If my happiness was the most important thing to me, everybody around me would be worse off. My friend ‘Leon’ would have never seen me again after the assault, my health would be better, Wolfe would probably have met me by now and would certainly have had a large present that he did not want, his agent would have had sore ears from my dealing with her, the avocadess would not be very happy, the book would be written, regardless of market, my mother would be dead due to her children’s behaviour, this house would be gone, my siblings would have no inheritance, my old friend Aldous would never have experienced shooting, my cats would still be waiting for a home. I would not have bothered making any more art.
Is your happiness really the most important thing?
Right now, if my happiness was the most important thing, I would be out trying to find some unsuspecting male, which, given the attitude of some men would not be a particularly joyful or interesting experience. I was told only today that women over 35 are a waste of time. I guess we are too challenging for this dude. All the more for me, I replied.
Maybe the pursuit of happiness itself is a risk not worth taking. Low risk living is, however, in itself not a happy or brave experience.
Perhaps we should take it from this that avoidance of regret is more important than happiness. You do what you can live with. As I have said before, life is a series of trade-offs. Maybe that is the answer.
Maybe being polite is a bad thing. Maybe we should all take the motivational attitude that you keep pushing until you get whatever it is that you want, at any cost. This would make for a deeply unpleasant and unstable world, but at least we could say that we have gone after our bliss at any cost.
The problem with this is that our bliss changes from minute to minute, and what we think will make us happy is not necessarily what genuinely will. Therefore we have a margin of risk aversion to stop us from being too impulsive.
I find that medium to long-term goal setting stops me from being too impulsive, whether happy or sad. If I am sad it stops me from doing anything too damaging, and if I am happy it stops me from being too selfish or smug. I am still not sure that I rate happiness highly enough. I am just happy not to be a shit.