Nouamane Hanchi

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Why happiness is temporary?

We all live for the moments of happiness, limited in time. The moment when we laugh, when we drink coffee, when we contemplate our beloved, when you feel flew in the sky ... while it only lasts a few minutes or even seconds ... Happiness does not exist for a long time ... Why?

  • Feb 11 2013: because our desires are limitless
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      Feb 13 2013: Bingo! Happiness is based on the fulfillment of wants and desires. With limitless wants and desires there is zero chance for all of them to be fulfilled at one time. Notice the inverse proportional relationship between happiness and desires. Now true joy, on the other hand, is not influenced by wants and desires, but that's another post.
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    Feb 13 2013: If happiness was forever how would you know you know you were happy?

    It would be meaningless.

    If happiness is have any meaning or value then there must be some sadness to put it in context or compare it against.

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    Feb 13 2013: ..because everything is.
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    Feb 9 2013: I have never thought of happiness as lasting a short time, though I recognize that this could differ greatly from one person to another.

    You might take interest in this talk
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    Feb 13 2013: Please define your use of the term "happiness."

    As Daniel Kahneman says, " It turns out that the word "happiness" is just not a useful word anymore, because we apply it to too many different things. I think there is one particular meaning to which we might restrict it, but by and large, this is something that we'll have to give up and we'll have to adopt the more complicated view of what well-being is."
  • Feb 10 2013: All my life, I have had a terrible time waking up from sleep. For me, awakening is a very uncomfortable, challenging experience, with no happiness involved. So for me, happiness, when it occurs, lasts until I fall asleep. No mystery at all.
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    Feb 10 2013: .

    It is because "Valid happiness is the short-time feeling of things being a-step-better for keeping our DNA alive."

    If it lasts long, we will not make the next a-step-better quickly enough to keep our DNA alive.
    Then, humankind can not survive.

    (For details, see 1st article, points 1-3, 14, at
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    Feb 9 2013: It comes from the accomplishment of a goal which you savor for a short while and then the next goal comes to mind.
  • Feb 9 2013: I think how long one feels happy and content depends on situation and personality. We can be happy the whole day when we are on a family trip, going for a hike with friends, discovering a new city and so on.

    Interestingly people that don't take small problems too seriously will experience more happiness that last much longer.

    However someone that gets upset about little things, constantly worries about events they don't have control over or have small tolerance toward others might experience less happiness?

    I don't think we can be happy all the time because the reality of this world is that we constantly struggle against natural disasters, deal with people that have no regard to others' well being and live in a society that constantly evolves (as does technology). This is the way the Universe works and I think we can minimize the impact of events on our happiness thou we can't eliminate them completely as we have feelings, emotions and empathy toward others.

    I also recommend this speech: