Don’t give a damn about happiness

“I’ve found the happiness that I didn’t give a damn about…”

Here I’ll explain why not giving a damn about happiness makes you happier, quantitatively and qualitatively. To illustrate the principle of “hedonic adaptation” I’d like you to think about going on a vacation.

Imagine the most awesome vacation

You fly to some beautiful exotic place with resplendent weather.
You check into an opulent hotel and settle into a well-appointed room with breathtaking views.
Maybe you’re vacationing with your best friends, or your family, or your significant other, or you’re alone (might be the way you like it).
No expense is spared doing the most awesome stuff; you take Scuba lessons, go surfing, go skydiving, jetskiing, hike serene mountain trails, winter sports, rent off-roading vehicles, etc.
You meet the coolest, sexiest people poolside at your swanky hotel.
Your cool new friends invite you to join them for dinner and drinks at the top-rated-on-Tripadvisor local restaurants and bars. You gorge yourself on delicious (fresh sea) food while sipping top-shelf booze and laughing and swapping stories with your new friends.
Then you all go out to the most awesome parties or clubs; the music bangin’, the people are sexy, and the drinks are strong (maybe you do drugs) — the party persists until the morning sun peaks over the blue horizon of the sea as you stumble back to your hotel room with a smile on your face.
You’re having a lot of sex (sometimes twice a day) either with your significant other or with some sexy (and tan) person you’ve met. It’s exciting and sometimes adventuresome sex.
And, of course, the whole time you’re uploading videos and photos of your awesome vacation on social media; the likes, emoticons, and (sometimes jealous) comments flood in with every upload.
It’s EPIC!

  • We lived pretty spartan this year, we stopped dining out. I spent my money on “doomsday” food prepping (which doesn’t seem so paranoid now, does it?) And we dressed up for each other and did our date nights at home.
  • And the black sea coast is an AMAZING vacation value, especially at the end of September.
  • We’ve all had friends that started dating some sexy, exciting, cool new person which for the first few months made them very happy. But, eventually, they grew bored with them. The red pill dating gurus like to say “For every beautiful woman that you see or meet, just remember, there is a guy(s) out there that has grown is sick and tired of having sex with her…”
  • Booze, drugs, and sex will make you very happy for at a maximum a few hours, and then you’re not so happy when you come down from the high and you have to deal with the consequences of your indulgences.
  • Eating decadent food will make you feel great for at most a few hours, but then it does nothing for you.
  • You buy a fancy new electronic toy or gadget, it makes you very happy for at maximum a few weeks, and then it’s just another thing in your life.
  • You drop hundreds of dollars on the hot new smartphone and you beam with pride every time you take it out of your pocket. But after not long it gets scratched and people no longer ask, “Is that the new smartphone?”
  • You move into a nice new place or get a new car and you’ll be very happy living there or driving it for a few months but after a year it’s not so special.

You’re describing a bunch of cheap thrills, of course, they don’t make you happy permanently.

Yeah, that’s something that we all hopefully learned that at a young age. But, my objection is to making happiness your compass in life. Instead, make meaning your compass, and trust me, you’ll be a lot happier in the long term. I’m an ethical hedonist, which means choosing the greater pleasure over the lesser pleasure. It entails passing up on a lot of frequent pleasures. This is why we do our date nights at home instead of going to swank restaurants weekly. This is why we do a 24-hour fast every week (THIS is why, as you can see, my sexy wife and I are fit and skinny, we didn’t gain any weight during the COVID-19 lockdowns while a lot of people were getting chubby).

What’s the solution?

A compass I bought about 20 years ago
Epicurus, not giving a damn

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Jonathan Roseland

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Jonathan Roseland

Jonathan Roseland

Adventuring philosopher, Pompous pontificator, Writer, K-Selected Biohacker, Tantric husband, Raconteur & Smart Drug Dealer 🇺🇸