Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Are you Happy?

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

I'm 62, retired at 47 and went on strike.

I live in a beautiful cottage tucked under the Niagara Escarpment (the slope falls four feet away) and guarded by a ferryman from those that would cross Death's Door.

Today we friends have gathered 250 miles away as we prepare to bicycle home while eating and drinking and enjoying our health and what little wealth we control.

I think that even by Ayn Rands estimation we are happy.

Do we and I have challenges? Of course, ranging from arthritis to a failed political context.

How do I value my life and happiness? When I am faced with the cusp of whether or not to live in this world that has forgotten Objectivism then I will see it as an opportunity to strike a blow to save my child from slavery.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am "rationally happy." That doesn't mean my life is perfect, because it's not -- but I seem to have a smile on my face most of the time anyway. It certainly wasn't always like that.

I am proud of my accomplishments; I have solid self-esteem; I consider myself to have sound values and virtues. It's no surprise that when you put that together, I'm also happy.

Edited by LovesLife
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think happiness is a habit where the good thoughts take up more real estate in your mind. There is only so much room, there is only so much time. Happiness is a choice, you have to learn what happiness is, and strive and struggle for it. Achieving happiness is like fighting gravity, it is so easy to lay down against misery. It takes effort to be happy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think happiness is a habit where the good thoughts take up more real estate in your mind. There is only so much room, there is only so much time. Happiness is a choice, you have to learn what happiness is, and strive and struggle for it. Achieving happiness is like fighting gravity, it is so easy to lay down against misery. It takes effort to be happy.

Are you saying that you think it's possible to choose to be happy, regardless of how you are living the rest of your life?

If so, although I think that's a common view, in my experience it never worked very well. I might be able to "choose" (more like "pretend") to be happy for a short time, but I found it to only be a fake, temporary and unsatisfying kind of happiness.

The way I live my life now, the "being happy" part of being happy is easy, and takes no effort at all. What did take effort was all of things that led to this point, such as consistently applying reason, productiveness, rationality, independence, integrity, honesty and justice in my life. But the actual happiness I found to be a consequence; an effect, not a cause. Likewise for self-esteem and pride; they are rewards, not primaries.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was wondering if anyone has achieved true happiness in the Objectivist sense of the word, and if so, have you been able to sustain that happiness?

Thanks :)

-GS

Just for what I read from her novels, and from Freud's dictum "love and work", I believe happiness is mostly being able to attain what Dr Mihaly C calls state of Flow (think of Roark on the draftboard, or Dagny, her eyes on the map) and Romantic love pretty much as passionately described by Miss Rand.

That said, I know of "Positive Thinking" and other behavioral techniques of self delusion and suggestion, and I have been pushed by nothing less than a biz partner to adopt them. I correlate it with social engineering and its results.

I'm confident that as long as I have the aim clear of the yet fuzzy bridge I'm building, I'll continue being happy even in my worst adolescednt hour. B)

I'd like to be happy like Doug in some decades! happiness implies tranquility, and accomplishment, definitely no the right feeling for someone in his 20s.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you saying that you think it's possible to choose to be happy, regardless of how you are living the rest of your life?

If so, although I think that's a common view, in my experience it never worked very well. I might be able to "choose" (more like "pretend") to be happy for a short time, but I found it to only be a fake, temporary and unsatisfying kind of happiness.

The way I live my life now, the "being happy" part of being happy is easy, and takes no effort at all. What did take effort was all of things that led to this point, such as consistently applying reason, productiveness, rationality, independence, integrity, honesty and justice in my life. But the actual happiness I found to be a consequence; an effect, not a cause. Likewise for self-esteem and pride; they are rewards, not primaries.

When I said "you have to learn what happiness is" it includes all of the qualities you mention here and:

"Some of you will never know who is John Galt. But those of you who have known a single moment of love for existence and of pride in being its worthy lover, a moment of looking at this earth and letting your glance be its sanction, have known the state of being a man, and I - I am only the man who knew that that state is not to be betrayed. I am the man who knew what made it possible and who chose consistently to practice and to be what you had practiced and been in that one moment.

"That choice is yours to make. That Choice - the dedication to one's highest potential - is made by accepting the fact that the noblest act you have ever performed is the act of your mind in the process of grasping that two and two make four."

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to be happy like Doug in some decades! happiness implies tranquility, and accomplishment, definitely no the right feeling for someone in his 20s.

Happiness is not the private reserve of the old, wise, or accomplished. They may have more fulfillment, but I would contend that you can be just as happy at 20 as at 60. It is not a choice to act happy as much as a choice to attain those values that you find important. As long as you are working toward having those values, you can enjoy life. Rand's novels often put the protagonists in epic struggles, only to come out victorious. We often live more murky lives and unless we are Galt we have to obtain the values available, sometimes only in increments. This should not diminish our real life accomplishments in any way. They are still good. It's not right to compare good to some sort of Platonic perfection.

Yes I'm happy. Hope to be more so tomorrow.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Happiness is not the private reserve of the old, wise, or accomplished. They may have more fulfillment, but I would contend that you can be just as happy at 20 as at 60. It is not a choice to act happy as much as a choice to attain those values that you find important. As long as you are working toward having those values, you can enjoy life. Rand's novels often put the protagonists in epic struggles, only to come out victorious. We often live more murky lives and unless we are Galt we have to obtain the values available, sometimes only in increments. This should not diminish our real life accomplishments in any way. They are still good. It's not right to compare good to some sort of Platonic perfection.

Yes I'm happy. Hope to be more so tomorrow.

Hey thanks for that. I sometimes -internally- confuse happiness with completeness and sometimes happiness with elation. I'd elaborate but it's for psychology and self improvement. As for whether Objectivism has made me happier which is what I believe GS was implying, the answer is yes. It's been 12 years now but when I first heard of Ayn Rand and her stances I couldn't contain myself it was a big eureka! that extended for another 6 years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello All,

Replying to this now cause I heard some guy mouthing off some buddist crap on radio this morning about being happy. It really made me mad. Here is a quoute from Ayn Rand that I found on Wiki:

"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

—Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged"

Well I really appreciate the part where she says "productive achievement as his noblest activity,". From my own personal experiece I have learned that when I am working hard to achieve my dreams and goals I am happy. Nothing else have had the same effect. When I procrastinate I am unhappy. When I put my happiness in my boyfriend I am unhappy. When I put my hope in anything else I am unhappy.

Hope that I am making sense here for somebody,

Regards,

Andre

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...