On the Subject of Happiness

When thinking about success, it’s easy to segue into the subject of happiness or even to confuse the two. The bottom line for either may be the same for both; IE, when I become successful I will be happy. Or when I am happy I will be successful.

When thinking about happiness, however, I can’t help but wonder if it is a matter of psychology. Is there such a thing as happiness or are there only phenomena which disrupt our sense of normalcy and thus make us feel not so happy.

I can’t speak for anyone but myself… But I feel like I’m going through or I’ve been going through withdrawal of a very addictive drug. Dare I say… ego…

I don’t want to reduce my creative endeavors to a form of escapism, a way to distract myself, because the work is good in itself.

But what does that mean?

What is good work?


What do I want to get out of my work?

I like learning new things, namely things that are visually pleasing. I like learning how to appreciate new ideas. I like learning how to think the way others thought, especially if it helps me create something of my own.

This happens to calm me down because it brings me to a state of mind in which I am free to think.

[While trying not to reduce this to some state of mind, it occurs to me that… Being free to think is more than a state of mind.]

It is a state of being.1

Moreover, when the work leads one to create something there’s a product to share with others. It’s a form of communication and it fosters community.

There’s a free flow of thoughts and ideas.

We — humans — like to collect things as well, especially as a way to appreciate humanity as a whole.

But isn’t that part of the problem?

My head is filled with big ideas that were created by other people…


When trying to think about what is “good” or what is real, it’s easy to take a philosophical approach.

The first step is to inquire in a more practical way what is true at least for myself and what has been false.

Getting back to psychology

Maybe I’m looking for something to believe in. Something upon which I can begin building a foundation of some sense of self… as a person who creates…


1 Feeling is responding, IE to an idea, as opposed to thinking, when one is the agent of that action and thinking or speaking by one’s own volition.

But when do the ideas learned from others become one’s own? When is it okay to believe in those ideas? It’s only healthy to be skeptical.

However, too much skepticism can make it feel like things are always shifting?

Maybe it comes down to my doubting myself or the choices I make.

Maybe it comes down to doing more than dipping my toes in the water to see if it’s to my liking.

It comes down to doing the work to know and fully appreciate what’s out there.