Your goal in life is to be happy.
It sounds simple. It sounds intuitive. But it’s not.
I think we are wired to seek pleasure, not happiness and we mistake pleasure for happiness until the stark reality hits us that the happiness doesn’t fulfill us, that it’s not sustaining. So what do we do? We seek even more pleasure.
I’ve made this mistake in the past. I thought if I had a beautiful girl, I’d be happy. When I got a beautiful girl, I found that life didn’t change much. I thought if I got an even more beautiful girl, one who catered to all my whims I’d be happy. But that just left me bored. I thought if could have sex with more than one girl at once, then I would be happy. I managed to convince two girls to date me at the same time, that we could be one big couple, the three of us (or is that a “triple” rather than a couple?). Well, I found out that dating two girls is even less satisfying than dating one girl. The one good part of that experience was the appreciative and/or envious looks I got from other guys, which wasn’t really good at all. Oh man, do I have a long post on deriving self esteem through other people’s eyes in me, waiting to be written.
What did I get out of that? A lot of heartache, a lot of emotional capital spent on getting myself out of situations that I shouldn’t have put myself in the first place. Ultimately I wasted time. Our lives are short as it is, and it pains me to think of all the time I wasted chasing pleasure.
It’s this constant seeking and seeking and seeking of pleasure, going ever further down a dead end road. At some point, if we’re lucky, we reach a tipping point of realization that we took a wrong turn somewhere, that this path will not make us happy. The unlucky among us will keep going down the wrong path, doomed to feel empty and unfulfilled.
The path of happiness can and usually does involve more than enough pleasure, but it’s not the goal. The goal is being fulfilled. The goal is living your life’s purpose. The goal is to be able to be fully enjoy pleasure but not be doomed to constantly be seeking. The goal is to be content in your path and be empty of desire.
What are you missing in your life? If you’re like the vast majority of people, you’re missing something. You’re going down the wrong path, the path of pleasure when you should really seek to be happy.
So how does one get on the path of happiness? Well, stay tuned. But unlike most, I believe in a right answer and an infinite number of wrong answers. I don’t think that it’s different for every man. I think that the path to happiness for every man, when you boil it down to fundamental principles, is basically the same.