Happiness, Worthwhile, & Enough
I am what survives me
I am what survives me
Happiness: pleasure, joy, bliss, gladness, delight, prosperity – Etymology: Middle English, from hap (as in haphazard, happenstance) fortune, chance, luck
“The pursuit of happiness,” the Constitution.
· More and more books on happiness and more and more people on prozac.
· Happiness books are rivaling diet books with as much success.
· Money equaling happiness. Yet, surveys of happiness – after about $40,000 of income – don’t show any increase in happiness.
· Relative positional happiness. Per Mencken this is the happiness of one’s spouse making $100 more per week than his or her sibling’s spouse.
· Ever increasing dosage happinessto get the same hit of happiness (i.e. after the first bite of dark chocolate, it now has to be 70% cocoa not 50% to get the same ‘pleasure’
· Flow which is confused with happiness. Flow is where challenge meets skill and you look up at the clock and 6 hours went by and you didn’t know where the time went. This is getting into the zone – but some deem this happiness.
· Warm gun happiness (The Beatles): a 9 mm Beretta with a Crimson Tracer laser site, 17 in the magazine and 1 in the barrel. For others, it is an armory.
Hope is the gateway drug to the illusory happiness.
· Deferred disappointment – Ambrose Bierce
· The absence of happiness – Krishnamurti
· The city of Bill Clinton’s birth
· The worst of all evils for it prolongs the torments of man - Nietzsche
· hope is the opening act
· happiness is either momentary, relative, and or a Hollywood illusion in this life
The real nes (test in Hebrew which also means miracle) is not the pursuit of happiness but the pursuit of what is worthwhile in completing our soul curriculum – our character,
Is there a bridge between the demise of happiness, hope, chick flicks’ delusion and one’s work in this ‘pain factory’ that may give contentment and solace?
· equanimity – per Mussar ‘rising above the good and the bad’
· finding meaning IN one’s life
· knowing what ‘enough’ is, thus, wanting what one has and has been spared from
Per Hebrew, dai is ‘enough.’ And some Rabbinical scholars would state that ‘Shaddai’ (a word for God) means not only ‘God, God Almighty’ but Enough). And per Latin, the root word satis – as in satisfaction – means Enough.
It was Kant who stated, ‘happiness is the sum of satisfactions.’
Happiness the sum of enoughnesses?
So what is enough?
After several iterations and redefinitions over 33 years of personal financial planning, I’ve come to define enough two ways as:
· Enough: Healing financial anxiety puttin’ money in its place to transcend to significance (worthwhileness – meaning IN one’s life) becoming what one was meant to be and doing what one was meant to do.
· Enough to live on; Enough to live for.
Worthwhile, Equanimity, knowing Enough – the sum (sum is I am in Latin) of ‘contentment.’