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Happiness - Stop Doing Things You Don't Want To Do

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I've been thinking about this and it seems to me that finding happiness is potentially as simple as having a personal mission statement to stop doing as many things possible that you don't want to do.

Excluding things like not paying taxes or anything that would put you in jail. And excluding things that you may not enjoy doing but still do so because they are important to someone you love or admire enough to want to do for them. This would also not include things that you may have to do to get you to the position of not having to do them anymore. For example, you may start a business and have to do a part of the work that you hate doing but still want to do it because it is leading you towards your ultimate goal.

I just think that if we eliminated so many of the unnecessary things in our lives that we can't stand doing, we would all be so much happier. You hate mowing the grass - pay someone to do it. You hate going to boring weddings and birthday parties - stop. You would rather go on vacation for the holidays instead of spending them with your crazy family - go on the vacation.

Just something I've been thinking about and would love to hear your thoughts.

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Also... the positive expression of the idea: i.e., start doing things you want to do.

Absolutely. Happiness would not come if you stopped doing the things you don't like but chose to do nothing rather than pursue things you do like (unless nothing is what actually made you happy).

I think that this concept of happiness focuses on negativity too much.

You always here about finding happiness by doing what you love, but so many people never get there because they do not realize they are bogged down by the tasks that do not make them happy. Or some do realize, yet they cannot bring themselves to face it and make the decisions that must be made. I think the negative needs to be acknowledged more because of this.

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This reminds me of how some people will watch an entire movie that they stopped liking halfway through simply because they spent money on the ticket/rental. Better to acknowledge a poor movie choice and move onto something more interesting!

Edited by Eiuol
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You shouldn't choose your actions based on whether you already "want" to do them. Wanting something doesn't mean it is good for you. For example, you may want to eat breakfast at McDonald's every day and NOT WANT to make your own, healthier breakfast. Both life and happiness require a specific course of action, and neither is granted to you merely by satisfying your desires, whatever they may happen to be. A better formula is to learn the underlying reasons for your desires, and to only act once you're decided that they are good (rational) reasons.

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While this may be, on the surface, understood as hedonism (perfect example, last post), I believe the thread opener implied something he saw in Ayn Rand's novels. The characters usually don't do things that they do not want, like, or NEED, to do.

Kira quits church unapologetically. Roark never does anything he doesn't like or need, and the whole point of Atlas Shrugged, is to shrug off certain elements from certain backs.

The way we put it is "value", not doing things we don't value.

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While this may be, on the surface, understood as hedonism (perfect example, last post), I believe the thread opener implied something he saw in Ayn Rand's novels. The characters usually don't do things that they do not want, like, or NEED, to do.

Kira quits church unapologetically. Roark never does anything he doesn't like or need, and the whole point of Atlas Shrugged, is to shrug off certain elements from certain backs.

The way we put it is "value", not doing things we don't value.

Yes, I should have been more thorough with my post. You describe exactly what I am talking about. Maybe this concept of happiness I am referring to is really no different from what you are saying, as in "not doing things we don't value".

I think I really just wanted to bring to light the reality that many people may be pursuing things they value, but are not realizing why they are not getting there or why they are making very little progress. I believe this has a lot to do with these unnecessary tasks that society has taught us we have to do simply because that's what responsible people do.

For example, I hate going to weddings, birthday parties, and many other social events. Every time I go all I can think about is doing something else, either productive or fun for myself. I'm not going to go to one of these events again unless I truly want to. No one will drag me to it. I'm accepting the consequences and it feels great.

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Mike, I've hated social events including school since I was so little that in retrospective I fear it has damaged my social capabilities. I particularly can't stand big parties which have more of ceremony than of celebration.

Since that doesn't seem to be the case (you were actually able to fulfill your "social obligations" in the past) I'd say you are not in risk of becoming a hermit so go for it and unload all that has no real worth in your life but is there because by default.

Don't rush to discard things or people who you value in different ways in different times.

But dare to think of the possibility of discarding other more fundamental things such as a typical job or place of residence, etc. The point is that most people live their lives by default, with a pretty narrow "career" since they are born till they are 18 to 23. You own yourself and you are free to not follow these "safe" paths but open your own in the uncharted forest.

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