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Stop Trying To Be Happy

https://markmanson.net/stop-trying-to-be-happy

markmanson.net

Stop Trying To Be Happy
Happiness, like other emotions, is not something you obtain, but rather something you inhabit. When you're raging pissed and throwing a socket wrench at the neighbor's kids, you are not self-conscious about your state of anger. You are not thinking to yourself, "Am I finally angry? Am I doing this right?"

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Happiness

Happiness

Happiness, like other emotions, is not something you acquire. It is something you are.
This implies that happiness is not a goal that you can reach. It is a side effect of a particular set of ongoing life experiences.

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Happiness is not the same as pleasure

While pleasure is correlated with happiness, pursuing pleasure does not cause happiness.

People who focus their energy on materialistic and superficial pleasures end up more anxious and less happy in the long run. Pleasure is necessary, but it's insufficient.

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Lowering one’s expectations

Failing to meet your own expectations is not the opposite of happiness. Your ability to fail and still appreciate the experience is key to happiness.

The joy is not in getting what you want, but the process of working towards it, then raising the bar, and doing it again. If you fail, learn from it. 

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Happiness is not the same as positivity

We don't always need to be positive, even if that is constantly marketed to us. We will have trouble. Things go wrong. People upset us. Mistakes are made that make us negative. It's all part of life.

Negative emotions are necessary, but we need to learn to express them in a socially acceptable way that aligns with our values.

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Happiness is a process

Happiness is a process

Raising a child makes us happier than beating a video game. Completing a marathon makes us happier than eating chocolate.
These activities involve pain, struggle, even anger, and despair. But once you have completed them, you look back and feel happy because these kinds of events allow us to become our ideal selves.

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Happiness is fleeting

Happiness is fleeting

Achieving a difficult long-term goal makes us happy. But once you reach the goal, there will be another thing to pursue to make you happy.

That is because our ideal self is always a few steps away from us. What matters is not that we achieve the plateaus of success, but that we're continually moving towards them.

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Positive and negative moods

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Sadness promotes systematic thought. However, it can keep you busy with analyzing the options without making a decision. Sadness also makes you more impatient.

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Depression as Chronic Sadness

Depression and mental illness are long associated with being sad and mentally ill people and those fighting mental disorders are judged by the misleading emotional states like happiness, which have...

Using Therapy

Many people believe therapy is something you need when you are not satisfied, happy or content with life.

Mental illnesses go far beyond being happy or sad, and many people that don't think they need therapy may, in fact, be in acute need of it.

Happy Pills

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Finding meaning above happiness

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The key to good living

Psychology agrees that the key to good living is to find meaning. For Nietzsche, those who do great things suffer greatly. Those who do small things suffer trivially.

Herein lies the paradox of happiness. Activities directly focused to increase pleasure are unlikely to have a high payoff. Happiness is a side effect.