I Don’t Want To Be Happy [ Guest Commentary ]

At the end of yesterday’s post, “The Pursuit of Pleasure,” Heather briefly mentioned (via the P.S.) a RESOURCE that’ll show you how to EXIT the rat race and become a “Mobile Entrepreneur” with the ability to live, travel or work anywhere.

The owner of this resource, ExitMyJob, wrote a very synchronisitic (similar in thought) article about “Happiness.”

While Heather’s post, from yesterday, talks about the “pleasure” of external places and things vs. the true “happiness” that comes from within, Bryant’s article looks at a more superficial definition of “happiness”.  He equates “happiness” with Heather’s definition of “pleasure”, and “fulfillment” with her description of “happiness”.

So the semantics are different, but the sentiment is similar…


By Bryant Jones

I don’t want to be happy…

What do you want? Do you really want to be happy?

I don’t think so!

Let’s look at what we humans really want…

I was in a conversation with a friend a few weeks back about the Exit My Job program and we got on the subject of being “happy”.  My friend quickly pointed out that as humans, it is not in our nature to want to be happy. “WHAT?” I said… he went on to explain that most of us chase being “happy” as the end goal in life, but that is not what we really want. How could this be…?

I had never heard a such a crazy statement. But I was curious about what he meant

Well as we talked I found out it was true, I don’t want to be happy.

I have a feeling you don’t really want to be happy either.  And it maybe the VERY pursuit of happiness that has you unhappy and stuck in life.

So if I don’t want to be happy I must want unhappiness, right?  WRONG! Here’s what I really want… and what I bet you really want…. ready…

I want to be fulfilled, that’s right I want fulfillment in my life. Think about it, if we humans REALLY wanted “happiness” over anything else, why the hell would we go to a sad movie, or listen to a sad song? Does that make you “HAPPY”? No.

Would we ever go on roll-a-coasters and have the crap scared out of us? Does being scared make you happy? 05branson_rollercoasterNo. How about having kids? I have four and I can tell you I was NOT happy with the experience of raising my kids a lot of times – but I WAS fulfilled in being a father.

Now I focus on those things that fulfill me, and I want to help you do the same. So the next time you are looking at some area in life, don’t ask yourself “what would make me happy?”, ask yourself “what will give me fulfillment?”.

I bet you have a dream deep inside that you know would fulfill your very soul and I bet chasing all those “things” that are suppose to make you “happy” have you denying your dream. Am I getting through to you here?

I am saying that you very well might be chasing happiness and denying yourself REAL fulfillment. Why the hell would you do that? Because you are conditioned to do that, you are conditioned to MAKE people around you happy and to be happy yourself.

Think about this, as a society most of us are conditioned to believe that we BETTER be happy and if we’re not happy that “something is wrong”. And, that part of being happy is making OTHER people happy (which is impossible by the way).

So, we all start playing our “roles” in order to make others, and ourselves happy. We try to make our spouse happy. We try to make our kids happy. We try to make our boss happy. We try to make our parents happy. We even try to make total strangers happy.

We buy all the “stuff” that will make us happy. The new car. The new boat. The new house. We  buy all the “stuff” that will make other people happy too. You get the point…

And then comes along banks, big corporations and the media. Here’s how they fit in the mix and make it even harder on us to follow the “Pursuit of fulfillment”.

The banks say “I will loan you some money”, so then you can go to the big corporation and buy some more “happy making” stuff. Then the media steps in and reminds you how UNHAPPY we all are… but wait – here’s a commercial break to sell us some more stuff to “make” us happy just in time! You see the cycle?

So I say screw being happy – I want TRUE fulfillment. Leave me a comment and let me know what you want….

With love,


Wish you could work from anywhere? How about a hammock on the beach?

Filed under: Happiness / Fulfillment

15 Responses to “I Don’t Want To Be Happy [ Guest Commentary ]”

  1. I think that you are so right. Guilty here as well, trying to make others happy and then being exhausted trying to make others day bright.

    Being fulfilled is truly an awesome feeling and that is something to be happy about

    irenefk’s last blog post..Is the Air You Breathe Good Quality

  2. I got it mixed up, happiness and fulfilment.
    Been so exhausted, now I understand and will go back on the right track. Thanks for the clarification 😉

  3. Hi Barry
    Good insight as usual. The way I see it is simple. Find a fun way to make money so you can enjoy the freedom to do the things you really want to do. Like world wide traveling as an example. I also find fullfillment in racing cars and motorcycles on racetracks. It puts you in the moment and causes you to focus like few other activities that I enjoy. Intense focus combined with danger is very fullfilling !

  4. What do I want? I want both to be happy and fulfilled. Can this be possible? I’m used to the idea of happiness so if this is not the right word (happiness) then it would take some doing to replace it.

    Edwin Tan’s last blog post..Edwin V. Tan and June dela Cruz are now friends

  5. I agree to that. But isn’t it happiness the byproduct of fulfillment? So probably, we humans have this notion to achieve the end result in whatever endeavor we take, which is of course “HAPPINESS”.

  6. You are so right! Happiness means so many different things in different cultures! But what is the main ingredient of feeling fulfilled? Is it not the realisation that we are all one in spirit, and that what I do to others, I actually do to myself, so the best thing is to treat others the way you want to be treated yourself, and give some service to the community or others? What is more fulfilling than the gratitude for a kind word, a helping hand, some support. Love and light, Thea

  7. Wow!, did that ever make sense! I never gave those thoughts consideration…and you’re right. We are looking for fulfillment.

    I’m the same way…I make myself happy (not materially), but then I am bored with the entire thing. It’s like I’m doing things in attempts to find happiness. It works for a time, then it fizzles out.

    Great STUFF, Barry!! Thanks.

  8. Hi Bryan,

    I think it all comes back to definitions.

    What you are calling happiness I call `external or sensory happiness’ and what you call fulfillment, I call `internal or intellectual happiness’ and there is one other type of happiness which you have not mentioned.

    I call it `Internalized Happiness or Bliss or Spiritual Happiness’ – where we are happy and at peace with the world for no particular reason!

    I have described these in my post `Happiness 101′ at my Daily Happy Living blog. In my very first post I’ve also explained why we never succeed in the `pursuit of happiness’. I have also described why as humans we are all `programmed for happiness’!

    So I’m afraid my view is that we are talking about one aspect of the same thing. Happiness is much more complex – it is not an either or issue! I have identified 3 aspects of happiness – so far!

    Remember the 3 blind men and the elephant story – each man experienced only one aspect of the elephant (legs-like a tree, tail- like a snake, ears- like a fan etc.)

    Anyway I enjoy a good discussion – makes me happy (Intellectually or Internally)!


    Gopi Menon

  9. So I think that its our concept of happiness that is skewed…

    As a society we are conditioned to look for ourselves and our identies externally – therefore it would seem natural that we search for “happiness” externally.

    See I don’t see any problem with using the word happiness nor in the pursuit of it. I think simply that we need to shift the perspective of happiness from an external one to an internal one…and this is where your concept of fulfillment comes in.

    And it isn’t just fulfillment. Happiness from an internal perspective is anything you want it to be – anything that fills you up in a feeling of downstream momentum – for me it is FUN and USEFULNESS to others. If I can fill my days mostly with these two things – other stuff will come up – but it does not shake me from my happy.

    Thanks for the article – a certain thought-provoker!

  10. In light of this conversation, I believe I’ve just seen a promo to an excellent documentary that will prove that people are having difficulty choosing, focusing and meditating on what they truly desire. In other words, people are lacking fulfillment because of subliminal programming.

    Is it okay, Barry, to post this link here, so as to inform everyone of how to make lasting changes in their lives? I believe that everyone would benefit from this movie. This is only a link to see the trailer, but even in that five minutes I believe what it says, knowing many truths I have not yet told.



    If the link is inactive, it can be copied and pasted into the browser window. But…can people handle the truth?

  11. It is refreshing to hear a clearly defined distinction between superficial happiness and true fulfilment. I have known many people who go through life wearing fake plastic smiles to make themselves appear more pleasant or personable, but are emotional wrecks inside, or totally numb.

    I believe the whole spectrum of the human emotional experience needs to be felt and acknowledge to order to be genuinely whole. And that is to never repress the shadow of our anger, resentment or negativity, but to truly feel and acknowledge them, and in some cases where appropriate, express them.

    It is true that the pursuit of happiness is something that can cause unhappiness. We live in a world which can gnerally be awesome place to … but we are also subject to an infrastructure of forced social adaptation that is governed by advertising and collective trends. As human animals with an inherent need to belong and be part of a collective, it is easy to fall prey to socio-cultural definitions of happiness and success, and aimlessly pursue them to maintain appearances and status.

  12. Hi

    Well is it okay if I disagree! 😮 Lol

    *I* want to be happy! I do not want to pursue happiness, though, as that is not where ‘happy’ lies. I’d like to be fulfilled, too, but – and this is where happiness comes in, I think – who can ever be fulfilled until their final day of life arrives? There is always something more to achieve, no? So no feeling of complete fulfillment, UNLESS…

    Unless, you accept that you are fulfilled now, this moment. Yes, there are more things to do in life, but you’d be doing them from the point of being fulfilled.

    And then… Then I put it to you, that in this scenario you would also be happy!


    Of course, this could all be a load of nonsense! But it’s my nonsense, and thinking it makes *me* happy. Lol


    Steve M Nash’s last blog post..Happiness Survey, Happiness Facts, Information, Happiness Project, Finding Happiness

  13. Hi:
    That is an awesome, brainstorming issue…kept me thinking; however, i realised the only factor that can make anysoul happy or unhappy is the following “one”:

  14. Many writers, philosophers and scientists have tried to find what really consitutes happiness. Single deifinition of happiness has eluded all of them because happiness means different things to different people. However, there is some understanding that happiness is not merely a goal, it is the process itself.

  15. Okay, that makes a lot of sense. After all, when one is fulfilled, are they not happy (in a sense)? But, is it the Mind, Body or Spirit that is happy.

    I say, one is fulfilled when all three are happy. And, recognizing that we began as Spirit before we became Body and/or Mind, our “happiness” is a result of pursuing something we either feel, think or believe will make us happy.

    On the other hand, when we achieve something (activity, thought or realization) that we have persued, I would call that happiness.

    Fulfillment comes from the closure and “knowing” that “it” is as it “should be”. Being at ease (“rest”) we are fulfilled.

    More deliberately, when we have done or become something that brings us fulfillment it makes us happy because “our cup runneth over (full-fill-ment)” and our happiness “flows” out and around to those who are exposed to our “life” (or reality)…

    It reminds me of something to do with “getting the log out of our own eye before we try to remove the stick in our brothers’ eye.”

    Thanks for the clarification/contemplation post…


Leave a Reply