Finding happiness

i’m probably the last person you’d call a hippy. “make love not war” is inferior to Rule 15: Crush your Enemy Totally. i believe ladies ought to shave their legs. deodorant is nectar from the gods. there only is one God!

but some of my beliefs do fit the hippy paradigm. among them is Collective Consciousness. just as industries progress one trend at a time, society too transforms and recites ideas which quickly become synonymous with factual statements.

at the risk of sounding deaf, daft, or dense, i reckon that “happiness” is the current global priority of our collective consciousness. and since happiness is slippery, watching its pursuit play out on the world stage is chaotic.

the loudest voices

the youth leads the culture because they have the loudest voices. in entertainment and increasingly in policy, entrepreneurship, and politics.

sure, “they’re only a small group, mostly powerless and dumb.” yet here the dictatorship of the intolerant minority applies. it doesn’t matter if we live in a democracy, the majority idea does not win. only the loudest.

minimum wage

supposing you were born at least 2 days ago, you’re familiar with this argument:

A: “it’s not a liveable wage.”
B: “it’s not supposed to be.”

(two normies fighting)

the exchange is akin to “guns should be illegal” pointed at the 100 million gun (+ ammo) owners’ “no.” totally fruitless.

but somehow in recent times we’ve seen minimum wages increase dramatically. just not in the way we’d expect, by formal decree. instead dozens of huge companies have increased their wage schedules voluntarily, without government intervention. huh?

it’s as if the above-average deluge of walk outs, boycotts, and strikes — aka PR nightmares — are starting to win the minimum wage war. which leads to my hypothesis on our collective consciousness.

stemming from the universal misconception that money equals happiness, the demand for more money is a leading indicator of demand for more happiness.

at surface this sounds fine. it feels like a Human Right, another of my hippy beliefs. but there’s a problem. the claim that a wage is owed begets the claim that happiness itself is owed.

taken to its logical conclusion, this means happiness is external. and that is the root of our current chaos.

what happiness is not

happiness is not traveling, experiencing new things, eating a slice of artisan pizza, or tripping on mushrooms at an Airbnb with 8 friends who you lied about to avoid extra guest charges.

age will cure some of these misconceptions, but for the impatient: happiness is not pleasure. if this offends, you’re welcome. now you know why you’re unhappy.

happiness is not any sort of external force. and that’s good news. because although no one can give you happiness, likewise no one can take it away.

beware the shortcut

i said in a meeting recently, “if you want to get warm, don’t stare at the sun.” nobody understood my comment, which is fine as i prefer not being invited to meetings.

expanded, our instinct for specific solutions has the capacity to produce a diminishing, negative impact. and vice versa: abstract solutions may produce compounding, positive outcomes.

so i repeat myself: if you want a big house, don’t learn construction!

what happiness is

admitting that happiness != pleasure begets another daunting notion — that happiness inherently must last longer than 30 seconds.

since getting what we want (promotion, marriage, child) occurs in an instant, and life is 2.5 billion instants (1 second * 80 years), happiness cannot be an outcome. rather it is a [consistent] byproduct of a series of outcomes.

we foster happiness between the lines of making good decisions, curating the right people in our circle, living in the best environment for our temperament, and having a purpose.

the reader is welcome to dub happiness itself as a feeling, sensation, conviction, vibe, whatever. how you label a state of being is not what concerns me.

what concerns me is the misdirection of our youth, my peers, and everyone else being sold the Big Lie that happiness has a price tag, a pronoun, some flavor of government, or a destination.

happiness, thank God, is not an option reserved for the rich and famous. happiness is a choice.