Saturday, July 12, 2008

Happiness Is Everyone's Ultimate Goal

Every human that has ever existed has had happiness as their ultimate goal in life. Pretty bold and presumptuous statement but we’ll find the statement is true.

It's the odd ways in which we pursue happiness that makes us question the validity of this idea. What about the guy that works at a job he hates for his family? Is his goal to be happy? Again, I think the answer is "yes."

“What is the purpose or meaning of your life? Is your life for you to be happy, or would you prefer your life be for something else? Would that make you happy? Whatsoever you seek, you seek the cessation of unhappiness and the satisfaction of happiness.

Even those people who would be willing to die to save another do it for happiness. The idea of seeing themselves as loving another so much that they'd sacrifice themselves, makes them happy.

Our core motivation to be happy is surrounded by layers of other desires. Like an onion, we must first peel away the layers to reach the core. Let's look at an example.

I want a car.

Why do you want that?

So I can get to work.

Why do you want that?

So I can earn enough money for a house.

Why do you want that?

So I can have a place I call my own.

Why do you want that?

So I can feel free to do with it what I will.

Why do you want that?

Because when I feel free, I feel happy.

Happiness does not always appear to be an obvious goal because of the intermediate goals we believe are necessary to achieve happiness. But in the end, we do what we do to feel good.

Some say the "will to survive" is the strongest desire of all men, but even this question. What about suicide? What about people with a fatal disease who are in a lot of pain and want to die? These people want to end their lives. If the will to survive was our highest motivation above all else, it would seem people would want to live, no matter what.

So what DO these people want? To end their pain. From this one can only conclude that the desire to feel good is even stronger than the desire to stay alive.

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