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What Is Happiness?
-By Caleb Jones
My book goes into great detail on this, focusing on specific techniques that allow men to attain not just happiness, but long-term consistent happiness, at least as much as is possible in the real world. I will not repeat all that here.
Instead, today I’m going to discuss exactly what happiness is, and how it can be measured.
Definition of Happiness
I looked up the dictionary definition of happiness the other day, and was surprised at how accurate its definition was:
Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.Well done, Webster. I agree 100%. However, since we’re dealing with a simple dictionary definition, it’s incomplete.
Happiness is the combination of two conditions. Both of these conditions must be present for you to experience happiness:
1. Experiencing pleasant, positive emotions.
2. The absence of any negative emotions.
You need both of these conditions at the same time in order to be happy.
If you experience neither 1 nor 2, you’re unhappy.
If you experience 1 but without 2, you’re spastic, hyper, confused, panicked, drunk, stressed, touchy, or crazy.
If you experience 2 but without 1, you’re just “eh, okay.” That's not happy.
I’ll shall explain.
Condition 1: Experiencing pleasant, positive emotions. This is obvious. What’s not often obvious is that there’s a range to it. You can feel mildly happy, like when you sit down on your comfy couch after a long day’s work, or intensely happy, like when you make a pile of money all at once or when you snag that amazingly hot and nice new girlfriend or MLTR.
Condition 2: The absence of any negative emotions. This aspect is a little more complicated and often forgotten. Over the years, many people (both men and women) have tried to argue with me that you can be angry and happy at the same time, or that you can experience drama from a woman while being happy, or that you can be sad while being happy, or similar.
Nope. If you are experiencing any negative emotions at this very moment, you are not happy. It’s true that you might be happy 10 minutes from now, but you’re not happy now.
Also, if you are currently experiencing something you consider negative, then once again, you are not happy. You could argue that you’re not miserable, but you can’t argue that you’re happy. Just like happiness, unhappiness is also a range. You can be mildly unhappy or totally miserable, but in either case you’re not happy.
If a woman you’re in a relationship with is screaming at you and calling you an asshole, you’re not happy while she’s doing it. You’re also not happy while you’re getting a root canal or sitting bored in your cubicle at that corporate job you hate. You’re also not happy if you’re a horny guy and haven’t had sex in six months.
Again, you can argue about the level of unhappiness you feel (a lot vs. a little), but you cannot argue that you’re happy, because you aren’t.
Happiness also doesn’t mean that you’re “eh” or “okay.” When I ask my beta male buddies how they’re doing, the answer is always something like “eh, okay.” This is not an indication of happiness. It's an indication of the absence of unhappiness, which is not the same thing as happiness.
Degree of Happiness
I have always considered happiness on a scale from 1 to 10, as I demonstrated here a while back with several charts. The breakdown for me has always looked something like this:
10: Full of massive, intoxicating joy
9 - 8: Very happy
6 - 5: “Eh, okay,” neither happy nor unhappy
3 - 2: Very Unhappy
10 is a rare condition that isn’t sustainable. Even people like me aren’t going to be able to maintain a 10 for more than a day or two. 10 is great, but it’s not something you can sustain in the real world.
9 - 7 means you’re happy to some degree. You feel positive and don’t have any negative emotions or events that are bothering you (at least at the moment). My life averages around an 8.5 to 9, most days. I’m a really happy guy living a really great life that I love.
The “Eh, okay” people at between 6 to 4 on the scale are not happy. They’re not unhappy, but they’re not happy. They’re just “okay,” usually meaning they’re mildly bored but not necessarily unhappy.
“Eh, okay” has become the standard today with most of the adult population over age 35. It’s the guy with the bullshit corporate job that he tolerates but doesn’t hate, married to the standard overweight wife who he loves but isn’t super attracted to and who gets on his nerves sometimes, with kids and bills that stress him out a little, but who enjoys working on his car and going hunting and camping, or watching football with a beer. He’s “okay,” but he’s not happy.
Anyone at a 4 or under is unhappy. They’ve got regular emotions, conditions, and/or events that make them angry, sad, lonely, fearful, stressed out, depressed, or any other emotion derived from the 5 stages of fear.
They can take action to improve their conditions and/or re-orient their thinking, but that takes work and effort, and many of these people aren’t interested in doing this. There are also a lot of people with certain personality types or shitty childhoods who actually like being angry or upset at least semi-regularly (coughaltrightmanospherecough) and consider happy people as ‘stupid’ or ‘selfish.’
1 is rare but does happen occasionally to certain very unhappy people, and like 10, it isn't sustainable (if you stayed at 1 too long you’d probably kill yourself).
Of course, happiness is a variable for everyone, even very happy or very unhappy people. My life is around 8.5 or 9 almost all the time, but there are times I have a bad day. It’s rare, but does happen. If this happens, for several hours my happiness may drop down as low as 4. Since I don’t like being unhappy and consider happiness my greatest objective in life, I immediately get to work to bring my happiness back up to 8.5 where it belongs, so I’m never at a 4 for longer than a few hours. Even living a few days at the 5 or 6 level feels weird to me.
The argument against his is something like, "Well, what if your mom dies???" True, if something truly horrible and outside of my control occurred like this, I might be at a 2 or 3, or maybe even a 1, for several days, if not longer, regardless of how happy and well-structured my life is. The good news is that these events are extremely rare, happening only a few times in your entire life. I mean seriously, how many times can your mom die? Once. Thus my point.
Also, the length of the unhappiness in these events is completely up to me, since everything is my fault. If my mom died, I would be very sad for a while, then I would soon return to my usual 8.5 and be fine. It's how I am, by design. On the flip side, I know a woman whose mom died eight years ago. It took her over a year to get over it, and to this day, at every anniversary date of her mom's death, this woman gets depressed for a about a week or two.
That's her choice. She's choosing that unhappiness the same way I choose my happiness in spite of these large but very rare problems.
When I got divorced, I was very unhappy for about three months, then I got over it, and I was as happy as can be, and that happiness has sustained for almost 10 years so far. My children also bounced back to happiness quickly, within a few months. On the flip side, my former wife was very unhappy about the divorce for about five years before she finally started calming down about it. Some of this is personality and temperament, but most of this is about making a choice.
Just like a happy person can be temporarily unhappy, an unhappy person who usually lives at the 3 level can indeed have days (or even entire weeks) where something good happens that temporarily shoots their happiness to 9 or even 10. Things like NRE, getting engaged, winning the lottery, or going on a really nice vacation can take even the most miserable person’s happiness levels to the 8-10 range for a while, until they fall back down to their more “comfortable” levels of regular unhappiness or “eh, okay.”
One of the biggest reasons people get monogamous is because they're making an irrational decision in the midst of the extreme but temporary happiness caused by NRE. Since I'm already very happy as a normal condition of my life, if I experience NRE, the shift in happiness isn't quite as massive, thus I'm able to keep a cool head (more or less anyway) and not do anything too stupid. Compare that to the man who normally lives at a 5 and then shoots to a NRE-induced 10. He's so unaccustomed to the new level of extreme happiness, he turns into a blubbering idiot and makes all the wrong choices, only to realize it when the NRE wears off and he gets back to his usual 5. Seriously, that's exactly where most girlfriend-boyfriend monogamy comes from.
Now we need to discuss how often people are happy. I live the Alpha Male 2.0 life of consistent, long-term happiness (as much as is possible in the real world). An Alpha Male 1.0, as I showed on the graphs a while back, is also very happy, but he suffers unhappiness more often than I do. In other words, he’s not as happy as often as I am.
I’ve had several people challenge me on this. “Who are you to say that you’re happier more often than me? You can’t measure that anyway!”
Incorrect. You can.
We could hook up several wifi electrodes to your body and my body that track brain activity associated with happiness, unhappiness, and neutral, mild boredom (“eh, okay"). Then, we could each hire a researcher to silently follow each of us around with a clipboard 24 hours a day, and have him keep close track of how often we were happy, unhappy, or “eh, okay.”
Would these methods be absolutely 100% accurate? Of course not. Regardless, after two weeks (or so) of gathering data from these two sources, we could indeed find out which of us feels happy more often than the other. Frequency of happiness can indeed be measured. The statement “Joe is happy more often than Larry” can indeed be empirically proven or disproven, at least to a degree.
This is why I make such a big deal about long-term consistent happiness, rather than just happiness. Any dumbass can be happy for three minutes...just eat your favorite doughnut. Any dipshit can be happy mixed in with regular unhappiness...just get a monogamous girlfriend. Any dingleberry can be super happy today and miserable in five years...just get married the standard way (legally and monogamously). But being happy consistently, often, over the long haul of decades, man, that’s an entirely different level of happiness. Believe me, I know.
So there you have it. Happiness is feeling positive, pleasant emotions while feeling no negative emotions, that can be measured (at least somewhat) in terms of both intensity and frequency.
Obviously, the goal is to get your happiness into at least the 7 range, and keep your happiness there (or higher), forever (as much as is possible in the real world). It’s a doable goal, by the way. I’ve done it.
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POB 2016-05-30 13:09:38
Nice post! One thing most people forget is that happiness, although very measurable as you nicely explained, changes a lot from one person to the other, even when they're both doing the same thing. For instance: I may be 100% happy lifting weights 5 times a week, while the sweet spot for the next guy could be 2 or 3 days max. If he starts to lift my 5 times, his happiness would go down (even if he's getting the benefits of extra muscularity and low bf) as he'd have to put more time in the gym and leave another happy activity behind. The same could be said about women. A dude may be happy with two, the other with five, and if you swap their roles their happiness would sure be damaged. Another thing I've always had in mind is that I need to be fully prepared when inevitable changes in my life occur as I get older. Your needs for maximum happiness will sure change with the years, and this is the real challenge of doing it consistently in the long-term. Nothing more sad than a dude desperately trying to be happy now but failing badly because he's lost in his old ways.
K 2016-05-30 14:13:14
What is, in your view, the level of impact that biology / hormones / brain set-up play in determining one's happiness? In other words, to what degree is happiness a matter of choice and to what extent it is determined by factors out of one's control such as genetics?
Don_Quibollox 2016-05-30 20:41:01
What is, in your view, the level of impact that biology / hormones / brain set-up play in determining one’s happiness? In other words, to what degree is happiness a matter of choice and to what extent it is determined by factors out of one’s control such as genetics?Brain chemicals are the main determinant of your happiness or lack of. Learning to run your brain in the best way will give you a decent increment in happiness, unless you are already at optimum levels like BD. This really is cutting out the middle man (or at least bringing him under your direct control). All that complicated stuff you do that makes you happy/sad is doing so because it changes your brain chemicals. You can learn new habits in thinking and doing that will optimise those chemicals. Habits of a Happy Brain by Loretta Breuning is a good, practical book for addressing this; it explains in layman's terms how serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin levels can be manipulated for your long term benefit.
michael 2016-05-31 03:36:19
Happiness comes from taking care of the things that make us unhappy!
joelsuf 2016-05-31 16:56:27
Any dumbass can be happy for three minutes…just eat your favorite doughnut.That's all happiness ever was. Oh to hell with it, I'm letting Denis Leary explain this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAVoQfoU0dQ
Blackdragon 2016-05-31 17:05:19
What is, in your view, the level of impact that biology / hormones / brain set-up play in determining one’s happiness? In other words, to what degree is happiness a matter of choice and to what extent it is determined by factors out of one’s control such as genetics?Great question! Yes, happiness is made up of three factors: 1. Your personal decisions 2. Hormones 3. Personality / Temperament There are a few things you can do with your personality / temperament but it's mostly static. However! Decisions and hormones are 100% within your control. You can design a life that makes you happy via correct decisions (that's why my stuff is all about) and for less than $150 at the very most, you can get all the blood tests you need to view your current hormone levels (testosterone, estradiol, vitamin D, etc). At that point it becomes your decision to improve these levels or not. Again, 100% within your control.
That’s all happiness ever was. Oh to hell with it, I’m letting Denis Leary explain this one:Leary is describing the loser beta male version of happiness; "Life sucks, there's nothing I can do about it, so the only happiness I can possibly hope for are isolated, fleeting moments of it." Your attitude really sucks, joelsuf.
Sachmo 2016-05-31 23:00:19
There's been a lot of research done by people like Seligman, Lyubmirsky, Kahneman on the subject of happiness. Kahneman did a very interesting talk related to this subject here: https://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kahneman_the_riddle_of_experience_vs_memory?language=en Basically happiness breaks down into two different things: Your sense of well being - in other words, at any given moment, you rate exactly how you are feeling on a scale of 1 to 10. This I think is similar to your definition of happiness. Your life satisfaction - this is how you tell the story of your life. i.e. 'Last year I ran a marathon and achieved a lifelong goal'. It turns out that people can rank their well being very high moment by moment, but have very poor life satisfaction (think aspiring creative type). And people can also have a very low well being moment by moment, but have a very high life satisfaction (think successful workaholic corporate lawyer). There is a significant debate over which one matters more. The problem is that our memories are not well constructed for measuring our well-being. The Kahneman video illustrates this extremely well, I would highly recommend watching it entirely. Most happiness researchers will focus on well-being over life satisfaction (Lyubmirsky - How of Happiness). Kahneman argues for a hybrid approach, b/c achieving life goals does matter, but goal achievement is often unrelated to how we feel moment by moment. Finally, a cool tool that you can use over time to track your well-being: moodscope.com I take happiness pretty seriously as well : )
BlindIo 2016-06-01 00:55:43
Thing is, it can be very difficult to find out what you need to do to be happy. The Element would not be a book if this was not the case. In my case I was over 30 before I figured out what works for me. So I got 20 years of catching up compared to people who figured it out at ten.
CrabRangoon 2016-06-01 08:12:10
BD, Definitely dig what you're doing here in regards to focus on long term happiness. I've definitely noticed most people only care about happiness today/near term, not long term. I see it mainly in relationships around me-just hurry up and get married and we'll worry about our huge incompatibilities later. Question, have you ever done a post on dealing with the shaming language guys like us get from family, friends, peers, etc...? If not, would you consider one? I think it trips alot of guys up, myself included sometimes. Although I'm getting better at having logical responses. One buddy's soon to be wife is one of the worst. Calls me man-whore, asks when I'm going to "settle down", commitment-phobe, the usual crap. No surprise, he's a total beta and she's a huge dominant. I was surrounded by beta men with fugly wives at his BBQ this weekend-it really made my stomach turn to watch these guys.
Blackdragon 2016-06-01 09:32:49
Thing is, it can be very difficult to find out what you need to do to be happy.True. It took me until my early 30s to completely figure that out. I had to play catch up as well. The key there is activity. A very active person, trying many different things, will discover happiness faster.
just hurry up and get married and we’ll worry about our huge incompatibilities later.Yup. Marriage is the quintessential symptom of people who want to be happy now but don't care if they're unhappy later.
Question, have you ever done a post on dealing with the shaming language guys like us get from family, friends, peers, etc…? If not, would you consider one? I think it trips alot of guys up, myself included sometimes. Although I’m getting better at having logical responses. One buddy’s soon to be wife is one of the worst. Calls me man-whore, asks when I’m going to “settle down”, commitment-phobe, the usual crap. No surprise, he’s a total beta and she’s a huge dominant. I was surrounded by beta men with fugly wives at his BBQ this weekend-it really made my stomach turn to watch these guys.Ok. I'll add it to the topics list.
joelsuf 2016-06-01 12:26:09
It turns out that people can rank their well being very high moment by moment, but have very poor life satisfaction (think aspiring creative type).That's how it is for me. I honestly have a really hard time grasping this idea of long term happiness and "life satisfaction" cuz that means you have to measure yourself against other people. My checklist is simple: Do you do productive stuff consistently like work, gym, hobbies? Do you like making others feel good (irl, not online)? Do you feel like you are in control of social life stuff like hanging with buds and dating? If you answer yes to all three then you're good. I live my life moment to moment, I wouldn't have it any other way.
joelsuf 2016-06-01 12:58:04
Leary is describing the loser beta male version of happiness; “Life sucks, there’s nothing I can do about it, so the only happiness I can possibly hope for are isolated, fleeting moments of it.”I beg to differ. IMO he's describing almost like a transition from alpha 1 to alpha 2. Beta males aren't happy even if they strive for the fleeting moments of it. Its way different than what Denis Leary was saying when he says "life sucks, get a fucking helmet alright?" Here's why I think betas aren't happy. And keep in mind they are saying and doing these things irl as well as online. -They constantly compare themselves to everything, and make up reasons why they aren't succeeding whether its the economy, feminism, whatever. -They attack ANYONE who is successful and say that they were "born into success." They also view success as stuff a person HAS to do by a certain time. There's a saying in the MGTOW community, "life ends at 30," meaning if you don't achieve what society wants you to achieve by 30, then you'll never be successful. -They blame everyone except themselves for their misfortunes. -This one's important: They LIKE being miserable and don't have a concept of happiness. I will admit, up until my dad died when I was in my mid 20s, I was like this and probably worse. It created a lot of bad habits irl that I need to address currently. I will also admit that I still exhibit some of these behaviors as I do like to troll and be an internet tough guy cuz its fun but that's all shits and gigs in the end. But different than back then, I'm not that way irl anymore. Currently my way of thinking, irl, is like this: -I still compare myself to others but I don't get butthurt if someone is "better" than me. I simply see what they are doing and if its possible and if I actually want the success that they have (no one addresses this concept, that you may not actually want what you think you want), then I copy them. -I don't care about success. Success is a relative and VERY subjective term. Anyone who views it as a list of hard objectives doesn't know what it means to be human. My concept of success is to make sure the people around you (irl, not online, I don't care about how I make people feel online) feel good when they are around you, make sure you are as free as possible, and stay out of trouble with the law. -I don't blame anyone for anything regarding my success. If anything, I'm not as successful as I want to be because 1) I'm too lazy, 2) I don't really care, 3) I'm not sure I want the success. -Like my opinion of happiness being fleeting, misery is also fleeting. For example, I got a slight headache on Monday for some reason. It's gone now. The point is to try to micromanage things to where you can continually experience those small doses of happiness while mitigating the small doses of misery. But you can't just not experience any misery ever. That makes no sense to me. btw I'm buying your book tomorrow out of curiosity. We disagree with a lot of stuff but also agree on a lot too. Maybe I can learn a thing or three, there's always something to learn from others.
Fraser Orr 2016-06-01 17:35:01
Happiness is actually something that has been studied pretty extensively in academic circles. I used to have a book that had a pretty detailed set of research on the subject. From what I remember the breakdown was fairly consistent in research: 50% of your happiness comes from nature/nurture, 10% comes from circumstances, and 40% comes from your attitude and approach to life (which encompasses much of what BD talks about in his book.) I'll try to dig up a source for this data. For those of you interested I want to make a book recommendation. A lady named Grechin Rubin conducted a study on herself in which she dedicated a year specifically to trying to be happier by applying all the scientific research she could find and experimenting on herself and her friends. At the end she wrote a book called "The Happiness Project", which I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to pursue this as a goal (and let's face it, you should.) She is a New York literati liberal, but this doesn't come across in her writing, which is eminently humble, practical and interesting, and based often times in solid science. She also has a blog worth reading at http://gretchenrubin.com/. The advice in here is general, and doesn't hit on the deeper, and consequently more productive themes in BD's book (which you should of course read first), but if you read her book I guarantee you will pick up many useful ideas that if applied will make you a happier person.
Duke 2016-06-01 18:18:31
Happiness is a pretty interesting topic, and somewhat elusive to people living in the West. I've been in other cultures in the "third world" where every one was poor but pretty content with themselves. Right now I'm reading a book that references Martin Selig's formula for happiness as H=S+C+V. IOW H equals set range (this makes up about half of H and basically amounts to genetics) + Circumstances, which amounts to the particulars of your life that can improve H such as money + Volunarty controls which is self-explanatory and equates to BD's decision making aspect. Of course SP like compliance (or lack thereof) of BD's big six factors probably plays a big role in ones happiness.
Blackdragon 2016-06-01 18:34:46
That reminded me of some surveys and studies I've read on the happiness levels of different countries. When I was in Fiji, they were the happiest people I had ever met despite the fact that many of them were literally living in the dirt. Then you go to New York city and see mobs of the most unhappy people in the world. I also read a study that the two nationalities that are most happy with their country in the world, and the direction of their country, were the Chinese and the Russians(!). While most wealthy, first-world countries are full of people who are extremely unhappy with their nations (the US included).
BlindIo 2016-06-01 19:32:05
The reason people in poor countries are happier than we are is that women need men to survive.
Vitriol 2016-06-01 21:27:23
Then you go to New York city and see mobs of the most unhappy people in the world.I think in the U.S. Louisiana has the people who are the most consistently happy (I remember reading a study about this if someone can find it). New Orleans is an awesome place where people just drink, play music, and cook some really awesome food all day. Also, where I live (Miami) has probably the hottest girls in the U.S. and they're not bitchy short haired feminists like you find in the cities with the highest per capita income. Environment is a HUGE factor in determining happiness and I've experienced it personally. Life has been pretty good since I moved several years ago.
Yes, happiness is made up of three factors: 1. Your personal decisions 2. Hormones 3. Personality / TemperamentI would add location to this list. I know it has personally made a huge difference for me.
Ben 2016-06-02 03:20:02
3. Personality / TemperamentThis one is a real toughie. I've heard it said (on this blog, among other places) that some people like being angry. Unfortunately, I think I fall into that category, as being angry is a state that, for me, seems congruent with my natural temperament. Intellectually, I know that my anger is often disproportionate to that which elicits it. In the heat of the moment, it doesn't matter. I have a few family members who share this trait, so I think it's either inherited, learned from seeing them, or a combination of the two. It's something I've been working hard to curb in recent years. Exercise and meditation help, and I think age has mellowed me out a little (I'm 35). Still, I have a lot more work to do to retrain my brain. Bottom line is that I'm not as happy as I could (and arguably should) be. The sad part is that some part of my brain likes it that way.
Blackdragon 2016-06-02 09:50:37
The reason people in poor countries are happier than we are is that women need men to survive.Nope. The entire continent of Africa and much of Central America is male-centric, yet most people in these regions are miserable. Male dominance doesn't automatically equal happiness. That's a manosphere myth. It's a factor, but one of many.
Also, where I live (Miami) has probably the hottest girls in the U.S. and they’re not bitchy short haired feminists like you find in the cities with the highest per capita income.Truth! Miami is amazing!
Environment is a HUGE factor in determining happiness and I’ve experienced it personally.Correct. Even things like the amount of sunlight a region receives ties into happiness. (The more sun year-round the more happy people tend to be, generally speaking.)
I’ve heard it said (on this blog, among other places) that some people like being angry.Yep. There's a percentage of people like this, sadly.
Unfortunately, I think I fall into that category, as being angry is a state that, for me, seems congruent with my natural temperament. Intellectually, I know that my anger is often disproportionate to that which elicits it."You can tell the size of the man by the size of the things that make him mad."
In the heat of the moment, it doesn’t matter.It does matter. Everything in your life is your fault. If you use that excuse, you're simply choosing to take the easy route and not control it / manage it when the anger comes. There are many anger management techniques that do indeed work, but they take time and effort.
It’s something I’ve been working hard to curb in recent years.Good. It's our job as men to minimize our weaknesses.
BlindIo 2016-06-02 18:07:24
Yes well africa is full of africans, obviously. But for most of the rest of the world, it holds true.
noob 2016-06-02 21:08:56
That’s her choice. She’s choosing that unhappiness the same way I choose my happiness in spite of these large but very rare problems.Some of this is personality and temperament, but most of this is about making a choice.How is this a choice? Surely you can't just 'choose' to not be sad/depressed/fearful/angry/whatever negative emotion. Who actually chooses that? A person's personality determines how he/she reacts to it and how intense it affects him/her no?
Blackdragon 2016-06-02 23:13:11
How is this a choice? Surely you can’t just ‘choose’ to not be sad/depressed/fearful/angry/whatever negative emotion.So whenever you get mad you HAVE to scream at someone and call them an asshole? You have ZERO control over this because of your personality? So whenever something really bad happens in your life, you MUST get depressed for a long time because of your personality? You have ZERO control over this? You have no emotional control, no self control, and you're completely helpless? You can't choose to, oh I don't know, re-focus on happier things? Take a few deep breaths and relax? Take stock of all the good things in your life? Go exercise and increase oxygen to your brain? Get some extra sleep? Spend time with loved ones? Watch some funny stand up comedy clips on YouTube? Read some self help books? Get some counseling? Shall I go on?
BlindIo 2016-06-03 04:58:47
Sure, you can do all of that. But we still react to external stimuli. Humans don't act randomly.
Blackdragon 2016-06-03 13:34:23
That has absolutely nothing to do what what I said. I didn't say people don't react to stimuli. I said people have vast influence over their reactions. Read this.
BlindIo 2016-06-04 02:52:26
Interesting read and I'm like that as well, but there are limits to what can be done. I'm an extreme introvert. Moved out on a boat just to get as much alone time as possible, and it was the best thing I ever did. I lost weight, my health improved and I'm happier than ever before. A "normal" life, with a job and interacting with people every day, is a nightmare to me. It's as bad as a battlefield would be for the typical woman. No amount of rationality can overcome the adverse effects of a toxic environment past a certain point.
SB 2016-06-04 07:38:56
Happiness is mostly subjective, and differs from one person to another. I know some people who are perfectly happy with a meh gf, an ok job, and the weekends off. They don't like working very hard, and are happy just chilling am the time. Whilst it's good to have your opinions BD, I think it's important not to make everything so black and white, otherwise you could be stressing some poor guy on the other side of the world out. It took me ages to realize this back when I was following RSD. The minute I did, my happiness levels immediately went up, and stress levels down. One has to first define what happiness is for them, and regardless of what people tell them, evening it's a voice of authority like yourself, still make their own minds up.
SB 2016-06-04 07:49:54
Also, just wanted to add that western countries are much more spoilt, and their barrier to happiness is much higher. They often forget to appreciate the small things. For me, banging a super hot girl won't make any happier than eating my favorite meal. Neither will making a pile of $$ make me happier than not missing a single training session in a month. Expectation is the biggest barrier to happiness. Every time I go on the verge of raging, I always look at how lucky I am not to be some starving child in Africa, then immediately feel fine, and continue doing what I was doing (minus the rage/unhappiness).
Blackdragon 2016-06-04 09:39:52
Interesting read and I’m like that as well, but there are limits to what can be done.Nitpick.
A “normal” life, with a job and interacting with people every day, is a nightmare to me.Then radically change your life. Or seek counseling.
Whilst it’s good to have your opinions BD, I think it’s important not to make everything so black and white, otherwise you could be stressing some poor guy on the other side of the world out.I don't state black and whites; I state was is statistically true most of the time. For example, a poor guy (guy with very little money) is very likely unhappy, or at a minimum, less happy than he could be. Are there exceptions? Sure. But the vast majority of the time it's correct.
I know some people who are perfectly happy with a meh gf, an ok job, and the weekends off. They don’t like working very hard, and are happy just chilling am the time.As I stated in the article, the vast majority of those people are not happy. They're not unhappy either. They're "eh, okay," which is different than happy. They're at a 5 or 6 on the scale, not at 8 or 9 like me. If these people declare they're actually happy, they're likely just being defensive. Again, are there rare exceptions? Sure.
Also, just wanted to add that western countries are much more spoilt, and their barrier to happiness is much higher.Agree.
BlindIo 2016-06-04 18:27:21
That's not a nitpick. There are limits to how much simply changing how you think can do. We are physical creatures with biological needs, and for the people who don't know what they need to live in accordance with their biological nature, that's a problem. Sometimes a life threatening one.
Blackdragon 2016-06-05 11:48:12
We are physical creatures with biological needs...who have control over their reactions.
BlindIo 2016-06-05 20:53:06
To certain degrees determined by our biology. Consider orcas. Psychologically and socially, they are at least as similar to us as chimps and gorillas. Certain parts of their brain is more highly developed than ours, even. What happens to them in captivity? They become confused, aggressive, they occasionally drown their own babies, they kill humans which is unheard of in the wild. But they have control over their actions, right? Environment matters. The way we live today is as different from our natural state as a glass cage is to orcas. And it is making people psychotic. Simply dismissing this aspect by saying "people can control their actions" is not doing anyone a service.
Blackdragon 2016-06-06 09:57:55
To certain degrees determined by our biology.We still have control over our responses.
Consider orcas.We're not orcas.
Environment matters.Correct. We still have control over our reposes. I'm done with this conversation. Have fun thinking your responses are outside of your control. I'll be over here thinking the opposite and living a great life.
BlindIo 2016-06-06 12:12:04
We have control over our responses to a limited degree. We are mammals, not godlike glowing beings of rationality. Maybe you have never been in an environment that was toxic to you, and good for you if so. But you also do not represent all of humanity. Environment matters.