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Chase Meaning, Not Happiness

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.

PERMA

On Flourish

I was asked whether shooting for happiness is a worthwhile goal. When people refer to "happiness", I think they typically mean feeling really great. I do not think it is good to try to feel that all the time--or even possible.

Martin Seligman addressed this and prefers to expand the definition. A lot of people talk about "Well Being". Below is Seligman's definition of Well Being (from the book "Flourish"):

PERMA:

Positive Emotion

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