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Current time: February 25, 2020, 11:09 pm

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Cynical view of happiness.
#1
Cynical view of happiness.
I started thinking about this topic after reading the thread "Are you happy about your home town"  

The question I've been thinking about is somewhere along the lines of, how much happiness of yours is based purely on being better off than others?

I was thinking about this because I'm not from a very nice town, but I don't know if I'd be happier being rich and living in Dubai.

If I was moved over there as of right now and given billions, I'd be absolutely psychotically happy.  I'd constantly be thinking, wow, I made it out of that shit hole, none of my friends or enemies back home have experienced anything like this, it's amazing.

But if I'd be born there, and my neighbors were oil tycoons/property tycoons, they had gold plated diamond encrusted cars, 3 helicopters, a 13 bedroom house and I was in the same situation as them and I had been all my life, I don't think I'd necessarily be significantly happier than I am now.  Purely because I'd have no one to show off to.  All I'd be doing is keeping up with the other disgustingly rich people around me.  There'd be less stress certainly.

Now I'm not some hippy who says money doesn't equal happiness, because money definitely does equal happiness most of the time.

But I think I'd possibly be happier with a mediocre car, dressed pretty good in a room of guys where most people don't have a car and they're dressed slightly less well than me.  Rather than being a billionaire surrounded by other billionaires and everyone has everything.

An example of what I'm getting at is when I was in my early 20's I couldn't drive and I got on the bus, I was dressed pretty good and a girl checked me out, her friend said something to her like "If you weren't staring at that guy you might have heard what I was saying" So I knew she checked me out. I was happy because of that, more happy than I'd be driving in Dubai in a sports car where everyone else has a sports car and no one is looking at me because no on gives a shit.

Anyone got any thoughts on this topic?  I think it's pretty interesting.  I read an audio book where it talked about this kind of thing, how happiness is a feeling of comparative peaks and troughs.


Are you ready for the fire? We are firemen. WE ARE FIREMEN! The heat doesn’t bother us. We live in the heat. We train in the heat. It tells us that we’re ready, we’re at home, we’re where we’re supposed to be. Flames don’t intimidate us. What do we do? We control the flame. We control them. We move the flames where we want to. And then we extinguish them.

Impersonation is treason.





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#2
RE: Cynical view of happiness.
12 Steppers moved and redefined the goal posts for me.

So did HIV . . .
 The granting of a pardon is an imputation of guilt, and the acceptance a confession of it. 




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#3
RE: Cynical view of happiness.
I rarely actual experience happiness. In my case, it seems to be a response to specfic situations that just pop up. Maybe I'm sitting in the park and a nice breeze starts blowing, and I watch the kids playing and they do something extra cute, and then my wife tells me we just got a few new students in our school.

But I'd very much like to LEARN to be happy. I bought my house because it had cool features I thought would make me happy: walk-in closet, a nice shower off the main bedroom, etc. If I choose to think about them, then they DO make me happy. The same goes for my computer-- I put together my own bitchin' computer, and at first it made me happy, but then I adapted and it was yesterday's news. But if I really think about how fun it was building the computer, I can feel the happiness again, at least a little.

So anyway blah blah blah, I'd say happiness comes from (1) getting in the best possible physical state-- rested well, eaten well, no stress, and then (2) looking for all the good things that I have been ignoring or taking for granted.
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#4
RE: Cynical view of happiness.
I found the secret to my happiness years ago.
Swollow the stupid pride, chain the ego away and lower your expectations in life until you find a nice balance.

Everytime I'm sad, I think, 90% of the world is living in squalor, struggling for food.
I tell myself to stop being such a spoilt piece of desensitized shit and get on with it.
No God, No fear.
Know God, Know fear.
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#5
RE: Cynical view of happiness.
Money can't buy happiness but you can at least rent it for a few hours.

But seriously, I could give a speech on how people are more important than things and happiness in the conventional sense is way overrated (I'd rather be satisfied and content than happy) but you'll find that out in your own time.
Light the way with the bridges you burn.
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#6
RE: Cynical view of happiness.
I think the Buddhists have it right, at least on a simple level: the key to satisfaction is not to want anything at all. If you are totally neutral, and then the sun rises and the birds start singing, how can you be anything but happy?
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#7
RE: Cynical view of happiness.
I do not have an idealistic view of happiness. I take pleasure in small things. A beautiful view of the woods, thunderstorms, good book, a nice shiraz, a laugh between friends. Life is short. Setting up an unattainable standard of happiness does not interest me. That is how the cosmetic industry and religion keep us coming back for more.
"The self must have a healthy relationship to itself if it is going to relate well with others. An identity that is either missing or weak prohibits any kind of ethics. Only the force of an I authorizes the mobilization of morality." - Michel Onfray









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#8
RE: Cynical view of happiness.
Money will never buy intense happiness for me because I already have intense happiness. I am experiencing so much joy and pleasure and happiness and cheerfulness, just from my friends and my own genetic temperament: I've always been described as a happy person, and I am.

(Remember science says happiness is 60% genetics)

I have a very cheap computer and phone, I have internet, I pay electricity bills, water bills and rent.

Other than that it's 90 pence (UK equivalent to cent) microwavables meal plus one loaf of bread. A bed, clothes, shampoo, soap, showever gell and two sofas I was given. No TV, no nothing else but a bedside cabinet, a set of curtains and a few books and CDs I bought over the years. Oh and a couple of games that I haven't traded in for cash yet. My apartment is basically empty because I can't afford to buy anything.

But I'm super fucking happy.

What would money buy? A little bit of luxury perhaps, but I don't really need any posessions to make me happy. Not even posessions some consider essential... I just need the actual essentials: Stuff to survive on.

Oh by the way, I forgot to mention I have a fridge, a microwave, a washing machine, a kettle and a toastie machine in the kitchen. Basically all the essentials I just have no oven I have a microwave instead (that was kind of implied by the 90 pence microwavable meals though).

The one thing money would really give me is a chance to move to Scotland or America or wherever else... one day. When I'm ready.

This is all about my happiness though. I have plenty of positive feelings but I have plenty of stresses and anxieties too. Money would take away a lot of my stress and anxiety. That would be wonderful. But I'm perfectly content living with stresses and anxieties as long as I never lose my home because I'm so fucking happy Smile
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#9
RE: Cynical view of happiness.
I'm hoping I'm able to get a job soon so I can afford to eat more and healthier meals because I don't want to have a vitamin deficiency. That's my only concern money-wise really.
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#10
RE: Cynical view of happiness.
Chicken Curry, Shepherds pie and lasagne are about the only cheap microwavable meals I can afford most of the time right now. That plus dry bed isn't exactly the healthiest or most nourishing... especially when the meals are tiny and I could really eat about 3 of them for 1 meal... and I normally eat 3 meals a day.

Gonna treat myself to some Golden Grahams and milk in a bowl with a reward card I got with my internet... little bit of extra money. Yay cereal and milk.
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