Today, I believe that happiness is, it’s really a default state. It’s what’s there when you remove the sense that something is missing in your life. We are highly judgmental, survival, and replication machines. We are constantly walking around thinking I need this, I need that, trapped in the web of desires. Happiness is that state when nothing is missing. When nothing is missing, your mind shuts down and your mind stops running into the future or running into the past to regret something or to plan something. In that absence for a moment, you have internal silence. When you have internal silence, then you are content and you are happy. Feel free to disagree, again, it’s different for everybody, but people believe mistakenly that happiness is about positive thoughts and positive actions. The more I’ve read, the more I’ve learned, the more I’ve experienced, because I verify this for myself, every positive thought essentially holds within it a negative thought. It is a contrast to something negative. The Tao Te Ching says this more articulately than I ever could, but it’s all duality and polarity. If I say I’m happy, that means that I was sad at some point. If I say he’s attractive, then that means that somebody else is unattractive. Every positive thought even has a seed of a negative thought within it and vice versa, which is why a lot of greatness in life comes out suffering. You have to view the negative before you can aspire to and then appreciate the positive. All of that said, long winded, to me happiness is not about positive thoughts. It’s not about negative thoughts. It’s about the absence of desire, especially the absence of desire for external things. The fewer desires I can have, the more I can accept the current state of things, the less my mind is moving because the mind really exists in motion towards the future or the past. The more present I am, the happier and more content I will be.
Facebook is not net additive to life anymore —even though it deems itself a social network and Mark Zuckerberg passionately talks about connecting everyone on the planet, the harsh reality is that it is nothing but a giant advertising network.
Facebook managed to keep me around for a decade, as I used it to form connections. It became addictive, thanks to algorithms that prayed only to the god of growth and its ultimate goal: subjugation of all human attention to the frivolous flim-flam in between an endless stream of pennies-a-minute advertisements. It is not a circle of happiness;instead it is a dystopian web, where performance is the currency, not real connections.
From: The Circle of Happiness.
Story from The happiness equation
A boat is docked in a tiny fishermen’s village.
A tourist wearing expensive sunglasses and a fancy watch walks by and compliments a fisherman on the quality of his fish and asks how long it took him to catch them.
“Not very long,” answers the fisherman.
“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asks the tourist.
The fisherman explains his small catch is enough to meet his needs and those of his family.
The tourist asks, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life.”
The tourist jumps in. “I have an MBA and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra money, you can buy a bigger boat.”
“And after that?” asks the fisherman.
“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”
“How long would that take?” asks the fisherman.
“Twenty or twenty-five years, at most,” replies the tourist.
“And after that?”
“After that? Well, my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting,” answers the tourist, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can sell your company stock to the public and make millions!”
“Millions? Really? And after that?” asks the fisherman.
“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife, and spend your evenings drinking and playing guitar with your friends.”