We all do things that we know are bad for us, for our individual selves or for our society or for our environment. And yet for one reason or another, for pleasure or convenience, for personal ease or peer pressure, we do them anyway.
What do you do that you know you shouldn’t?
Related questions: How much of our thoughts are our own? What are our responsibilities to others? How do you define success? When is it useful to fail?
Most people, I think, would say they try to be happy. They want to construct their lives in such a way as to maximize happiness (however they might define ‘happiness’).
But in reality, unhappiness abounds. Unrest radiates from nearly every news broadcast. Stress levels deprive us of sleep, lead to overeating, and generally make us unhealthy.
Where does this discontinuity between desire (happiness) and reality (unhappiness) come from? If someone wants to be happy, why aren’t they? Why do we put up with unhappiness?
Related questions: Is happiness the most important purpose in life? What motivates us? Why don’t we know what makes us happy?
Live sporting events have a certain thrill that comes from not knowing what is going to happen. Each year, the Super Bowl has a huge TV audience during the live broadcast, but outside of fans of the winning team, there is much less desire for recordings of past Super Bowls.
Why should that be? Where does that thrill come from? Why is it better to watch a sporting event live rather than recorded?
Related questions: What is time? Why are we fascinated with the unknown? Why do we like what we like? Why do people like games?
Most people prefer being happy over being sad. In fact, happiness makes us healthier. It boosts our immune system, is good for the heart, and likely helps us live longer. So why wouldn’t happiness be the most important purpose in life?
But are other emotions just as important? Are other goals in life just as essential?
Have at it, dear readers: Is happiness the most important purpose in life?
Related questions: What is true happiness? Why is achieving it so difficult? Is there a limit to how happy you can be? Why do we put up with unhappiness?