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  1. #1
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Default Pursuit of happiness and Detachment

    A random thought that came to me last night.

    Is it possible to be in the pursuit of happiness whilst remaining detached from the outcome.

    Is it possible to truly detach yourself? Do you practice this?

    I know i have ideas i'd like to put into place and that past experience has told me not to put great emphasis on the outcome as it if/when it does go wrong, i didn't get the desired outcome thus shattered illusions thus taking longer to pick up the pieces. So in theory it sounds like a good idea.

    Thoughts.
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
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  2. #2
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    I don't think you can hedge your bets on this one. The payoff is proportionate to your investment. I think the safest happiness to acquire is the type where you enjoy the process of living itself. The rollercoaster ride effect is mitigated.

  3. #3
    Member maydelle's Avatar
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    It depends on what type of person you are and how you define happiness.

    Detached in what sense? You can be detached socially and detached when it comes to the mind, like being in your own world. A hermit is a very detached person I would say.

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    Member maydelle's Avatar
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    It depends on what type of person you are and how you define happiness.

    Detached in what sense? You can be detached socially and detached when it comes to the mind, like being in your own world. A hermit is a very detached person I would say.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    ^^ Well lets say someone wants to pursue a career in <insert job title> and this will make them happy but it requires 3 years of university, ultimately they believe this will cause happiness but by pursuing this route, they might just find out the end result has not given them the desired happiness they assumed in the first place.

    So like i said can you pursue happiness but not put an attachment to the outcome?

    Can you want something which will bring you some form of happiness but detach yourself from the conclusion that brings the very thing you want.
    Does that even make sense, lol. I get my logic, just not sure if others do
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

  6. #6
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    saslou, I think I know what you are talking about.

    The people I've observed who seem the most well-adjusted seem to be able to invest themselves into a pursuit WHILE remaining at least somewhat detached about the outcome. They are certainly emotionally invested in the outcome, and work toward it to the extent of their abilities, but if things don't go as they had hoped, they do not have their entire identity wrapped up in the outcome. There is something consistent that continues despite any external events. And once things change or the person realizes they aren't taking the initial path, they re-evaluate how they would like to proceed given the new circumstances.

    This is probably really vague, but it's at least the most sense I can make of it.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I've been reading about the happiness psychology and happiness science (I probably should have used inverted commas there) for a while, the best book on the topic is actually by a philosopher who's pretty cynical about it called Happiness Is Overrated and he suggests that happiness is either rememebered or a by product of something else. I'm inclined to agree, aim directly at being happy and you're going to fail but if you have something in mind which you wish to achieve or that is satisfying then you can get to be happy as a byproduct of that.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Interesting. I like the concept Lark.
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by saslou View Post
    A random thought that came to me last night.

    Is it possible to be in the pursuit of happiness whilst remaining detached from the outcome.

    Is it possible to truly detach yourself? Do you practice this?

    I know i have ideas i'd like to put into place and that past experience has told me not to put great emphasis on the outcome as it if/when it does go wrong, i didn't get the desired outcome thus shattered illusions thus taking longer to pick up the pieces. So in theory it sounds like a good idea.

    Thoughts.
    I do detach myself from the outcome of tasks. It makes it easier for me to focus on the task itself (as a teacher, it's almost a pre-requisite). Happiness for me isn't the attainment of an objective, it's the steps I take to attain that objective. Once I've achieved what I want, I look for a new challenge and thrive on achieving that.
    ...doesn't work or play well with others...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    I've realized lately I've been having trouble finding what I want to do professionally because I've never achieved something in my life.

    And the reason why I never did I think is because I don't value achievement. 9 days of work and feeling of accomplishment on the 10th day is not my idea of happiness. I don't ever feel I've achieved anything. If it required lots of effort, it better be something of true beauty otherwise I will be thinking of the 9 days of pain I had to endure and how I misused my time on this earth.

    Happiness should come from the process and not the end result. Makes it EVEN harder for me to think what I want to do professionally because all I like to do is interact with people, crack jokes, philosophy and talk about other relatively abstract BS that never LEADS do anything (well it does, but it's hard explaining that to people).

    Tasks should be the end in itself. Don't set out to write an album. Play with the piano because you like to play with the piano....and if you enjoy yourself enough in the process...chances are you will have enough material to make an album.

    Of course the real problem comes when you realize you don't enjoy doing anything....anything productive anyway....

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