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Why do we chase happiness?

If each emotion we experience is for a reason then why do we try to not to experience some of them as they are? Why there is a race for happiness out of the entire range of emotions? Is it a new phenomena or has the happiness always been sought the most? Is it a human need ?

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    Jan 19 2012: The misconception about happiness is that it is synonymous with contentment.
    • Jan 19 2012: yes i guess so, contentment is like a plateau or a valley, the happiness however is a peak.
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        . . 100+

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        Jan 23 2012: Contentment is naturally maintained altitude of the spirit -via sustained positive mental attitude. It only appears like a plateau (to the outsider). It is not a "valley". lol Manuj:)
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          Jan 23 2012: I agree Juliette...contentment is a maintained attitude...altitude:>)
        • Jan 23 2012: Superb ! Thanks Juliette, for making me think again...yeah...it actually is a naturally maintained altitude which appears like a plateau to an outsider....valley is a wrong reference...you are right..

          And Colleen has put a cherry on top of it by ...maintained "attitude"

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