Author Topic: Interesting talks on happiness  (Read 1906 times)

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Interesting talks on happiness
« on: March 13, 2015, 10:42:33 PM »
Here're some videos that I think really add to the perspective of how our heads work, involving a relevant topic for pretty much everyone. :)

Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness

One of my favourites that I've posted somewhere here before:
Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory

Dan Gilbert: The psychology of your future self

If anyone knows of any relevant material on the subject, feel free to post them here. o:


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Re: Interesting talks on happiness
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2015, 04:47:43 AM »
I watched the first one. I think I had always been more of a realist person more than the happy guy who spent his whole life in prison, but I think presenter made the right point in the end anyways. We should have choices and trip to paris is not the same with having surgery.
Videogame developers are not gods that anyone should worship. I hereby decide that is my top existential reason to prove that horrible, horrible misconception, because that is becoming annoyingly rampant in every corner of the internet.  They can deserve critism, or thrashing even. It doesn't even need to be constructive critism. And even if you are a free game developer doesn't mean community is your personal ego farm.


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Re: Interesting talks on happiness
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2015, 11:24:41 AM »
Hey Reives,

 I'm a big fan of your games and have just created my account here to find this topic.

Okay, I watched the first video.
I think the guy has surely spoken some truths, but it isn't that surprising.
It's a simply concept of adaptation. Every living thing on this planet is able of adaptation, that's evolution.
Humans and other animals adapt to their situation of life mentally: One not being able to move can be happy, one not being able to see can be happy, one not being able to hear can be happy, one who has lost everything he thinks of being important can be happy, and all of them will be happy or die.

Just think of happiness as a tool our body uses to keep us alive.
The human has primary needs: To eat, to drink, to sleep, to be loved, to reproduce.
Our body will most usually reward us for doing those things.
When you are really hungry, there will be nothing better than to eat something, when you are really thirsty, there will be nothing better then something to drink ( I can tell after a 600km-drive in 40C in shadows with turned on heater in a very old car. ), and when you are really exhausted, you pretty much only want to sleep, right?

But when those needs are pleased what will one do? Well there are what I call the primary needs B:
The body will use those to prepare the next satisfaction of our primary needs:
For example it will give you happiness, when you build yourself a nice home because you need it to sleep and keep yourself safe of the climate.
It will give you happiness when you see you've earned enough money to keep you and your family alive and happy.
It will give you happiness when you flirt with someone to help prolong humans existence.
It will give you happiness to see your children being healthy and happy for the very same reason.
It will even give you happiness when you are just being fine again after some illness or injury.

And then there are the secondary, the culture needs: Obviously the human isn't a creature to survive on its own, we need the group to stay alive. So our body will reward us for actions that will make us stay in a group or better our standing in it or to even improve the group.
These needs however are strongly influenced by how we think/how we learned to think. While the primary needs are pretty much the same everywhere on the world, those secondary needs may differ from one human-culture to another, even form one human to another.

Lastly there are the individual needs. I don't call them individual because these are things everyone needs ( that would be the primary needs), I call them individual because we humans have those because we see us as an individual. These are the needs one human usually sees as the one and only way to happiness. The need to lead a happy life, a fulfilled life. And not just one happy life, but that life you on your (well of course manipulated by your surroundings) imagine to be THAT life that would make you happy.

And this one life you imagine of is evolving with each day you live. Of course usually it doesn't change much, but I bet when you were 6 you had other dreams what you want to do with your life, then with ten or with fourteen or now.
Well and when something dramatically happens in a good or bad way, our picture of the happy life will adapt. Whether your dreams are granted or denied you will always come up with new wants, because your body wants you to survive and to have things you want or dream about is necessary to keep you motivated to go on living. We usually don't think about things we have but about those we have not, right?

Well all those needs can be changed by the psyche. A human might be able to hate eating because he/she wants to be very, very thin. Or one doesn't want to reproduce because of religious reasons. But in the end those needs will usually take over your mind so that you doesn't die. Of course there are suicides and these are maybe the strongest form of our cultural-mind because you "defeat" your natural needs because you don't see a way to fulfil your secondary/individual needs. But yeah this is very extreme and not the common way of events.

Yes..., now I've written a lot and forgotten what I wanted to say with all this......

Just going on then:

Dan Gilbert defines a synthetic happiness and a natural happiness. Well his natural happiness is what I said to be the individual happiness and thus NOT the natural. And yes his synthetic happiness is then the natural happiness mixed with an adapted form of HIS natural happiness. 

To make it simply: When I was fifteen I started a band with some friends and I wanted be the singer. Well no matter how hard I tried I simply can not sing. And yes I am still alive and happy. Well there was a time I was sad and all but I found new dreams to chase. 

So I wanted to do something that really was not meant to please any of my primary needs, but mostly my individual. I really wanted to do it. But it didn't worked out. And I was sad but my mind adapted to it. I found a new way of individual happiness and eventually it changed, and changed again and again... That's natural.

Now to say something very paradoxical to end this monologue: Here's my view about how to lead a happy life.
Do not think to much about whether you are happy or not, or how happiness works. Just live! Do what you want, chase your dreams, listen to your body, but don't stress yourself with the stupid need to be happy. I've met a lot of people trying to be happy way too hard and it was painfully clear to see that they rarely were.

So it is best to just forget everything I wrote, just go on with your life, now just knowing, that you will find happiness where you don't expect it!


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Re: Interesting talks on happiness
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2015, 12:32:59 PM »
Personally, I think that happiness is something you merely get as a byproduct of doing something else.  I do not really buy this idea of being happy as your ultimate goal in life.  You don't spend time thinking ways on how to become happy.  It just comes.

Having said that, what the speaker described as 'synthetic happiness' for me is just counterparts of synthetic fear, synthetic anger, synthetic jealousy, etc.  All feelings can be expressed and not be genuinely felt.

The term 'synthetic happiness', at first glance, would probably remind some of acid and/or pot - but I digress.


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Re: Interesting talks on happiness
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2015, 04:02:25 PM »
Hai, Nanimonai.
Welcome to the forum :)

And yeah,
I'm really glad that finally someone open a thread for this one, Reives :)


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Re: Interesting talks on happiness
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2015, 03:13:33 PM »
Happiness start from our mindset (And ourselves),
Here is the website that I found really interesting to read to remind myself about many things :)