General Question

Khajuria9's avatar

Would the concept of "Having to do nothing and worrying about nothing" bring about happiness in our lives?

Asked by Khajuria9 (1556 points ) May 7th, 2014

How do you guys define happiness? Is it a goal??
I find happiness to be relative, rather subjective, I should say. How do you take it to mean?

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20 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

If you like emptiness maybe that would work. Sometimes you have to put your butt on the line to find happiness. It can be scary but it also can be great. Happiness is up to the individual.

zenvelo's avatar

I find happiness to be contentment with one’s place today in the world, having done all I can to be present and positive in my interactions and my work, and finding the joy in everyday life.

Happiness is relative, because without sorrow, we cannot realize we are happy.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I find that concept pretty important for happiness. In fact, it is my goal, though I just can’t completely reach that state.

My definition of happiness is quite simple: when the mind is free of negative thought. And that’s not really a big goal, it’s just something I try to get everyday, by just smiling, being myself and giving people a helping hand when they need…

GloPro's avatar

For me personally, I hate “treading water.” If I am learning something, creating something, or somehow moving forward in life I am happy. Not having anything to do would be my own personal hell.

Pachy's avatar

Life is boring and pointless without some sort of mission or goal. The truth of that for me becomes clearer the older I grow. It’s not about happiness—that may be a byproduct but itt can be never guaranteed. It’s about making the best use of one’s time in life, whatever “best” means to each individual.

gailcalled's avatar

Waking up with nothing to do sounds like I died during the night. And, no, i find that concept unpalatable. I am happy being productive and moderately content and fairly free from pain. (I am also happy when I think about my daugher and when I look at my cat, my gardens, my woods, the smell of the first grass cutting this morning, the sound of the brook in my woods plashig over the bluestone outcroppings, and the knwoledge that somewhere, near-by, is a nest with baby phoebes in it.)

CWOTUS's avatar

For myself, happiness consists in having a purpose to achieve (no matter how meaningless it may be to others; as the dung beetle says to its competitors, “Yes, it’s just a ball of shit, but it’s my ball of shit, dammit!”), the means and ability to work towards that purpose – and a general agreement with the purpose, after all – and enough latitude to enjoy the doing of the work or game that I have.

To put it in terms of a game, if I have a game that I want to play, and I’m in the game or closely associated with it, and I can play the game (or even watch it or immerse myself in its strategy and nuance, or maybe even just write about it or think about it) with a relative lack of pain and strain, and I can enjoy my teammates and competitors, then I can be happy.

Working to be ready for the game, reminiscing about the game and even negotiating next year’s contract can also be enjoyable.

thorninmud's avatar

This is an important question. I do think that happiness has something to do with having nothing to do and having no concerns, but I have to qualify that statement.

First, I’m not defining “happiness” as the “sunshine and puppy dogs” feeling; that just can’t last. I’m talking about contentment, a deep and persistent sense that things are OK just as they are. I believe that’s the best we can hope for.

I also think that this kind of happiness comes from seeing beyond one’s own particular circumstances to the marvelous interconnectedness of the whole. In that big perspective, there really is nothing to accomplish and no real “problem” to fret about. Things are fine just as they are.

BUT, at the very same time, we live out our lives on a smaller, relative scale in which there is plenty of stuff that need doing, and much to be concerned about. What robs us of happiness is that we get so caught up in this microcosm of our individual lives that we lose sight of the fundamental okay-ness of it all.

These seem like incompatible, “either/or” perspectives, but that’s not the case. It is entirely possible to realize that even all of our individual striving and worrying has its place in the whole and perfect fabric of reality. There’s nothing that needs fixing about that; things are just as they should be. That can only be understood, though, by actually experiencing that larger perspective. You can’t just pretend that everything’s OK.

JLeslie's avatar

Having to do nothing is not the same as having nothing to do. Having to do nothing sounds good to me. I haven’t had to work in years. I want to work again, I miss the interaction and want to earn some money. When I start working again I still will feel I don’t have to, because I don’t have to to pay my bills, but I will feel committed to the job, I always do.

Happiness to me happens in moments. I try to appreciate the happy moments when they are happening. When you focus on them they slow down and stretch out. I think we have a lot of control over our happiness, we can choose what to focus on and how to reframe things in our minds. I’m going through a really crappy couple of weeks and I have wanted to be unhappy, to wallow in it, but I can’t hold onto the anger and sadness too long, I see too many things around me I want to appreciate and enjoy.

LostInParadise's avatar

I hate sounding like Aristotle, but happiness requires a balance between stress and relaxation. Too much stress can kill you, but too little makes for one dull life. To be happy, we need to be secure in the things that are most important to us, but we also need to be challenged in other areas. The exact location of the balance point varies with each person.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, and I enjoyed a lifestyle such as this for many years. The closest we can come to sustainable “happiness” is contentment. I worked part time in a lucrative and highly creative biz. Had zero stress, financially or personally and was semi-retired in my mid-40’s, living peacefully on a lovely rural property where my non-working days were spent in bliss, puttering around the homestead with my beloved pets, gardening, re-arranging and decorating my home, entertaining friends and living simply but well.

Sadly, the downturn of the economy dashed my boat against the rocky shoreline or insolvency between 2010 and 2013.
I will always cherish my arrival and stay in the port of unperturbed peace even if my boat has now departed, once again, into rough, uncharted seas.

DigitalBlue's avatar

Yeah, I’d say it would work for me. I have always found that minimalism brings me happiness… peace, which is probably how I’d describe happiness for myself. The fewer things that I have that aren’t related to my basic needs, the fewer things that I have to worry about to do (of course), all contribute to that for me. Sometimes I forget, but it always seems to work best when I go back to that philosophy.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Having to do nothing and worry about nothing pretty much sums up what I expect upon my death. Meanwhile, happiness is just too ambitious. I’ll settle for contentment.

JLeslie's avatar

@Coloma @DigitalBlue Great word. Peace. Usually on happiness questions I write about how happy and grateful I am every day I don’t have pain. Somehow I forgot that this time, maybe because I am going through some turmoil right now. I don’t need to be on a wild ride of life to feel happy, Very simple things make me happy.

hug_of_war's avatar

I’ve had periods like this, and I soon enough got so freaking bored, I was miserable. I am ten times happier working, even when my coworkers drive me insane, even when I wonder if I’ll ever be financially independent. Life is a balance.

flutherother's avatar

Interludes of having nothing to do or worry about are great but I wouldn’t want to be in that condition all the time.

seekingwolf's avatar

I think happiness IS subjective, as stated. I know many who are truly happy working extremely hard. Yes, they may stress, but overall, they love themselves/their lives better when they are working hard and seeing those results.

I know others who really are minimalist and prefer not to work too hard and take it easy.

I don’t believe there is any right/wrong answer, as long as you’re not hurting anyone. Although I do think it’s important to be self-sufficient to some degree and you shouldn’t freeload (ie “It would make me happy to never pay bills for anything” is not good because you burden others), if you TRULY want to take a job where you don’t have to do much, where you can have lots of free time and take it easy, do it. If you want to work hard and dedicate your life to something, do it.

I think for most, there is balance. Few are completely one extreme to the other.

I know for me, I love to work hard but I also like to enjoy myself in my free time. I don’t mind replying and checking my work email when I’m at home (and I’m hourly, I don’t get paid for that, don’t care) but my free time is of very high quality and I am happy with that.

I strive to work hard and to have a relaxing, enjoyable leisure time. To me, that means not having children (Kids stress me out, don’t enjoy being around them), living in a quiet place so I can get good sleep, going to a gym, and seeing my family/friends when I desire.

DipanshiK's avatar

Everyone has different concepts about happiness, they have different opinions, different desires so their definition of happiness changes likewise. I feel I m happy when I m healthy. I think when I have no deadlines to meet upto , no stress and when I m physical and emotional satisfied with what I have that’s when I m happy. When I m content with my social and economic life and not struggling for that last bit- that’s when I m happy.
One should ways be happy in their lives. Because you cannot find happiness, you cannot search for it on the internet. Happiness is a feeling of fullness and satisfication which only comes when you start working hard for things that you want in life. That is the only mantra to achieve happiness.
I m no guru at all this but this is what I have experienced in my life and I just wanted to share.

Coloma's avatar

I think this relates to the saying that ” we are human BEINGS not human DOINGS.”
Freedom from the oppressive hamster wheel of survival needs frees us to simply in-joy, our being, our aliveness, without the constant hum of anxiety related to this cultures obsessive and unhealthy work ethic.

LostInParadise's avatar

I like that. Here is my rejoinder, which I just made up. Life without action is as meaningless as a sentence without a verb.

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