Everyone wants to be happy. Is it something we pursue directly? Can we just “follow the rainbow” to “the pot of gold”? Does it come from pleasant sensory experiences such as emptying our bowels and bladders, eating tasty food, or having sex? Can we build a life of happiness around the consumption of chocolate cake with whipped cream and a cherry on top or the pursuit of numerous orgasms? Wilt Chamberlain’s claim that he had sex with 20,000 women seems to indicate that at least some people are trying the latter approach. Both of these pathways are flawed because the sensations are short lived. Frequently pursued, they lead to secondary problems: obesity, hypertension, hardening of the arteries, diabetes for the overindulgent gourmet; and medical and psychologic issues for the hypersexuality trophy contenders.
The 19th century philosopher, John Stuart Mill claimed that true enduring happiness ensues from certain actions. In future blogs I will essentially express my agreement with this assertion. I will do my best to explain why this is the case and what these “certain actions” are all about.