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Happiness and goals
Old 10-21-2004, 07:25 AM   #1
 
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Happiness and goals

This is mostly to dispel the notion that I am an unhappy
pessimist. Actually I think the reverse is true. What inspired this topic was the frequent complaints I read
from people (ERed and wannbees) who are/were
miserable in their jobs. I worked a long time and I
don't recall ever being miserable in any job and I had a lot of them. If I had been I would have quit immediately
as even at a young age I recognized that we are
here only briefly. Same with my first marriage. I was not miserable. Work or marriage,
or relationships, or life its own self , I always moved on for what I thought was something better down the road, not because I was "miserable". Usually I was right,
but even when I got blindsided a bit, I took the lemon
and made lemonade. Because of this, I can't recall a really major decision in my life where I looked back and said, "Man, that was the wrong way to go." (My wife would say that;s because I think things to death )
Anyway, I see myself as an eternal
optimist, at least in so far as my own abilities to make my life better.

John Galt
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"Optimist"
Old 10-21-2004, 08:04 AM   #2
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"Optimist"

Nope, when I look in the dictionary I just don't see Ayn Rand's photo by this word.

I guess it's time to go back to the library. Maybe I finally have enough time in my life to tackle "Atlas Shrugged", "War & Peace", "Anna Karenina", and L. Ron Hubbard's science fiction "novels"...
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Re: Happiness and goals
Old 10-21-2004, 08:48 AM   #3
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Re: Happiness and goals

I do believe that people commonly think that what they own, or what they do or where they live will make them happy without realizing that happiness is (IMHO) an "inside job". I do not remember being particularly happy as a child but in my 30s I went through a combination of religious/consciousness (maybe accidental) experiences and just "got happy". This drives my 15 year old son nuts, he rolls his eyes and says "Oh no, Dad is having another happy attack". But its generally true. I get a raise-I'm happy, car breaks down-I'm happy. I eat at Mc Donalds or a fine restaurant-I'm happy. I'm not sure but maybe my wife picked me for this reason, I look at her and my eyes light up. Stuff-take it or leave it. Oh, I actually, really like kayaking.
I'm not sure what this has to do with early retirement but I'm not worried about that either.
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Re: Happiness and goals
Old 10-21-2004, 09:46 AM   #4
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Re: Happiness and goals

John Stossel narrated a TV special several years ago - his theory: there is a lucky minority born with the "happy gene".

Unfortunately I'm basically a pesimist and a worrier - but after twelve years of ER - I don't take myself seriously anymore - things just seem to work out.

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Re: Happiness and goals
Old 10-21-2004, 12:53 PM   #5
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Re: Happiness and goals

Quote:
I do believe that people commonly think that what they own, or what they do or where they live will make them happy without realizing that happiness is (IMHO) an "inside job". I do not remember being particularly happy as a child but in my 30s I went through a combination of religious/consciousness (maybe accidental) experiences and just "got happy". This drives my 15 year old son nuts, he rolls his eyes and says "Oh no, Dad is having another happy attack". But its generally true. I get a raise-I'm happy, car breaks down-I'm happy. I eat at Mc Donalds or a fine restaurant-I'm happy. I'm not sure but maybe my wife picked me for this reason, I look at her and my eyes light up. Stuff-take it or leave it. Oh, I actually, really like kayaking.
I'm not sure what this has to do with early retirement but I'm not worried about that either.
Yaakers:

You have got a very good handle on what's important.
I especially liked your last paragraph, where you stated that maybe your wife picked you for "this reason". Also, when your eyes light up when you look at her, is exactly the way I feel about my wife of 42 years.

John Galt: Read above post, and maybe you'll realize that it's not about me, me, me. (You aren't fooling anybody, and certainly not me).
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Re: Happiness and goals
Old 10-21-2004, 12:54 PM   #6
 
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Re: Happiness and goals

Quote:
I do believe that people commonly think that what they own, or what they do or where they live will make them happy without realizing that happiness is (IMHO) an "inside job". I do not remember being particularly happy as a child but in my 30s I went through a combination of religious/consciousness (maybe accidental) experiences and just "got happy". This drives my 15 year old son nuts, he rolls his eyes and says "Oh no, Dad is having another happy attack". But its generally true. I get a raise-I'm happy, car breaks down-I'm happy. I eat at Mc Donalds or a fine restaurant-I'm happy. I'm not sure but maybe my wife picked me for this reason, I look at her and my eyes light up. Stuff-take it or leave it. Oh, I actually, really like kayaking.
I'm not sure what this has to do with early retirement but I'm not worried about that either.
Roberto Benigni acknowledges your type in the wonderful film 'Life is Beautiful', a comedy set during the Holocaust.
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Re: "Optimist"
Old 10-21-2004, 01:00 PM   #7
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Re: "Optimist"

Quote:
Maybe I finally have enough time in my life to tackle "Atlas Shrugged", "War & Peace", "Anna Karenina", and L. Ron Hubbard's science fiction "novels"...
If you've got to prioritize them then the Ayn Rand cult documents definitely fall behind the L. Ron Hubbard cult documents. If you want to read a big book have a look at Doesteyovsky. I would recommend The Brothers Karamazov. It has some portions that speak to some of the ideas behind early retirement.
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Re: Happiness and goals
Old 10-21-2004, 01:01 PM   #8
 
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Re: Happiness and goals

Hi Jarhead! FYI, I am not trying to fool anyone
(why would I?). Nope, I just calls 'em like I sees 'em
and let the chips fall where they may. I have quite a few
traits which many find unappealing. Unhappy
pessimist ain't one of them.

John Galt
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Re: Happiness and goals
Old 10-21-2004, 01:36 PM   #9
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Re: Happiness and goals

Quote:
I do believe that people commonly think that what they own, or what they do or where they live will make them happy without realizing that happiness is (IMHO) an "inside job".
Yakers,

Great post! I was just saying this to my wife the other day (only not as eloquently).

Regarding your eyes lighting up when you see your wife: we have a plaque on the wall in our home that says this: "The Best Thing a Father Can Do For His Children is to Love Their Mother" (and the reverse is also true). We have been very lucky in that regard - we were married at ages 21 and 20 and have been married for 31 years now; she is everything to me. I have two brothers who weren't as lucky (through no fault of their own) so I count my blessings regularly.
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Re: Happiness and goals
Old 10-21-2004, 01:47 PM   #10
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Re: Happiness and goals

Quote:
Oh, I actually, really like kayaking.
I'm not sure what this has to do with early retirement but I'm not worried about that either.
There are some things we were simply never meant to know. We must just bask in the warmth of their realities and not question further...
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Re: Happiness and goals
Old 10-21-2004, 01:51 PM   #11
 
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Re: Happiness and goals

Quote:
we were married at ages 21 and 20 and have been married for 31 years now; she is everything to me.
Bob,

My wife is also everything to me and we tell each other that every day. While most people fret here about running out of money, I fret about losing my wife. We have made a deal that we will both go at the same time, because we could not bear to live without each other.
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Re: Happiness and goals
Old 10-21-2004, 03:56 PM   #12
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Re: Happiness and goals

Quote:
While most people fret here about running out of money, I fret about losing my wife.
I agree Cut-Throat.
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Re: Happiness and goals
Old 10-21-2004, 06:13 PM   #13
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Re: Happiness and goals

John Galt - one of your better threads - we all need to take responsibility for our situation and happiness.
Yakers - I'm with you (no children though) I can be happy with the simplist things
Unclemick - I'm also with you - I can worry abou a lot of things that keep me from happiness - I'm working on that.
Those who have a wife that light up their eyes are among the luckiest of all.
It is great to read some really mature posts. Is it unusual that they were written by men?
OK enough of that emotion - how about Boston - is that a sign of the end of the world?
Thanks for the post - I enjoyed them
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Re: Happiness and goals
Old 10-28-2004, 10:51 AM   #14
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Re: Happiness and goals

Happiness, to me at least, is learning new things. When I think back on the times in my life when I was happiest, it was when I was learning new things (high school, university, the first 5 or so years at work).

For the next 30 or so years, I will be spending a majority of my time discovering the world that has been hidden from me. I don't expect or need to find anything that someone else hasn't found before, but it will be new to me and that's what counts. Considering that my interests up til now have been rather narrow (technical/scientific), I have plenty of opportunity to be happy, if I can just open my mind enough to let the new ideas in.

Unhappiness is stagnation. Happiness is growth.
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Re: Happiness and goals
Old 11-01-2004, 03:12 AM   #15
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Re: Happiness and goals

Maturity and aging play a part in our perceptions and outlook. People can and do change. I realize how poorly I handled some former supervisors and stayed in jobs that were NG. I went back to school at 44 and after graduation changed jobs. The last 7 years have been SO much better.
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