We are not happy.
What is happiness? Why we need happiness? How to be happy?
What is unhappy? Why we are unhappy? What is the problem of being unhappy?
What is unhappy? Everyone experienced unhappiness, one does not want to do anything and one would try his best to stay unhappy. The productivity of one would drastic decrease as well as one’s quality of life. This would badly affect the social-economical state of our society and that is why we have to avoid unhappiness!
Warning!! Unhappiness is infectious, stay away from people who are unhappy!!
Why we are unhappy?
Not enough food, warmth, no friends, unemployed…..etc. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. If we are in a state of free from fear, will we be happy? Nope, we still feel unhappy even if we are free from fear. Fear is indeed the cause of unhappy but free from fear is required for one to be happy. For example, one does not afraid he will lose the job but one would still be unhappy because the job is boring. He can still be unhappy on boring or repeating works but it is no longer fear.
What is happiness to us or to human being? To live in the state of care-free? You can do this by smoking weeds or cocaine (I have never tried personally, but that is what I believe). Will we consider this as happiness? Probably not.
Happiness is an emotional state. So, what are the sources of happiness? Say if you win a lottery, you will be happy. Because of unexpected (or expected) good things happen on you. One is benefited unexpectedly and it is a source of happiness. However, if one is always benefited, he will think he deserves it and he will not become happy. Then, how about tell a joke? I would rather put telling a joke is an achievement because you have expectation on the effect of a joke (make the others laugh, indeed if you tell a joke and the others do not laugh, you will feel embarrassment or inappropriate). I will go though achievement and fulfillment later. So, how about those who donate money or do volunteer work? They become happy after they do these. However, do people share with expectation? If one expects that they can get something from sharing, it is fulfillment instead! So, if one does not expect anything but just pure sharing. What is the reason of sharing?
Happiness is indeed the reward of doing something right to our survival. In a society, we share resource and power to increase the chance of survival. Achievements are usually related to obtaining resource or social status. Unhappiness is the punishment of doing something wrong in terms of survival. That’s why we avoid guilty, embarrassment, etc. Here is the question: if happy is the reward of doing well in survival, why many people feel unhappy even they are doing great? We are survival machine and we try to do things to enhance our chance of survival, however, the same stimuli will only generate certain amount of happiness for a finite duration. If we do something and it last forever, the being will not improve the survival chance and thus, it is highly probable that it would lead to death! The most serious punishment in life. Another question we can raise here is: some people even live in a poor condition and they can also feel happy, why is that?
Now, we talk about fulfillment. If one has done something, one feels fulfilled and happy even they are poor, make sense? So, could happiness be to live in the state of fulfillment? That would be a tricky answer, what is fulfillment? If fulfillment means we are free of wants, then in contrast to our knowledge in economy class, we all have unlimited wants. So, if we can live in the state of fulfillment in our life, our theory of economy (as well as economy) would probably collapse. So, how about we live in the pursuit of certain goal in life and we always pursuit it until we die? If there is such a goal exists for everyone, it is probably death. So, how about the goal is not universal to everyone? Everyone set up their goal and pursuit it themselves. It is a good one, but the problem would be the goal and how about for those who does not have a goal or for those who has not a goal for life yet? So, we redefine the goal, instead of universal lifelong goal, everyone has their goal and just pursuit theirs goal, simple? Another problem arises here. We still unhappy if we pursuit the goal but we cannot achieve it. Even we have certain goals in our life, we might just be unhappy because we cannot fulfill merely one of them. So, how about we have certain goals in our life and we can achieve some of them but not all of them, but we always have hope to achieve them? Here are two statements: fulfillment means we can achieve some expected goals and which would lead to happiness. Expectation plays an important role in it. If our expectation detached from our achievement a lot, we will become unhappy. The stronger the expectation, the higher the unhappiness one obtain if one cannot achieve the goal. (less happiness if one could achieve) Another one is we have the hope to achieve something we have not achieved yet. For the first statement, no doubt, it is a source of happiness. However for the second one, I would rather say it is not happiness; it is not a source of unhappiness. We can be happy when we have the hope, but it is not necessary lead to us to be happy. We will become unsatisfied, doubt oneself or even dejection if we only have the hope but not achieving the goal! In short, the happiness from fulfillment only comes from achievement and expectation interaction.
We found out that there are external factors (good things happen, achievement or smoking weeds) and internal factor (expectation) contributes to our sense of happiness. So, how to become happy? As a matter of fact, the external factors are not 100% controllable. What we can change is the internal factor, our expectation. If we do not have expectation in what we are doing, we will not do it well. As a matter of fact, everyone want to achieve more in life (if not, human being and society will never improve). We should have high expectation in ourselves. So, we have high expectations and achievements are difficult to control as well as the outcome, happiness. So, what we should do to be happy?