Friday, March 09, 2012

How to Be Happy Forever


In the comment section of the Favor of Kings post, I had a conversation with Lance Michael Foster about what happens when you achieve your goals. To keep things in perspective, he offered the following:
The old chestnut goes is that there are three curses of increasing severity (often said to be Chinese, though there is no proof):

1. "May you live in interesting times."
2. "May you come to the attention of those in authority."
3. "May your wishes be granted."
and:
"There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it."
-Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, IV
I don't think he was being a a cheerio-pisser on purpose. I read through his blogs a bit to get a sense of who he was and where he was coming from before I started assuming he was being an intentional prick, and he comes across as an interesting guy with a wide range ofactivities . Subsequent comments have revealed him to be a decent fellow with good intentions.

I think he was sincerely trying to offer up some conventional wisdom that's supposed to keep you from getting all excited and hopeful about something that's going to turn out to be shitty in real life. There's nothing wrong with that.

Except these proverbial nuggets of wisdom are based on a glaring false assumption: that the thing you want in and of itself will somehow bring you instant happiness, once and for all.

That's not how it works. Most of us know that getting what you want means you have to take care of it to keep it nice. But some people don't think about what their life will really be like after they get what they want.

Unexpected maintenance requirements are usually why people aren't happy when they get what they want. That hot chick needs affection, has issues, gets PMS, expects you to listen to her and value her goals and dreams and accomplishments. That million dollars has to be invested, cared for, tapped into sparingly, not given away to family members and friends with can't-fail investment opportunities.

Unanticipated consequences are another reason people aren't happy with how things work out when they get what they want. That guy who killed his partner and stole the money from his armored truck is finding out that his mom didn't just quietly go pick up the $25k he left at his grandmother's grave site for her, and his buddy didn't jump at the chance to live off the stolen loot on the lam for the rest of his life.

But I think the main reason people aren't happy when they get what they want, the main thing that makes getting a heart's desire into a tragedy is that it doesn't satisfy them completely forever. They get what they wanted, and they integrate having it into their lives, and then they're faced with the inevitable question:


Life isn't static. It moves, lives, breathes. Creation never stopped. Manifestation is an ongoing process. Everything physical is decaying at varying rates. The universe is not designed to reach a particular state and then stay there forever.

Achieving goals makes you happy. It's the process of achievement itself that is pleasing, not the actual goal. When you accomplish your goals, achieve your desires, you feel good, you enjoy the fruits of your labor, and then you move on to your next goal, taking the good vibes from your success and channeling it into your future efforts.

And that's the trick to being happy forever. Keep making new goals. Keep moving. Get in tune with the process of manifestation, and you'll see it's a current flowing ever outward into the material realm from the un-manifest realms. Get to know yourself and your abilities, the way you think and the things that really make you happy, and you realize that you are a creator god. You're designed to be happy when you're creating your world.
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