We are all chasing happiness throughout our lives. Sometimes, we will go to great lengths to try and achieve it. But do you know what will actually make you happy?
It’s hard to argue against happiness. Simply put, it feels good. Given a choice between some other emotion — being sad, for instance, or mad — happiness will win in all but the most extreme circumstances.
However, some studies seem to suggest that what we think will make us content doesn’t. Or at least, it doesn’t produce long-lasting happiness.
For example, we convince ourselves that buying the latest gadget will do the trick. And sure enough, shortly after buying it we are very pleased, but that sensation fades pretty quickly. In turn, that leaves us wanting something else to fulfill that need.
Alternately, it is suggested that positive experiences might lead to longer-lasting happiness. Sharing with a loved one, making memories with friends, or unique experiences are thought to be more fulfilling, ultimately, than some physical possession.
Have you found that to be the case? Do you know what will make you happy? Or do you just think you know? Why would we think something will make us happy when it won’t? Looking back on your past experiences, can you draw any conclusions for what has been the happiest times of your life?
Related questions: Is happiness the most important purpose in life? What makes you the happiest? Why do we put up with unhappiness?
Has the most important thing you’ve read recently come from a book — non-fiction, a novel, or a short story — a newspaper or magazine article, a blog post, the lyrics to a song, a poem, or a note from a friend? Or, perhaps, some other medium?
And, what has it been about? The pandemic? Politics? The economy? Or has the most important thing been about a passion of yours? Or has it taken you deeper into a hobby? Possibly it’s something a friend wrote you via snail- or e-mail. Or, maybe it’s been about something completely different.
Lastly, have you done anything differently because of what you’ve read?
Related questions: What are you reading? What are you thinking about? What is important?
Of all the things in your life, or in the news, what makes you the most happy? What are you glad about?
Share why if you wish.
There is something very primal about working together with others. Collaboration on a project can be rewarding in ways that working in isolation isn’t.
In the music industry, it is very common for musical artists to collaborate. Whether it is a musician playing on a track, two singers performing a duet, or a producer mixing an entire album, collaboration is frequent.
Unfortunately, in other walks of life working together is less common. There are many reasons why that may be. For instance, co-workers might be competing for the same promotion and so they have no motive to work together. Or it may not be obvious how two disparate jobs could collaborate on a single project.
But more often, the concept of a joint effort simply doesn’t occur to people. If you meet someone socially at a party, for example, you may not give any thought to their job or how you might collaborate together.
How might that change? Would if be possible to view another person, and the expertise they have, as an opportunity to make something that neither could make independently? How can we encourage collaboration?
Related questions: Where do shared ideas exist? What do we have in common? What makes a community? Alone or together?
When thinking about your life, is it valuable to think about your legacy? That is, should it matter what you leave behind you after you die?
In life, there is an advantage to having people think well of you. It can help attract good, thoughtful, productive people to you. It can help remove obstacles. Overall, it can make your life easier and more pleasant.
However, that advantage would seem to disappear after you die. How your memory lives on doesn’t confer any direct advantage. There may be some indirect value to your family and loved ones, but that gets harder and harder to quantify as time goes on.
That approach is largely transactional, however. Is there a strictly moral component? Is it important that you are remembered as a good person after you die? If so, how much of your time and resources while alive should be devoted to trying to secure a legacy of some sort?
After all, we all have a limited amount of time and energy in our lives. How does the priority of establishing a legacy place against other earthly concerns? Like food and shelter, or accrual of wealth or status, or feeling contented or fulfilled? Or does how you go about fulfilling your daily needs become part of your legacy?
Is the idea one of the first things you abandon when faced with tough choices about life? To put it another way, is thinking about a legacy a luxury that only the upper class get to consider?
Do you think about how your name will outlive you? Do you take steps in your daily life to alter that? Should we be concerned with legacy? What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
Related questions: What gives a person value? Why do we care what strangers think of us? How do you think others see you? What gives you purpose? What are you doing to make the world a better place?