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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
May 2009
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Synthesized Happiness

I watched this video about “synthesized” happiness yesterday. I’m not sure that I would call it “synthesized” as the word implies that it’s fake. That there’s a “natural” happiness. The guy really means expected happiness vs unexpected. The happiness that you get when you achieve something or get something you wanted is expected or natural. That’s not the only source for happiness though. Most people find happiness in their situations, even when the situations aren’t of their choosing. They find lessons or beauty in places we wouldn’t expect. They make happiness just from the living of their life, because our brains can simulate and imagine and adjust. The speaker talks about how we, modern people, view this happiness as false. That if we could get what we wanted, we’d have “true” happiness, but he says that all happiness is true and we do ourselves a disservice imagining any happiness we feel isn’t real. I have a friend who likes to talk about owning our joys. I think we might benefit from owning our happiness too.

If I told you this talk made me happy, would you think it fake? Because it did and it is real to me.

(BTW 21 minute talk.)