What do we do now that we're happy?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Abstract, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Okay, got this idea from another forum, but I need to ask you what you do now that you have the nice wife, the kids, the pile of money, the sweet car, the electronic gizmos, the PowerBook G5 (oh....wait a second....), the cutting edge mobile phone, the dog, cool TV, etc?

    What happens after this? Do you continue buying and consuming to keep yourself happy? Do you shed some things and try living with more basics? Travel? Paint? Volunteer and do charity work? Sit on your ass at a beach in the south Pacific while 4 hot, mute Swedish women serve you strawberries and cream? Whine like a b**** whenever something small and insignificant doesn't go your way?
  2. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
    confused... i don't equate happiness with 'having' certain things... i'm awfully happy right now- but still enjoy going to work (knock on wood, some days are better than others), exercising, i.e. not just laying around and being content...

    are you asking what we do after we build a small fortune of gadgets and material objects?
  3. ohcrap macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2005
    You give it all to me and start over from scratch.
  4. feakbeak macrumors 6502a


    Oct 16, 2003
    What do you do after reaching the pinnacle of an overly commericialized lifestyle?

    My vote: Kill yourself! :D
  5. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    You're assuming that everyone has what they want? I think you're a little premature on this. Besides, gmuMacaddict is right - having *things* doesn't make you happy.

    If you feel complete with your life's accomplishments, then you might want to try and help others who are still struggling....

  6. ohcrap macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2005
    ahem! *starts choking*
  7. fistful macrumors 6502a


    Mar 29, 2004
    You travel... to outer space! :cool:

    I guess you sit back and enjoy it, send your kids to college or something...
  8. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    Im going to agree... Tho the proper answer is to train your children to be as good of consumers as you are, so that they too may one day be able to afford happiness.

    I guess the question I have to ask, to give it serious thought, is what do you think the purpose of life is? Have fun? Give back? Serve a higher power? Reproduce? Create? Destroy? Most people don't honestly know for themselves. So I suppose my answer would be, reflect on why you chose those goals for yourself.
  9. iDM macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2005
    The Commonwealth of PA/The First State-DE
    Quit your job maintain your pension, invest, do as much charity work as possible during the day before your kids get back from school. Go to every sporting event they participate in. Go to every event their involved in. Travel. Visit relatives and friends you always said you were going to see again, and bring your family. Save for your childrens education. Donate all you can. Exercise more. Hell I could easily continue. Don't bitch or whine about anything for reasons i shouldn't have to explain. Become active in whatever you believe. Volunteer for a political campaign. Research medicines to cure Cancer, Aids, any other diseases. Increase crop productions that will then provide food to developing countries in Africa, Eastern Europe. Teach English for free. Raise your children the right way. Love your spouse. Ride a bike instead of a car everywhere. Fund alternative and renewable fuel sources. Clean up the environment. Prevent commerical logging, fishing that make profits in ways that will never benefit you and only hurt the beautiful world you live in, Throw parties and invite everyone. Maintain your property. Wow i would do alot of things.
  10. feakbeak macrumors 6502a


    Oct 16, 2003
    You could have summarized all that with - Be idealistic.

    Also, you left out "Hug trees".

    Sorry, that's just my cynical side reacting to your post. Truthfully, those are all great ideas however, nobody is ever really going to reach a place where they have obtained or done everything they have set out to do in life, at least I can't imagine that. Perhaps some might, if they had really low expectations for themselves.

    At any rate, I think we'd be a lot better off if we tried to just do a few things from your list while we're still working towards our goals. I can only speak for myself but it's very easy to think "I'll do all of these nice, charitable things once I've gotten things straightened out in my life." The truth is that almost nobody has everything straightened out in their lives - ever. And even if you did achieve that for a moment - it wouldn't last long enough to do anything. I'm guilty of this type of thinking myself, so just try to do a few nice things for others from time to time and cummulatively it'll have a good impact on our society.

    Okay, now I'm being idealistic. ;)
  11. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    Try to achieve something that you think is impossible, not might be impossible, but seems truly impossible for you as a human being.

    Whatever it is: write and publish a novel, become a film actor, build a house, learn an instrument to recital level, get a doctorate, learn to fly....

    Look at all the things you wanted to do as a kid.... then do them.

    All your challenges have been achieved, time to set some new ones.

    Alternatively you could kick back, watch some TV, hang out on MR, it's all good.

    The only answer to "Is that all there is?" is "No".
  12. iDM macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2005
    The Commonwealth of PA/The First State-DE
    I couldn't agree with you more. While I don't know of anyone who could reasonably accomplish any of those things and do a good job at all of them, I do think people who have attained their desires of money and success can find a huge amount of things to lead as most fulfilling of a life as possible. I don't think it's hard to find things to do that can make you happy, i guess was what i intended with that post! But just to restate i totally agree!
  13. SiliconAddict macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Better yourself , not just your things, in some way and no I'm not talking liposuction or botox injections. :p I personally like to just sit and meditate on things at least once a day. If I had time I would love to take some philosophy classes. I love thinking about life. What it means. Why we are here. What is consciousness? When does it begin? Is it tied to being self aware and if so how? Why? Does it stop when you reach a certain point in life? Etc.
  14. njmac macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    It is very fulfilling to help others. Teach your children that. See how exited they get when they have a surprise for someone else.

    If you become content with what you have, you need to strive for more (and not more things!) Surely there is something that you could do that would challenge you. Start a youth group, try out a sport, give your time to those in need, start a new business....
  15. mymemory macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2001
    I would look for another girlfriend or find one for my wife. I mena... life has so many things to offer :rolleyes:
  16. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    If I was happy and had everything I ever wanted and needed, I'd guess I'd try to fulfill the Steve Jobs' goal of leaving an impact on society. Go into politics, invent something, do some civil service, help to the poor, etc. It's something my parents have always told me to do, and something I believe in doing. You don't know what the afterlife is really like, so at least you can leave a legacy behind when you die by impacting society.

    I guess that would be what I would do.
  17. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    Attainment of happiness starts from within. Think happiness and thou shall have a sunny disposition on life.
  18. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    I agree with this. Bring on someone to your job that you can help train and be efficient and allow them the opportunity to sort their lives out and get what they want out of it.

    Example: You go for a job, you cna do the job, although your "professional experience" doesn't say so on your Resume. You don't get hired because "you have no experience in this." This is horrible. Lots of people get turned down by it, I certainly have and my girlfriend is going through the same.

    Help your fellow man achieve what he needs to be complete. When you have done this, then you can search for the holy grail.
  19. njmac macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    You know, you could do that now. You don't have to wait until you "have everything". Start with doing something simple like spend a day a month at a soup kitchen volunteering. Visit an elderly person in a nursing home. Make an impact in a small way and you'll be amazed at how good you feel about yourself.
  20. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    Oh yeah. Definitely. I do volunteer work right now. But, the way the original poster was talking sounds like once you reached your epitome of happiness via material goods and having it a good job and perfect family, it sounds like you have nothing to do, when there's plenty still to do.
  21. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    people always want more.

    ...generally speaking of course ;)
  22. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Nice. You should start writing fortunes - the ones I get with my takeout now just suck.

    Okay, only kidding - I completely agree with you. Pessimism and defeatist attitudes are self-fulfilling.
  23. neildmitchell macrumors 6502a


    May 21, 2005
    Im sorry to say, but if you have to ask a question like this, you need to do a bit of soul searching for what makes YOUhappy. No one can answer this for you, except you.

    Has buying and consuming really brought you any long term happiness, after the endorphine rush of the initial purchase has worn off. Has reaching the status you have sought to obtain through the wife, dog, house, gadgets and carsreally made you happy.

    Since you have asked this question, I would have to say that you are unhappy, everything that you have obtained has not brought you any long term happiness. Consuming and obtaining more will never fill your desire for happiness.

    Look to experiences for happiness. And by that I dont mean that you have to fly off to an exotic location. Go take a walk and notice the world around you, spend time with family and friends...
  24. EJBasile macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2004
    I buy new cars, that keeps me happy. I must have OCD.

    I also like to travel - cruises are fun, trips to Europe and Australia etc. I've only done a road trip once (from CT to Colorado and Wyoming once) and it definatly was not an enjoyable experience!

    Other than that I feel as if I am working my life away and I'm tired. Somehow I work more shifts at the hospital than any of the other doctors. I think I need to move closer to work 45min drive is not enjoyable even though I love my house. I don't want to move because I like my area and it took years to design my current house and I don't want to search for/plan a new house.

    I don't really have a "girl friend" but we go out to dinner and stuff. More like a very good friend who is a girl. That kind of relationship you know.

    Now I feel depressed...

    Sorry for my complaining. Maybe its just because its is a cloudy depressing day here.
  25. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
    Maybe, maybe not... I have OCD. It's not exactly that easy to define. For me, I'm happy when my surroundings are clean and organized. Material things do make me happy too. Like new cars, new computers, new "toys," and high quality, expensive inanimate objects. Those things make me happy in addition to being with family and friends, and doing thinks I like (which often times is cleaning, lol).

    But I can see what the original poster meant. One you have the perfect "American Dream" life, what do you do? I guess the main priority would be to keep the life you have, keep the wife, and make the kids happy. After that, if you can afford it, travel, buy anything ya like, and just have fun.

    I don't have a girlfriend either. Granted, that's okay since I'm only 15, and I have pretty much everything else I really want (with that said, if I was "poor," I think I'd be more difficult for *me* to be "happy." I'm always grateful that my family is "comfortable" financially). I'm okay with who I am, and I have an awesome group of friends and a loving family. If I were in a relationship though, I think I'd be *truly* happy. And, the prospect of having an entire life ahead of me is a thrilling thought.

    Also, what applekid said is a great thing. That's what I try do everyday in my daily life. I always think, "How is this going to impact others?" For example, it could be something as simple as picking up litter in the public park, but if it makes an impact on others, you'll feel great about doing it. That is my main goal in life, to do things that change things... Kinda like that Think Different poem says... :)

    "While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
    Because the people who are crazy enough to think
    they can change the world, are the ones who do."

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