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Soliciting life/career/happiness/self-actualization advice!

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by ConcernedParent, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. dagman1

    dagman1 Well-Known Member

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    Toronto
    I'm not that certain anymore. Of course I would love to have a lot of money; buy nice clothes, drive a nice car, nice house, nice lifestyle, but slowly I begin to question why I value these things. Societal pressure? Perhaps overcompensating for what is essentially, my inability to find other ways to feel achievement and success.
    Some people share your thoughts... http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Indust...ocial_problems
     
  2. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    I think so, but in the process and thereafter the key factors to happiness IMO include:

    1. Focusing on building existing and acquiring new relationships, not things.

    2. Engaging in activities that are meaningful, fun, and rewarding.

    3. Giving of your service, time, and even resources to others.

    4. Forgiving others and not holding grudges.

    5. Having a sense of humor in that you laugh often and don't take yourself too seriously.


    this is great.

    I would add a few things - you really need to identify what you "need" out of life. we often try to fight our needs, that is never a path to true happiness.

    finding a job you like, some possetions (not all, and not to many) bring you happiness. health, good food. a certain level of status, if you need it. the right level of social interaction - some people need more, some need less.
     
  3. MetroStyles

    MetroStyles Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for ruining my life, asshole. [​IMG]

    Sorry, I meant to say "get some cool friends, a nice career that you like, and eat good foods."

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Well-Known Member

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    Alcohol helps me ignore these questions.
     
  5. deranged

    deranged Well-Known Member

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    I think the most important thing you can do is find the work you want to do. This is of such importance that all else (except spouse and child issues) pale in comparison. "Blessed is he who has found his work. Let him ask no other blessing."

    Relationships (outside of the nuclear family) are wonderful, but you'll soon learn that noone else is building their life around their friendship with you, and if they want to move on, they will. You should feel free to do likewise. Friends come and go. Some, a very few, will be at your funeral, if it isn't raining that day.

    Once you have kids, it stops being about you. Dig ditches if you have to. But you keep your pants zipped and take care of your kids. Taking care of your wife is defacto taking care of your kids, and should be viewed as such.

    Now, if you honestly have no idea what you want to do for a living, ask what you do for fun, and work out from that center. But find your work, man.

    I wish I had taken this advice myself as I'm stuck in a well paying career field from which there is no practical escape, and the only professional joy in my life is the few days centered around payday, when I buy clothes.

    Pity me.



    that was beautifully written
     
  6. BossTweed

    BossTweed Well-Known Member

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    This made me think of this. I dunno if it will help, but it's interesting nonetheless.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kahn...vs_memory.html


    Provocative. Interesting question...

    How would you plan a two week vacation if you knew you would remember none of it?
     
  7. Svenn

    Svenn Well-Known Member

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    This may be helpful: the Hindus have claimed you must achieve 1. artha (power/money/wealth), 2. kama (sensual pleasure/love) before you are mature enough to pursue 3. moksha (wisdom- mental liberation). The first two are essentially the pursuit of desire, which is the cage even the most apparently nonmaterialist people are bound by (a charitable old nun still wakes up everyday struggling after positive sensations (joy from helping people, etc), no matter how meritorious they may seem). Moksha is the total abandonment of the physical world and all personal sentiments whatsoever, and requires one be prepared to lose all the selfhood behind their mind, even the very perception of consciousness. ...not an easy task, and it is therefore no coincidence that the Buddha was a wealthy prince with 'all maidens at his disposal' before he became a monk. So, in other words, satisfy your natural curiosity for money and sex before you move on to 'self actualization' [​IMG]
     
  8. Pantisocrat

    Pantisocrat Well-Known Member

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    I suggest you commit a petty crime. Prison can accelerate the process of self-actualization a great deal.
     
  9. Superfluous Man

    Superfluous Man Well-Known Member

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    Last thing, over the last few years, hindsight has taught me that I never really valued most things I bought. They were nice to have, but it was easy to part with them. So now, most discretionary income goes to good food and travel.
    This is really good. Lately I've been thinking that there isn't some occupation or activity that brings me true happiness (actually there is but I opt not to pursue it because it yields a negative expectation long-term, but I digress) so I focus on the little things in life that are important: Good food and drink, travel, music, meeting people & creating meaningful relationships, and a good shave.
     
  10. longskate88

    longskate88 Well-Known Member

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    San Diego
    From previous thread on this topic: "People who go on fun vacations or rock out at concerts are better liked than those who use their money to buy fancy cars and jewelry, according to findings from a University of Colorado-Boulder psychology professor. Leaf Van Boven has spent a decade studying the social costs and benefits of pursuing happiness through life experiences. He says people are mistaken to think that buying material items will gain status and admiration, or improve social relationships. "In fact, it seems to have exactly the opposite effect," Van Boven said in a news release. "This is really problematic because we know that having quality social relationships is one of the best predictors of happiness, health and well-being." Van Boven's most recent study, co-authored by CU-Boulder marketing professor Margaret Campbell and Cornell University professor Thomas Gilovich, appears in this month's edition of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. For the study, Van Boven and his colleagues conducted five experiments with undergraduate students and through a national survey. They explored whether people had unfavorable stereotypes of materialistic people and gauged if those stereotypes led them to like the materialistic people less than those who pursued life experiences. In one experiment, undergraduates who didn't know each other were randomly paired and assigned to discuss either a material possession or a life experience. After talking for 15 or 20 minutes, they were then asked about their conversation partners by the researchers. "What we found was that people who had discussed their material possessions liked their conversation partner less than those who had discussed an experience they had purchased," Van Boven said. "They also were less interested in forming a friendship with them." In another experiment using a national survey, the researchers told people about someone who had purchased a material item such as a new shirt or a life experience like a concert ticket. They then asked them a number of questions about that person. They found that simply learning that someone made a material purchase caused them to like him or her less than learning that someone made an experiential purchase. So what's the take-home message for people compelled to spend a lot of money on things? Van Boven urges them to change. Research has showed that materialistic people are also less happy and more prone to depression. " Read more: http://www.coloradodaily.com/ci_1487...#ixzz0mjgYjmfX
     
  11. MetroStyles

    MetroStyles Well-Known Member

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    This made me think of this. I dunno if it will help, but it's interesting nonetheless. http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kahn...vs_memory.html
    Super interesting. This articulates better than I ever could the reason that doing things that make us happy in the moment and reflecting on our lives lead to totally different actions most of the time. It is essentially the Buddhist/meditative/new-age "living in the present" vs. the classic Western goal of gathering memories and celebrating the ego, or one's individuality (borne of the European humanistic Enlightenment). I don't have the research that Kahneman has to back me up, but I'd wager that it's not just as simple as experienced happiness vs. remembered happiness. I think that along with memories, the second category includes projected happiness. In other words, the second category allows for the projection of social customs and expectations as a lens through which to judge happiness. Example: I receive more happiness thinking back to my college experience if it was Harvard than if it was Bumblefuck Community Tech in Wyoming (all other things equal). This is because I can never only view my past through a vacuum. It is inevitably filtered through society's glasses. Another example - having sex with a 12 year old boy, no matter one's actual enjoyment or experience of the event, will be remembered very differently today vs. in ancient Greece. That is the social overlay on all that we remember, and equally if not more powerfully, on all that we plan or project into the future. This all ties back to the ego and the concept of "enlightenment/samadhi" (whether you believe in its actual existence or not). Remembered happiness = the foundation of the ego. It allows us to feel pride in our past, it is why some young men seek to sleep with countless beautiful women (even actions in the now are influenced by how they will be remembered and how they will affect our egos looking backward later on). The common "spiritual" idea of killing off the ego can be restated as shifting to an experienced happiness goal from a remembered happiness goal. I'm glad that Eastern and Western though have converged on this topic albeit via two very different avenues of thought. Though practically speaking, it might just be semantics. Does experienced happiness ever really matter if it is lost and replaced by remembered happiness as soon as the second hand moves on the clock? Or is experienced happiness all that matters because otherwise we are really never living, only remembering? Might just be a matter of personal philosophy, but certainly very interesting to think about.
     
  12. Frodo

    Frodo Well-Known Member

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    This made me think of this. I dunno if it will help, but it's interesting nonetheless. http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kahn...vs_memory.html
    "We think of our future not as experiences, but as anticipated memories." Wow. Wow, wow. That's profound. This explains Disney World. I didn't think anything could, but this does.
     
  13. Mark it 8

    Mark it 8 Well-Known Member

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Find something that makes you strive in every situation. One thing I have noticed through the years is that some people can find a way to be happy and succeed in just about any situation. These people are not necessarily the smartest or best adapted to the situation, but they are enthusiastic and make their best effort every time. I think when people depend on external circumstances such as finding that perfect occupation, perfect cause, or perfect love, they set themselves up for disappointment after disappointment. Look at all of the incredibly smart, bitter people slugging away at jobs where they feel undervalued - often, they expected to succeed just because they're smart and this is almost never enough. The most successful (and happy/fulfilled) people I have seen in organizations have been successful because they take a swing at any task with enthusiasm and gusto and as a result other people want to be around them- and other people will follow them. Artists do the same thing- it takes a hell of a lot of effort to create something every day.

    On another note, I agree that you are well advised to pursue something while you are young rather than chasing windmills through your twenties. I have a friend who graduated college, worked his ass off for 15 years, and retired at 36. Now he does whatever he wants and pursues different careers for fun. Granted, his experience was atypical, but you will also have a great deal more opportunities to change direction if you put in the time while you're young.
     

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