Happiness : The Pursuit Of My Life Essay
Much like voting for House Representatives, talking about my own happiness is difficult because it’s not something I’ve ever consciously kept track of. Of course, it’s easy enough to do in the moment: right now I’m feeling generally fine, albeit with undertones of nervousness and doubt at my prospects of ever finishing this paragraph. Tracking that progress over my entire life is a little more complex. I remember being a happy kid, but I don’t think that really counts; I think of true happiness as something achieved by experiencing the various limitations that sadness imposes and emerging equipped to overcome them. I’ve never read Frank Herbert’s Dune, but I think the mantra for which it’s now famous is good advice:
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
I see it as a relatively succinct and very effective guide to happiness. One cannot know what it means to be happy without experiencing pain, but there is a right and a wrong way to do so; if you get trapped by it, you’ll emerge worse for the wear (or not at all), but if you learn to accept and overcome it, you’ll emerge with new understanding and purpose. With that in mind, I think it makes the most sense to start where I can clearly…