To borrow from Freud, are we here because we want to live? Or are we here because we are afraid of dying? It’s always going to be a mixture of the two, but which one dominates?
Recall the famous words of Socrates:
The unexamined life is not worth living.
To build off that, I think it important that we understand why we do the things we do, so that we can extract maximum benefit from our brief lives.
What matters to us: wealth, influence, romance, charity? They all do, but only so far as they contribute to our happiness. (Here, I define happiness loosely, to contain states like contentment, and being able to live with yourself. We’ll be more strict with this in the next post.)
Case in point: Money doesn’t buy happiness; no, money buys goods and services. The consumption of goods and services, be it by yourself, by others, or together with others, affects us in different ways. It may directly lead to happiness, or to situations with potential for creating happiness, or not affect your happiness quotient in any way.
Unless we fully understand what makes us happy, we cannot be consistently happy. And despite how happiness is ultimately a personal matter, I believe it possible for all of us to be consistently happy. To be honest, I’m currently clueless as to how this could/should be done, but I plan on finding out.
I hope you’ll stick around to see it with me.