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Thursday, February 21, 2019

What Do All People Want?

What Do ALL People Want?
This unusually (for me) short post is prompted by a reaction to this article: “The Quickest “Hack” To Happiness”.
The author (not me) claims that “We all claim we want happiness”.
That is a wrong claim.
His advice on how to be happy is well-known and “simple” – be glad you are alive, be thankful for what you have and what is happening, love (or at least like) people around you (he uses words “gratitude” or “cherish”).
So, basically, “Don’t worry, be happy”.
And that is the right idea, in general.
I am not going to dive in the discussion – if being happy is so simple, why so many people are not?
The point I want to make is that saying “we all want happiness” is saying nothing informative; this statement is no different from “we all want drink – some time”.

However, there is something very specific what we all – all humans – want.

Can be described in one word.


Just one word – the answer to everything we want.

That word is

(here I overcame a very strong temptation to insert one more link) –


Yes, it’s that “simple”.
We all want to feel excitement. This feeling basically divides living from dead (maybe just “inside”). 
That is why in the moment of happiness people say: "Oh, man, I'm feeling alive!"
There is a long list of various excitements we may feel.
There is a long list for the sources of those excitements.
There is an hierarchy of excitements, some we prefer to others.
An average person (we call that person “normal”) loves experiencing excitements from food, sex, a conversation (of a certain sort), attention, etc. (Google “human psychology of feelings”, for example).
Every pleasurable excitement can grow up into an addiction. That is why parents need to teach children how to fight their temptations (again, not forcing children to abandon things that make them "happy", but teach them about fake happiness).
In any society, in any history period there are always individuals who can feel positive (pleasurable) excitement from things which other find negative (unpleasant). Every culture has a list of excitements considered “normal” and “abnormal”.
However, in the spirit of American Constitution, we should consider “normal” everything what does not purposefully hurt other people. In general, people can do to themselves anything they want, as long as that does not put anyone else into a harmful situation. And people should not force other people into doing something those people do not want to do (maybe, with some cultural exceptions).
One may say – but what if someone drink too much? We have to stop him/her from hurting himself/herself. Well, we don’t HOVE to, but we should.
Many excitements are chemically induced (alcohol, drugs). In time humanity encounters more and more exciting things (TV, smartphones).
From a generation to a generation the list of exciting things grows (and never shrinks).
And that list represents the means for the Darwinian selection.
Those humans who are not the best fit, who spend too much time on feeling excitement (from anything – from food to computer games),  tend not to procreate, they don’t leave the offspring (at least that is the idea behind the evolution theory – which makes sense).
But when a human does not procreate he or she breaks the genetic program built in into everyone (everyone healthy). This disconnect leads to a feeling we call – sadness. Too much sadness = unhappiness. Being happy simply means having balanced things we like to do (trying to achieve an excitement from something) and things we have to do (those which genetically built into us to achieve a sustainable growth of the human population).
That’s it.
Happiness = balance.
Unhappiness is the sign of disbalance.

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