First I want to say that Ikigai is my favorite book all categories. I love your ambition.
In the book you´re talkning about how happiness not is your goal, how you´re trying to act as if you emotions didn´t matter and come up with your meaning in your life in a rational way. "Im on Team Human. I want to see our species thrive and grow".
If emotions didn´t exist, why does it matter for human species to survive and expand? What makes growth of humanity more important than other species? What makes something positive or negative without emotions?
You think that happiness is a bad goal because it´s only serotonine and dopamine in the brain. What makes living beings with the name "human" on different objects called "planets" flying around in space a good goal?
Not saying you´re right or wrong, just want to hear your thoughts. Some people say that soccer only is a bunch of people running around and kicking on a ball. Any activity can be intresting or nonsense depending on how it´s looked upon. Maybe it´s the same with goals.
(I'm not claiming to grok it myself yet.)
I'm not Sebastian, but like any upstanding introspective member of postmodern society, I've put some thought into creating a coherent personal/universal philosophy for why I should get out of my comfortable-as-fuck bed each morning.
I've decided that while emotions shouldn't rule my decisions and I should make a best-faith effort to act rationally and morally, emotions will incent me to behave a certain way. Basically, I try to ignore my id entirely in the short term to reap the greatest long term benefits. Put another way, I prioritize life-satisfaction over pleasure. So I'll work hard all day instead of playing Dustforce, so that I can achieve as many of my goals as possible.
I see such an obsession with happiness these days. It's sad.
There's different sorts of happiness, but the one people seem after the most is the lowest, saddest form of happiness - a pleasurable mix of biochemicals.
Do you know how cocaine works? It's what's known as a triple-reuptake inhibitor. It makes some of the happiness chemicals - serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine - cycle out of your brain more slowly, giving you wonderful feelings.
And - so what? You've got more happiness chemicals in your brain so you bliss out? How could anyone in their right mind think this is the meaning of life?
I try to do things that I find meaningful, ideally on the largest scale I can. I'm not there yet, but I'm trying. I still need to get stronger in other areas, get more disciplined. But I'm working on it.
Seven years ago, I wrote a post called "How to Be Happy. Always." It's pretty poorly written, but starts off with an important concept-- we live in a society where happiness is the number one priority. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No one really questions that, but maybe we should. Is happiness really the best goal we can come up with?
In the time that's elapsed between when I wrote that post and now, I've thought a lot about happiness, and I still think that maximizing it is a bad idea. But before I get into that, let's talk a little bit about what happiness is.
Happiness is an good state of mind. It allows you to be optimistic, to see the good in people, and to be productive. On the other end of the spectrum, when you're very unhappy, you have a lot of barriers between things like productivity and socialization. Clearly, being happy is much better than being unhappy. It's important to be happy. Is there such a thing as being too happy? I don't think so. I've never seen someone make a mistake because he was just too happy.
So what's my problem with maximizing happiness, then? Well, it's the method, mostly.