by Max Sirak
“Twenty-three hundred years ago Aristotle concluded that, more than anything else, men and women seek happiness. While happiness itself is sought for its own sake, every other goal—health, beauty, money, or power—is valued only because we expect that it will make us happy.”
Mihaly Csikszentmilayi wrote that in Flow.
Both Csikszentmilayi and Aristotle are right.
We want the things we want because we think they will make us happy.
We want money because we think it gives us the freedom to live the way we want and fulfilling our whims makes us happy.
We want to be beautiful because being treated that way feels good – and feeling good makes us happy.
We want health because the alternative, being sick, sucks and makes us not happy.
We want power because with it, we think we will be able to do whatever it is we want and that will make us happy.
Money, power, beauty, and health – think about how much of our lives are spent chasing these things.
Pretty much all of it.
(And for those out there who are shaking their heads about the innocence of children – I'd like to point out that I was literally chasing beauty (girls) around the playground at recess in first grade…so…yeah.)
But while we may while our lives away in pursuit of those four things, how many of us actually get them?
More importantly – do we even enjoy the process of trying to get them? Because, if we don't and yet we spend most of the hours of our days in pursuit – then are we even enjoying our lives?
And if we aren't enjoying what little time we do have on this planet – then aren't we missing the point?
Do you see what I'm getting at here?