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Journal deek's Journal: On happiness ...

Hurrah, I feel like writing down another journal entry. Maybe this'll happen more often, maybe not. All I know is I feel like jotting down my thoughts _now_.

I've never studied philosophy. I do think about things often though, so I could be considered a philosopher. Really, all that's really needed to become one is a love of wisdom. I'm just not an intellectual philosopher, instead relying on intuition and basic observation.

And as such, I've been pondering on 'happiness', and especially, how does someone achieve happiness?

One thought I've had is that happiness can be achieved by avoiding unhappiness. Ok, I know it's simplistic, and totally avoids that limbo state between unhappy and happy, but generally if you can avoid being unhappy, there should be a better chance of being happy.

Of course, we can achieve happiness by first becoming unhappy, and then trying to climb out of that state. The result should be that we're happy that we're not unhappy anymore. That's way too much effort to be happy, though. It'd be much nicer to just go straight to happiness.

So now my search for happiness is essentially broken down to how to avoid unhappiness. So what makes people unhappy? Now there's a whole essay topic if I've ever heard of one. There's so many ways that people can be unhappy, that it's depressing.

;) OK, I was punning a bit with that last sentence. I like punning ... it makes me happy. In fact, I'm usually happy when I do things I like, and conversely, unhappy when I do things I don't like. Hey, this is a promising thought! So to avoid unhappiness, I just have to stop doing things that I don't like.

But unfortunately, there's plenty of situations where you have to do something you don't like, to achieve something that you do like. I'm sure we all do things we don't like to do, just to feed ourselves and have a bed to sleep in.

And to move onto a totally different point, is it really worthwile trying to avoid unhappiness? Sure, you've got the benefit of not being unhappy, but I think that you'd start to lose perspective on happiness as well. Ye old ying/yang problem ... one depends on the other, and the other depends on the one.

The search for happiness seems to be one that does _not_ means 'complete' happiness, to the exclusion of all unhappiness. The search for happiness seems to mean minimising the number of times we're unhappy.

So in conclusion ... I think too much. It's not worth trying to achieve only happiness, as it's a rather elusive goal that, if achieved, is slowly lost. Maybe it's just worthwile taking life as it comes, and not worrying about which emotional state you want to be in. In other words, just trust in life, do the things you like, and let things happen that will happen. That appears the best way to be happy.

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On happiness ...

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Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"