5 Things You Think Will Make You Happy (But Won't) | Cracked.com
Read that article. It's from Cracked, but it's pretty wise.
Basicaly, the things in life that we think will make us happy (fame, wealth, beauty, genius, power) actualy cause us to become depressed and unfulfilled. The fame one is particularly poetic; all these people love you, but you can never return that love and they all mean nothing to you. Wealth doesn't make us happy because we always want more. How do people in developing countries end up so much more happier than us, even though they have so much less? We're too preoccupied with getting the latest ipod.
Beauty is only skin deep, and since beautiful people are always given bullshit compliments, they have a harder time differentiating between that bullshit and genuine compliments. Genius doesn't make us happy because we're constantly looking down on the people around us who are so stupid compared to us. And power... well, power corrupts. We all know that.
So, what makes us happy?
I'll let that sink in...Experts have figured out that the brain has no ability to actually predict your emotional reaction to life changes that haven't happened yet. In other words, you physically do not know what you want. The act of sitting around pondering it is apparently what fucks you up.
This might be because for most of human history, we didn't have time to do that. We were too busy gathering berries and running from wild animals. Now that we've got things so under control that the animals hug us. . . well, we're like the guy up there who didn't know what to do with his lotto winnings.
This may be why studies show friendships, altruism and religious practices bring happiness. It may be that taking the focus off your own happiness is what makes happiness possible.
So, to reach a perfect happiness, you would have to reject a lot of the things we aren't to keen on rejecting here in the West. Instead of worrying about getting that promotion, or buying that flat screen TV, we should work towards developing relationships and helping people.
People look at the richest, most powerful man. They say, "Boy, he must be the happiest man alive." But his friends are fake, and his entire life revolves around material possessions instead of human relationships. We all think that we would be happy if we were in his position, with his money, but we wouldn't.
Research has found that once your basic needs are met, additional income does little to raise your sense of satisfaction with life .