Happiness is A Problem

 "There is a premise that underlies a lot of our assumptions and beliefs. This premise is that happiness is algorithmic, that it can be worked for and earned and achieved as if it were getting accepted to law school or building a really complicated Lego set...this premise, though, is the problem. Happiness is not a solvable equation."

Leave it to Manson to have me questioning everything I thought I knew about happiness in just a few sentences. 

If he was here right now, I'd ask, Manson- are you telling me that happiness isn't something I build for myself? That it isn't a constant state once I understand how first to achieve it?

And looking at those questions now, they almost seem ridiculous to assume. I thought it was a state of mental control- that happiness was something I could eventually- as one would start an engine- ignite at moment's notice- even in the face of collision-worthy problems. 

Yet, here I am- mistaken (but what about the optimists?) 

"Happiness comes from solving problems."

What do you mean by that Manson? 

"The key word here is 'solving.' If you're avoiding your problems or feel like you don't have any problems, then you're going to make yourself miserable...to be happy we need something to solve. Happiness is therefore a form of action; it's an activity, not something passively bestowed upon you... you don't find it waiting for you in a place, an idea, a job- or even a book for that matter." 

He continues, 

"Happiness is a constant work-in-progress, because solving problems is a constant work-in-progress- the solutions to today's problems will lay the foundation for tomorrow's problems, and so on...

...sometimes those problems are simple: eating good food, traveling to some new place, winning at the new video game you just bought. Other times those problems are abstract and complicated: fixing your relationship with your mother, finding a career you can feel good about, developing better friendships. 

Whatever your problems are, the concept is the same: solve problems; be happy." 

But is life really that simple? 


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