This is topic Happy, or complacent? in forum The Big Archives at The Geek Culture Forums!.

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Posted by Nitrozac (Member # 111) on September 22, 2002, 22:15:
I was thinking about this the other day (with moving and all), about the pursuit of happiness. In theory, a person is capable of being happy no matter where they are, geographically or otherwise. Does being perfectly happy where you are and what you're doing make you complacent? Does it make you not dream of a better life that you strive to achieve? I was wondering because I was thinking about where I'm living, where I want to live. It's absolutely beautiful where I live, and I could be absolutely happy here, but I'm thinking, "this is nice, but if only the ocean was warmer, like in Hawaii, why don't I just live there?" I'm wondering if this type of thinking is keeping me from being happy, you know what I mean?
Posted by RickMacMerc (Member # 1512) on September 22, 2002, 22:37:
Yup. Some call it "the curse of the goal oriented" You achieve the goal of happiness you set for yourself only to find that there is another one beyond it. You don't have to be complacent to be happy. The balance is called "contentment."

Watch your cats when they nap. Be the cat.
Posted by Alien Investor (Member # 242) on September 23, 2002, 00:00:
There's a saying: "the best is the enemy of the good".

In your case it's Hawaii. In my case it was a Suzuki GSXR-750 motorcycle. I liked every other bike that I had, but I kept thinking "this would be more fun on a GSXR". So eventually I bought one. Yeow! I loved that bike more than any other inanimate object I've ever had! It made me much happier than the #2 bike.

On the other hand, I've been to two different universities for undergraduate education, and the difference between my #1 fantasy university and the other one just wasn't crucial to me. Both of them did the job for me.

The catch-22: if you insist on the #1 choice, you might be a "perfectionist"; but if you accept the #2, #3, or #4 choice, you might be "settling" or "compromising". I think it's really situation-dependent. Sometimes it's good to be a perfectionist and insist on #1. Sometimes it's good to settle for #2.

See also Buridan's ass.
Posted by GMx (Member # 1523) on September 23, 2002, 05:18:
What about the travelling RV with satellite internet? [Smile] Just trying to give you more options to make it worse. [Wink] Seriously, I always think if I have this or I change that, things will be better. But then I hit a brick wall when I find to change this or have that, I need to change this other thing or have this other thing! I think living in the moment helps, but this is really hard to do. It's like trying to think about nothing. I find that my problem is I can never achieve things to my satisfaction. I always come up short, and this depresses me. [Frown]
Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on September 23, 2002, 12:12:
Even for an individual, Happiness is not necessarily based on a single formula. I've been "happy":

* travelling at over 100mph on a motorcycle.
* spending 12 continuous hours in front of a computer, sustaining my body on softdrinks and nachos (the result of various games).
* hiking in mountains.

... while some have been known to "Live at a Pace That Kills" , I've been known to live at a pace mistaken for death. (aka. Booooring)

I would say the following: You can seek Perfection and be Happy; however, if you demand Perfection then you are unlikely to find happiness.
Posted by GMx (Member # 1523) on September 23, 2002, 13:19:
I was listening to NPR today, and they had a guy on who was talking about this very subject. He has a book called Authentic Happiness. He has a number of questionaires at his web site . If you want to track your progress with the questionaires, you have to register. I think it's free, at the time I was visiting the site it was really slow in bringing up the home page, and not responding after that. A whole lot of people must have been tuned into that same program.

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