The reason we want things isn’t because they will make us intrinsically happy, instead we expect them to bring us happiness. The paradox of happiness, whereby we can live in conditions that have improved significantly over the generations, yet our level of actual ‘happiness’ hasn’t been enriched. I’d call it ‘smoke with no fire’, people creating reasons to gain happiness yet no noticeable effect. What are the causes of happiness? Do the contents of our moment to moment experiences reflect a truer form of happiness?
People in some instances are incapable of finding their own happiness, always in pursuit. The idea of happiness becomes a fugitive emotion that remains intangible despite achieving successes. You have to examine what it intrinsically means to pursue happiness both morally and ideologically. It has been judged that the psychic damage is caused by the educational and economic systems, pretending to find logical solutions to human unhappiness. The perception of happiness is becoming entangled by social and intellectual idealisations. The pursuit of happiness has become naturally embedded within culturally acceptable norms. The psychological and emotional consequences of pursuing happiness in contemporary society analyses what constitutes as true happiness often contrasting with the over dramatized unhappiness.
People insist that the notion of happiness can’t be left in the dominion of vague feelings or inexplicable internal conviction, requiring empirical reasoning and calculation, and not merely left as an ambiguous sentiment. Using empirical reasoning to judge happiness would neglect the subjective nature of happiness, interpretations of happiness often misinterpreting utilitarianism and hedonism as happiness. Andrew H. Mills poses the question: “Suppose that all your objects in life were realized; that all the changes in institutions and opinions which you are looking forward to, could be completely effected at this very instant: would this be a great joy and happiness to you?’ And an irrepressible self-consciousness distinctly answered, ‘No!”.
We then can argue how reliably aware are we of our own happiness, often referring to past days as “happy old days”, but is that a reliable judge of emotion? Seeking happiness means to accept and commit oneself to examining the incompatible desires and values that are internally manifested. Is ‘true’ happiness actually attainable, or is it merely a pedestal sentiment that is unreachable, promoting people to keep trying harder to pursue ‘true’ happiness. Mills has further stated that mental cultivation and selfishness generates unhappiness. My belief is that to achieve a semblance of happiness people need to share the view that human life is imperfectly arranged, but that its wrapped in potential.
Charles Dickens: “Where is happiness to be found then? Surely not everywhere? Can that be so, after all? Is this my experience?”