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Old 01-28-2009, 10:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Secret to Happiness: Stop Caring

Here is just a cool article I thought you may like.


The Secret to Happiness: Stop Caring
by JONATHAN on September 11th, 2008


Our lives are inundated with practicality and productivity. We think that if thereís no purpose to something, thereís no point in doing it. In reality the best things in life have no purpose.

We sacrifice our time and our sanity doing what we donít want to do, so at some future point we will create the freedom to do what we love.

We seek happiness in things. We seek happiness in the acceptance of others, in material possessions, in social status. We even search for happiness in some future-promised afterlife. We sabotage ourselves and our entire lives because we fail to understand a very simple but easily overlooked fact.
The Search for Happiness is the Single Greatest Cause of Misery

You canít find something thatís already there. Happiness exists now. Itís not something you have to find. Thatís like trying to find your breath.

Itís the grasping of the mind that causes unhappiness. If youíre not happy, itís because your mind doesnít allow you be happy. And the reason your mind doesnít let you be happy, is because youíre stuck in the vicious cycle of productivity, judgment and purpose. Thatís not to say productivity is bad, or that doing things that have a purpose is wrong. Itís basing the reason for your existence on them that causes so much anguish.

When we place our happiness solely in ďgettingĒ something, completing a certain number of tasks on our to-do list, or achieving a goal, weíre fooling ourselves. Weíre like a rabbit with a carrot stick attached to our heads. We keep chasing the carrot, but we never get there. We never stop to think that it might be the chasing thatís causing the problem. Weíre too distracted trying to find a better way to beat the game. As soon as we reach one level of success, weíre hurrying to upgrade our search and move on to the next level of the chase. We never stop to think that itís not the failure to win the game that causes our grief, but the game itself.

We neglect to realize that sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to stop participating in the problem. Sometimes the best way to to solve a problem is to just stop caring (see: not giving a damn).

SometimesÖ

* The best way to solve the problem of not having a lot of cool friends is to stop caring about having cool friends.
* The smartest way to be happy with the place you live is to stop caring about living in a two story house with a pool, a fireplace, central air and satellite TV.
* The simplest way to be content with yourself is not to achieve greatness and praise, but to accept yourself fully for who you are now.
* The quickest route to happiness is to stop caring about finding happiness and to start being happiness.

By not caring, we immediately release ourselves of the grasping of the mind. But itís not easy to stay in this mindset (the mind loves to grasp); itís something we have to constantly cultivate.

Itís especially difficult when our society tends to place more value on things, than on experiences. We value what we do more than how we feel.

This is completely ridiculous when you think about it. Because the way you feel should be more important than anything else. Isnít the purpose of everything you do to feel good? Isnít the purpose of that new car, that promotion, or college degree to give you a feeling of accomplishment? Isnít that supposed to make you happy?

The problem with this is weíre basing our happiness on temporary things. Weíre deriving our joy from an achievement, or an attainment. This isnít true happiness; itís an addiction. We get a short burst of endorphins to our bloodstream from our new TV/television, or new iPod, and then what happens? It disappears. It leaves us feeling empty and we begin looking for our next fix.

Our advertising and consumer culture doesnít help this much. We are constantly bombarded with messages that we need this, or we need that. Incessantly, we hear: ďBuy this and it will solve your problem!Ē If only we could solve that problem we may finally be happy. Wrong. Itís not the problems that are the problem. I mean, buying a more efficient vacuum or sowing on that button youíve been meaning to for seven years is great. You may feel a sense of achievement for a few moments or days. But youíre still looking for happiness in a thing.

Itís the same with productivity. If only we could finish all of the things on our to-do list, could we be content. If only we could accomplish all of our goals, could we finally be gratified. This thinking is based on the illusion that youíll reach a certain point where everything is done. You finally made it! Thereís nothing left in your inbox, all your projects are complete and your lifelong goals are achieved! Now you can rest easy.

But this point never seems to come, does it? Thatís because there will always be things to do. There will always be challenges, because everything in life is constantly changing. If you reached a point in your life where you had no more problems, no more struggles, no more worries, life would stop. The game would end and there would be no point left in playing.

SoÖ what can we do about this?
We Need to Stop Caring

That doesnít mean we stop trying to achieve our goals or striving for personal growth. It just means that we no longer base our happiness on fleeting, semi-permanent things.

There are obviously some situations where not caring may have serious negative consequences (see paying your rent). Excessive caring, however, is likely to make you miserable.

The reason caring too much can be detrimental to your health, is youíre so focused on the future. Your identity is too attached to outcomes. If something does, or doesnít go your way, it will likely have an enduring effect on your mood for the rest of the day.

Instead, we should base our happiness on permanent things. Things that donít change. Desires that donít shift from moment to moment. We choose to find our happiness in living. In life itself. In fact, we donít even need to ďfindĒ happiness. We can be happiness.

So stop searching. You canít find something thatís already there.

The Secret to Happiness: Stop Caring | Illuminated Mind
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That's certainly the approach i take. I don't need a lot of money, i don't need to have a huge amount of friends and i don't need to go skydiving just because it's seen as living your life.

I'm not always happy but i'm content enough i think.
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah the idea of success sure is a mess these days isn't it? Success is happiness and freedom... tough things to come by in our social framework.
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piss Me Off View Post

I'm not always happy but i'm content enough i think.
I agree with that. Though it always makes me appreciate the old Buddhist monks and such that say they feel happy just going about there normal days. And they have noting but books and a robe. Gives me hope that its true and the power actually is within us to change from the inside out.
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yep. This is definitely what everybody needs to do XD I've 'stopped caring' for about the past three years? Which is working pretty damn well for me and recently I properly discovered Buddhism which is all about the 'stop caring' so I'm good XD
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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There's so much to read about this concept. The Jains practise extreme non-materialism, the monks and nuns own only four pieces of material for clothing, a mat for sleeping on and a bowl for eating out of. And this lifestyle is very satisfying for them.
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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what would happen if everyone stopped caring? i think it would be the most beautiful moment in human history.
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardboard adolescent View Post
what would happen if everyone stopped caring? i think it would be the most beautiful moment in human history.
Indeed it would...there's such a different way I would be able to live my life if everyone stopped caring and it would be the ideal way I would want to live; the way that isn't possible given how the world is set up today. Which is a little disheartening, but oh well XP
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I tend to think like that, more in the present. I have hopes for what I want to do with my life, but I always think no matter what happens, I'll still be happy. I love to play instruments (mosty the drums), and even if I don't get a career based on that, thats not going to stop me from playing the drums. Hell, even if I can't afford a drumset I'll just hit random things with sticks.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The irony is that we all require these "things" around us, so we can go on MB and tell other people that we don't need them
In truth that is why i am hoping that the "Economy is crashing" rumor turns out to be true and we do regress to a primative society. That would be grand cause i know i can hunt and camp! and i hope most other people cant
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