I agree with you about happiness. Sometimes it takes a lot of work to be happy! I like the idea of allowing ourselves to feel emotions, even though those are sometimes emotions of sadness, pain, or anger. They are real. But they don't need to define the rest of our lives. Maybe that's where your 'make the best of it' comes in.

Expand full comment

Yes, I believe that negative emotions don't need to define us, nor are they particularly helpful if there is nothing we can do about what caused us to feel them. On the other hand, chasing happiness is getting on the "hedonic treadmill," which is like going on a roller coaster ride, full of ups and downs. But a way to mitigate and lessen the strength of negative emotions is to focus as soon as possible on moving on, on salvaging what you can, on looking for things that are going well instead of succumbing to negativity, in other words, "making the best of it."

I explored a similar theme in the post:

Going Through An Existential Crisis?


In that essay I argue that a better, more satisfying steady-state of happiness is when we experience "flow." It's the difference between doing things to "pass the time" e.g. chasing happiness, being on the hedonic treadmill, vs. doing things that make us feel like time has stopped because we are enjoying something so much, i.e. the state of "flow."

Expand full comment