I love this article for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that their eventual conclusion:
The very act of trying to achieve happiness made people unhappy because of the anxiety they felt when they failed. They were happier when they weren’t trying. You know, like if somebody had told them it was out of their hands, or that they should focus on doing good things and declare the result to be “happiness,” regardless of what it looked like
…is about as close to an ultimate philosophic truth which we should all base our lives upon as I’ve ever seen, and if we were to all follow it the world would be a much better place. And that it came from frickin’ cracked.com
But also that #3 (“Money Can Buy Happiness…Sort of”) more or less confirms a personal philosophy I’ve been following for a few years now, and it explains that, day to day, I feel less stressed and generally happier than the people I see around me. I don’t like buying shit. It makes me anxious. I’ve been putting off buying a new laptop for about a month now because I’ll essentially drain my bank account to get it.
Which wouldn’t be such a problem if A) my current laptop is becoming increasingly unusable, and B) I’d much rather spend that money on travelling to Pennsylvania to visit an abandoned town. Or that I can tour the country without having to worry about what I’m going to eat.
I don’t want to spend my life saving up for a house, or a car, or a nicer computer, or a television. I want to go to work so that I can go to college. I want to go to college to learn and experience. I want to have money so that I can do things, not so that I can have things.
I’ve always loved “(Nothing but) Flowers” by the Talking Heads because it describes the position of the guy who is upset at the end of commercial civilization, where marketing, commercialism, owning things, etc. are all memories, and in place are things to experience. It’s ridiculous to think that a “peaceful oasis” is a terrible replacement for a parking lot. In some roundabout way that, to be completely blunt, I’m not keen on going in to too much depth because I have shit to do right now, this kind of exemplifies the “pursuit of happiness” has led people into the entirely wrong direction.
In any case, read it and feel happier.