2012, 02:23 PM
Am I the only one surprised that HyRoMoNoXiDe wasn't a bot?

jacknife737
03-05-2012, 02:27 PM
Am I the only one surprised that HyRoMoNoXiDe wasn't a bot?

Nope.

I definitely googled to double check.

bighead384
03-06-2012, 10:15 AM
Technology makes work and chores easier.

When work and chores are easier, people are less stressed and have more free time.

When people are less stressed and have more free time, they are happier.

Yet, I don't think that people are happier although technology continues to advance.

Why is this?

Llamas
03-06-2012, 02:22 PM
Technology makes work and chores easier.

When work and chores are easier, people are less stressed and have more free time.

When people are less stressed and have more free time, they are happier.

Yet, I don't think that people are happier although technology continues to advance.

Why is this?

Is this a serious question? This is extremely idealistic and doesn't factor in how the real world actually works. Having internet access wherever you are means your boss can ask you to do work wherever you are. Mobile phones allow clients/bosses/whoever to contact you anytime. As a teacher, technology makes lesson-planning take a hell of a lot longer; instead of walking through a textbook and having students write papers and give presentations, I am expected to incorporate all kinds of media, supplement lessons using the internet, and post everything we do in our lessons online at the end of the day. Of course it adds a lot to my lessons and makes things way more interesting, but I don't get paid more for it, yet I do more work.

A specific, personal example of how technology adds to stress. One of my students is sick and in the hospital. My boss expects me to scan everything we do in our lessons, rip audio files to my computer from listening exercises, and email everything to her after every lesson she misses. This adds an hour or two of work to my weekly tasks. I'm happy I can provide this and that she can keep up with class while in the hospital, but how can you possibly not understand why people are more stressed despite technology?

killer_queen
03-06-2012, 02:35 PM
This is a little off topic but I have to say, I can't stand living in small places. It drives me mad. I think a house should be as big as one can afford. It depends on the person I guess. I'm not very outgoing because weekends are the only time you can go out and when you do you have to be with hundreds of people who are trying to make the best of their weekends. For someone who hates crowds and noise it's normal for me to spend most of my money to have a better place to live.

And I hate it when people talk about modern, big city people and how sad they are even though they earn heaps of money, have the best car and house money can buy and still unhappy. How would you know that? I think they look very happy. Most of them say they are very happy. And the only reason people think they are not is to make themselves feel better about their situations. You know, the people who say that they are very happy with their one room apartment, few clothes and enough money to buy books and wine. Not that I'm against that kind of living. But I truly hate when they claim that their way is the only way to be happy and people who want more are never happy. It's not in everyone's nature to feel content with minimalistic portions of everything.

Baldwin
03-06-2012, 03:34 PM
Bighead, people are designed to never be content, no matter how much they have. It's an evolutionary strength. Societies that decided they had enough shit and just sat around being happy and peaceful instead of inventing chainmail and composite bows got wiped out by the societies that could never conquer enough, enslave enough, rape enough or steal enough to ever be satisfied.

I'm guessing you know how evolution works, right? So just accept that we're genetically hardwired to be miserable unsatisfiable assholes because that's the mindset that allowed our ancestors to rape and slaughter their way into establishing their progeny all the way to the 21st Century.

bighead384
03-08-2012, 09:21 AM
Yeah, I didn't think it was as simple as I made it out to be, but it seems like it should be that simple at first glance.

It seems as though technology that makes needs more achievable should make society better. But a lot of technology just makes things more convenient, or is just shit that we want.

This is a big issue, it's hard to tell what angle to approach it at. Because as Bladwin pointed out, there's also a psychological aspect to it.

Outerspaceman21
03-08-2012, 05:53 PM
I do think people tend to be misguided about their definition of happiness, but we all define happiness differently. However, we've gotten to a point where people are defining happiness with material things, like the latest technology like new flat screen televisions, iPads, cell phones, lap tops. Sure, those things are nice to have, but people make them out as absolutely necessities, as if they can't live without them. We've gotten so drawn into this materialistic technological culture that we begin to treat everything else like novelty, like art. Art is what I define as happiness because it's a means of expressing emotion in a physical form, like music or painting. We are taking these things for granted and I think that's a shame.

KickHimWhenHe'sDown
03-08-2012, 07:09 PM
I wasn't able to post much because I was busy at a studying the book of James and what he had to say about rich men.

Basically, no matter how much material items you gain, you're never going to be completely satisfied. That's just the greedy people we are.