While reading through my writings via my blogs and books, and seeing the hard realities, rational (though often unpopular) analysis, business techniques, and dating / relationship techniques, some have come to the incorrect conclusion that I am against emotions. Particularly, against feeling them and expressing them.

Longtime readers know that I am an INTJ, a very calm one at that (since not all INTJs are calm nor rational) and do my best to view the world through a lens that is as objectively rational as possible for a flawed human being. So yes, if you have a more emotional personality or temperament, you may view some of my advice and observations as cold or unemotional.

Of course I’m not against feeling, having , or expressing emotions. However, it’s not quite as simple as being “for” or “against” them. Based on the research I’ve done and literally hundreds of conversations I’ve had with people on this topic, I think people fall into three separate schools of thought regarding emotions.

School of Thought 1: All Emotions Are Equally Valid

This is, by far, the most popular school of thought on the subject, and one that is reinforced by heavy and non-stop Societal Programming.

This is the belief that all emotions are good, regardless if they’re negative or positive. Feeling happy, joyful, horny, relaxed, peaceful, are all good things to feel. Feeling angry, jealous, lonely, or sad are also good feelings to feel.

I have argued before that this belief is so strong, that we have actually entered an “Era of Emotionalism,” where emotions trump just about everything else in regards to daily actions. This would help explain things like:

  • Why people keep getting married even though the divorce rate continues to climb.
  • Why people keep gleefully voting for politicians they hate, or at least strongly disagree with.
  • Why people continuously make horrible long-term financial decisions for themselves and their families, now more than ever.
  • The recent open embrace of socialism in the US.
  • Etc.

It’s obvious why positive emotions would be good things, but why would bad emotions be good things? Four reasons are usually given.

1. Negative emotions make you stronger.

“That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is often a quote attached to this. The argument is that if you feel angry or lonely a lot, you’ll somehow be a stronger and/or more capable person.

This is incorrect. I refuted this entire argument, in great detail, in Chapter Two of my book. I can’t really summarize it here without reprinting most of the chapter, so I strongly suggest you either re-read that chapter or buy the book (the ebook version is only $9) so you can see why defending negative emotions is such a silly idea. The best summary I can make of my argument is that by about the age of 25, you’ve already felt every negative emotion known to human beings, many times each. You don’t need a reminder. I think you’ve got it. You don’t need to keep on being angry or lonely or sad or whatever for the rest of your life. That’s just stupid.

2. It’s “human” to feel negative emotions. When your girlfriend dumps you and you cry like a little bitch, it feels “human,” so it’s okay.

This is such a stupid argument I feel silly for even writing it. It feels just as “human” to feel positive emotions as negative emotions. So why focus on the negative ones?

3. You need to express your dark side (your rage, your anger, whatever), or else it will consume you or destroy you.

Two answers to that.

First, I agree that if you have rage, you should probably do something with it other than repressing it. However, my point is that you shouldn’t be experiencing the rage in the first place. Once you’re angry and trying to figure out what to do with your anger, in my opinion, you’ve already lost. The goal is to be happy, not angry.

Second, we’ve learned that “expressing” anger just makes you more angry. Pop psychology from the 70s and 80s said that if you’re mad, you need to go express your rage by screaming at a wall or something. Back when I was a small child in the 80s, my father, who was a psychologist, gathered me and my siblings together and showed us a piece of three-foot heavy garden hose that he had cut for us. He said that from now on, any time any of us were mad about anything, we were supposed to use that piece of hose to smash the couch as hard as we could, as long as we could, while screaming at the couch. He even demonstrated by whacking the couch a few times while screaming at it.

I’m not kidding. This was the kind of Societal Programming they filled kids’ minds with back then.

Since then, psychologists have learned that screaming your head off when you’re angry, just makes you more angry. For you guys who are married or have ever been married, you know what I mean. You have these long, drawn out, screaming arguments with your wife, and at the end of screaming at each other, are either of you happy? Nope, you’re still angry. Now you’re just angry and tired.

Again, I’m not saying you should completely repress your rage either. Some expression is probably warranted if the negative emotion is strong enough, but it’s a better idea to redirect your anger rather than just getting more angry. Any time I feel a little frustrated, I just redirect my thoughts to something happy, or my actions to something productive. This almost always works, and usually in seconds I’m not getting frustrated anymore.

4. Negative emotions spur you to solve problems and/or improve your condition.

Ah, but this is only partially true. Negative actions sometimes spur people to improve their conditions, but only with certain people and in certain scenarios. If you get angry about something, and it causes you to fix a problem, and then you’re rarely angry ever again, then I agree with you and that’s obviously a good thing. But if, after fixing your problem, you’re angry again about something a week later, and angry again about something else the week after that, and so on, then this argument is irrelevant.

So this school of thought is wrong in my opinion. Assuming you’re over the age of about 25 (at the oldest!), positive emotions are good and should be encouraged (both within yourself and others), negative emotions are bad and should be avoided.

School of Thought 2: Suppression of All Emotions, or at Least Desire

This is not a very popular school of thought, since it’s the opposite of today’s Societal Programming, but it’s certainly out there. Cloistered monks of various faiths, even to this day in Asia, will go to great lengths to reduce/eliminate all emotions (feeling them or showing them), or at a minimum reduce/eliminate desire, which is your core motivating engine. In the West this is called expressive suppression.

I’ll tell you my favorite story that debunks this concept, first told to me by prosperity consciousness guru Fredric Lehrman.

Fredric was hosting four Buddhist monks visiting from Asia. As he drove them into San Francisco for the first time, three of the monks were very excited and were exploding with animation. They completely freaked out and pointed out every little thing they saw. Cars, businesses, bridges, people, food, these guys went wild about everything.

One of the monks was just chill. He just stat back, relaxed, not really giving a shit, and was completely at peace.

Fredric asked him why he wasn’t freaking out at the city around him like the other monks. The monk explained that before becoming a monk, he was a decently famous Japanese actor. He was wealthy, traveled the world, had sex with lots of women, and experienced just about everything a person could experience. He enjoyed it, but felt he was missing out on his spiritual side. Then he chucked it all, became a monk, and found peace.

He went on to explain that the other three monks had been cloistered monks their entire lives. They had never been out of the monastery for any extended period of time, and had never really experienced the world around them. Now that they were seeing it for the first time, they were freaking out, but he had seen it all before, and was truly at peace.

Fredric noted from this story that one can’t just sit down and shut down emotions and/or desire without first experiencing those fun, wonderful, and perhaps more superficial things human beings crave, like sex, money, adventure, etc. Going out into the forest to be a hermit is not a good idea for growth…unless you’ve already “done it all.”

I wrote an article about this in relation to men and sex, about how men can get their crazy sexual desires out of their systems once they live out all of their their sexual fantasies. It’s here if you’re interested. I’m a very high sex drive man and always will be, and long-term sexual monogamy still doesn’t work, but I have to admit that since I’ve literally lived all of my sexual fantasies, I no longer have any desire to have threesomes with 19 year-olds (as just one example). I’m good to go now.

As humans, we are emotional creatures. Suppressing all emotions is probably not a good idea unless you’re a bizarre exception to the rule.

School of Thought 3: Maximize Positive Emotions, Minimize or Eliminate Negative Emotions

This is my school of thought, and one I believe in strongly. I still remember the very first time I was introduced to the concept. It was back in the early 1990s, when I was listening to a business cassette tape in my car. Speaking on the tape was my all time mentor, Brian Tracy. He began talking about emotions, and then he said,

The greatest discovery about negative emotions is that you don’t need them.

Brian went on to say that there is literally no need to experience any negative emotions at all. He said you should arrange your psyche and your life to the point where negative emotions aren’t a part of your existence. Prophetic words for me.

He didn’t go into detail on how to do this like I do in my book, and of course you can’t ever eliminate all negative emotions from your life. I’m a happy guy and negative emotions are very, very rare for me, by design. But someday my mom or dad will die, and yeah, I’ll feel bad when that happens. But that’s the point. How often do your parents die? How often does something this horrible or tragic happen in your life? The answer is, once every many, many years.

So if you feel sad/mad/angry/lonely/jealous once every several years, I think you win. If you’re feeling these feelings on a regular basis, all the god damn time, I think you’re losing at life. Assuming you’re over age 25 or so, there’s literally no reason to feel these negative feelings.

However, positive feelings are fucking great! You should encourage those at all times!

I make jokes about being a robot sometimes, but the reality is just the opposite, and those who know me personally can attest to this. I don’t have very many negative emotions, but I LOVE positive feelings and I’m swimming in positive emotions constantly, every day, all day long. I live a really good life. That’s what Alpha 2.0 is all about. I’m happy and smiling all day long like a big doofus, and I love it. Joy, happiness, excitement, anticipation, and positive, healthy sexual desire are my most common emotions on any given day.

So don’t treat negative emotions as good things, and don’t try to suppress all your emotions. Instead, embrace and cultivate your positive emotions as much as you can, and reduce or even eliminate all the negative emotions, as much as humanly possible.

That’s sounds pretty human to me.

46 Comments on “Emotions

  1. Fredric noted from this story that one can’t just sit down and shut down emotions and/or desire without first experiencing those fun, wonderful, and perhaps more superficial things human beings crave, like sex, money, adventure, etc. Going out into the forest to be a hermit is not a good idea for growth…unless you’ve already “done it all.”

    This is gold! There is this trend that many young people in my age range try to adopt all kinds of philosphical concepts into their lives and read books from old spiritual leaders, especially the new age people. And the result is, they are often not as happy with their lives as they could be. I can include myself into this group.

    But since the end of last year I started changing my life and working on the fundamentals of my own online business and my women life and I’m feeling better than ever before!

    You’re right on point BD, it’s important to learn which advice is applicable to you and your own life. A young person thrives best on experiencing all these “superficial” things. They aren’t superficial at all. They are the foundation for your spiritual development, because only when you have experienced them all first hand, you are able to reflect on them.

    The reason why I like this blog so much is because the advice given in a differenciated way, and not in a spiritual-guru-BS-one-size-fits-all-way.

    Ha! I sound like a BD disciple.

    Well – Hallelujah!

  2. I did a lot of research on emotions. Mostly due to the fact that I day-trade. I have to disagree on something first.

    Point that you’ve got wrong:

    The second school of thought is a subset of the first one. Accepting all emotions are equal is the first step in eliminating them. Maximizing your positive emotions and minimizing your negative ones will not help you attain that stoic,monk-like mindset.

    My extra input:

    1)You cannot suppress your emotions because you’re human. The reason why monk-like people can completely eliminate their emotions is because they live in a different environment.

    We live in an emotional environment.Not a monastery.  We have to worry about a lot of things. So, it’s not possible for us to live like them. But, there’s a solution.

    In an emotional world, the best solution is to be mindful of your emotions and react in a different way. Let me explain. Consider a situation where you’re angry at someone. There are three possibilities.

    i)A natural reaction by screaming/shouting at them. Most people do this.

    ii)Trying to deflect anger through meditation, positive visualization etc. Some smart people do this.

    iii)Accepting your anger. Instead of reacting, you reflect on your thoughts to find out why you’re angry. It takes a lot of time to master this and is impossible to most.

    I want to talk about the second one first. In a nutshell, the second way is -> denying or avoiding your emotions by distracting yourself with something else. This helps you to avoid it. I agree. But, did/can you master your emotions? No.  I bet you don’t control/avoid your ‘happiness’ . Right?

    Logically, this shows that the second way puts more emphasis on negative emotions by controlling them. Simply put, you cannot master your negative emotions because you try to avoid it.  So, you cannot achieve that monk-like mindset because you haven’t mastered all your emotions!!!  In this case, you haven’t mastered your anger because you don’t understand it!

    What is the third way? Let me explain it that anger example. So, you found yourself angry at someone. Instead of arguing/shouting at them, you have to “reflect” on your thoughts.

    “Why am I angry? I know that anger results from two things – 1)when things go wrong AND 2) they’re unexpected. So, in this case, why am I angry at that person? Because I trusted them? Or is it because I am merely stupid? What is it?”

    This is just a crude chain of thought that should actually happen. Yes, anger rises when things went wrong and unexpected. Stuff like this can only be understood once you embrace your emotions. This is why I recommend the third way. I know that this seems hard but trust me, you can do it. It’s easy, make it your goal for a month. The first fifty or so times you have to force yourself to reflect on your emotions but after that, it becomes intuitive.

    I did a lot more research on emotions. It’s possible to attain that monk-like status and not let your emotions affect you. To do that, you have to first embrace your emotions. There is no other way.

    2) A dirty guide for the 2 negative emotions:

    Anger results from stupidity. It arises 1)when things go wrong and 2)unexpected. You don’t get angry when it rains because it satisfies condition (1) but not (2) since we have naturally learned to expect rain.

    Fear/anxiety results from lack of a definite plan or idea(a vague definition). Simply put , uncertainity -> fear , anxiety. Example: You are anxious when speaking in public for the first time(because you’re uncertain about the outcome).

     

    This is how I regulate my emotions when I’m trading. Traditional trading psychology is wrong. It’s impossible to separate your emotions from your trading. So, I embraced my emotions and started reflecting on my thoughts when they occur. That was my trading breakthrough. I didn’t make a single emotional trade since then. My life changed.

    BD, try the third method for a month with 100% commitment (Heck, you will notice the results in one or two weeks). You won’t regret it.  Warning: You might attain that monk-like mindset.

  3. Good thing there’s a 4th way: http://www.mansguidetopsychology.com

    Psychology is in a real mess but it’s not surprising since it’s based on 19th century French philosophy which was the worst period for philosophy in history. That’s also what modern American socialist politics is based on, not coincidentally.

    Fortunately there’s now an approach to psychology based on Aristotle and the values of the enlightenment, which was the same thing the founding fathers based the constitution on. That’s also the philosophy underlying the parts of America that still work and are keeping it from complete collapse, again not at all coincidentally.

  4. @thescalpmaster: Most people know why they are angry. The problem is that they blame everyone else for their emotions. In most cases, as BD advocates (and he is right as I also noticed this in my life and the people around me), the reason for having those negative emotions is your fault.

    It is your fault that you didn’t take the time to protect yourself from expectations. Or any other thing for that matter. You master negative emotions by first understanding that most negative emotions that happen to you are your fault. Worry about yourself, not about others. If they don’t understand their mistakes and they want to lead a miserable life by blaming others let them be. You don’t have time for them(you can give advices but do not have expectations), you only have time for you.

    This also applies to business. If something you do doesn’t go the way you expect it to go, then you must change your approach. Being angry for the bad result doesn’t offer anything. Instead your mentality in how to change this bad result to a good result is what counts.

  5. I’m curious where you would place negative emotions that serve as fuel for different areas of your life.

    Two things to that, one, a famous quote from Tony Robbins that I look at occasionally :

    “Failure and devastation are some of the most important things that can happen to us, because they are either going to break you or create drive. 

     
    When people succeed, they party. When they fail, they ponder. And rarely at a party do you change your life. But when you ponder, you’re going to take your life to another level.”

    And then take some athletes for example. Kobe Bryant used to say all the time that a big part of his drive was to prove all his doubters wrong. That oftentimes when he got up in the morning to train he would think of all the times someone wronged him or doubted him, and would use it for fuel to go an work his ass off (obviously he became an alltime great).

    Same with Michael Jordan, who used his anger as fuel. Even Paul Piece from the celtics…I just watched an interview the other day where he said his rookie season, his motivation to go and workout each morning was thinking about every team that passed him up on draft night, and that was a big chip on his shoulder going into his first season, and why he did so well (he’s a hall of famer now).

    So even Tony…when he says “create drive”, I assume it’s not some one off thing where you feel the negative emotion for a day or week and then it’s over, and you’re on your way. I assume he’s referring to remembering the feeling and using it as fuel to drive you on your way to whatever, the gym and getting a great body, doing well in business, etc.

    Curious with your take on that?
     

  6. “I’m happy and smiling all day long like a big doofus, and I love it. Joy, happiness, excitement, anticipation, and positive, healthy sexual desire are my most common emotions on any given day.”

    THIS IS IT!

  7. I’m also INTJ.  In your opinion, what is the most important thing for us types to learn and implement game?

  8. Same with Michael Jordan, who used his anger as fuel. Even Paul Piece from the celtics…I just watched an interview the other day where he said his rookie season, his motivation to go and workout each morning was thinking about every team that passed him up on draft night, and that was a big chip on his shoulder going into his first season, and why he did so well (he’s a hall of famer now).

    Yes, this is where I sit.   BD isn’t a success- or mastery-minded person though, he’s designed his life around a steady stream of contentment, with fewer lows and fewer highs in exchange for a more steady baseline. This is a choice that gets you to “good enough,” which is perfectly fine for many if not most, but no one who’s achieved greatness speaks this way.

    Its all personal preference though, one man’s treasure is another man’s trash.   I love a chip on the shoulder fueling greatness, that’s good stuff for me personally, and something most all of my idols speak of.   I like to risk it all, put myself on the line, and either win or lose.   The wins feel amazing, and the losses create growth in their pain, a pain that hurts so good when channeled correctly.    Middle of the road ongoing baseline is a tedious approach to life to me.

  9. I’m also INTJ.  In your opinion, what is the most important thing for us types to learn and implement game?

    He already addressed this.
    http://www.blackdragonblog.com/2012/09/23/using-your-myers-briggs-personality-type-to-get-laid/

    Before making an important decision, I always consult my emotions first and foremost. So that I can be aware of my bias. Once I’ve located them, I lock them down so they don’t affect my decision.

    However, this robotic process will make you restless over time. So it’s vital to sit down and address your emotions from time to time. This makes more in tune with your inner cave-man. As an introvert with a lot of free time as a kid, this came naturally to me. I was more than a little confused when I grew up to see many people not know themselves, especially women who have more active emotions than us.

    Yes, this is where I sit.   BD isn’t a success- or mastery-minded person though, he’s designed his life around a steady stream of contentment, with fewer lows and fewer highs in exchange for a more steady baseline. This is a choice that gets you to “good enough,” which is perfectly fine for many if not most, but no one who’s achieved greatness speaks this way.

    BD had a very stressful 20s from what I gather. He is pro-success, has a Mission he speaks highly of, plows through a lot of work with laser beam focus. If by SUCCESS, you mean world wide conquest and/or raising a company like apple that makes you famous, then you live in an entirely different world, my friend. His goals are different. He avoids forcing the world into a supersized ambition specifically so that he can master his life. Having too many variables that can mess up your plans, making your success vulnerable and unstable. As you know, great things are often very fickle.

    I presume you’re younger than he is and therefore have a more fiery ambition. You needn’t change the world to live a fulfilling life. I’d much rather fly unshackled and make my life prosper than to use my wings to carry the world on my broken back. As always, YOUR individual happiness should be your only concern, as selfish as that sounds, so there’s a limit to how big your ‘greatness’ can be before it has diminishing returns on your happiness.

    But yes, you should use every resource at your disposal to reach long-term and consistent happiness. And that can be your negative emotions. Once you reach it, you shouldn’t stoke the flames again as that will endanger your happiness and lower your lifespan. Before you reach it though, anger yourself if that works. I don’t see why BD put the age of 25-ish as a limit. Long-term and consistent happiness should be your only cue when you need to stop putting ups and downs in your life and avoiding negative emotions.

    BD claims that women get bored of everlasting happiness so they can’t have that due to their biology. While I’m not sure of it myself, be thankful that you’re a man anyway.

    None of this applies to me, though. I need to be stressful and angry for now. I’m 17 so fuck you BD. XD

  10. Fredric noted from this story that one can’t just sit down and shut down emotions and/or desire without first experiencing those fun, wonderful, and perhaps more superficial things human beings crave, like sex, money, adventure, etc. Going out into the forest to be a hermit is not a good idea for growth…unless you’ve already “done it all.”

    BD, did you read Siddhartha (by Hermann Hesse)? It’s some kind of hybrid buddhist/hedonist tale that suggests precisely what you said above (among other things), and in the fictional world of the novel, Buddha is supposed to be just that: a guy who had “done it all” before embracing asceticism, and whose teachings were mistaken for a condemnation of pleasure and emotion. Hermann Hesse is a grim author overall (cough cough Steppenwolf cough cough), but this one is an interesting read.

  11. BD claims that women get bored of everlasting happiness so they can’t have that due to their biology. While I’m not sure of it myself, be thankful that you’re a man anyway.

    This is as Disney fantasy as anything out there, with some Jesus on top.  Everlasting happiness?   That’s what you hear in fairy tales and at church.

    EVERYONE gets bored with “everlasting happiness” (except possibly those who have suffered significant trauma and thus are thrown off the typical course and reactively seek a continual emotional baseline.)   A continual state of elevated serotonin and dopamine isn’t even physically and biologically possible, so anything close to “everlasting” would be minor contentment at best. . . which is a tedious perma-state to most, man and woman.

    You look to pretty much anyone worthy of a biography, and they all took pleasure in the emotional ups and downs that come from putting your ass on the line to live an exceptional life. Its not about avoiding the downs, its about how you respond to the downs that inevitably come from living a full life unafraid of risk/reward.

     

  12. the second way is -> denying or avoiding your emotions by distracting yourself with something else. This helps you to avoid it. I agree. But, did/can you master your emotions? No.  I bet you don’t control/avoid your ‘happiness’ . Right?

    Have I mastered my emotions? No. And I don’t care to. As you already implied, that would take a hell of a lot of work. I don’t have the interest.

    Have I optimized my emotions? Yes.

    That’s good enough for me.

    I’m curious where you would place negative emotions that serve as fuel for different areas of your life.

    Two things to that, one, a famous quote from Tony Robbins that I look at occasionally :

    “Failure and devastation are some of the most important things that can happen to us, because they are either going to break you or create drive.

    I mentioned that in the post. IF, and only IF, you use your TEMPORARY negative emotions to achieve a higher PERMANENT level of happiness, then they are valid in my view. Otherwise they’re a waste of time.

    I’m also INTJ.  In your opinion, what is the most important thing for us types to learn and implement game?

    Stop reading, over-thinking, and mentally masturbating, and get out into the real world and take action. INTJs are great but they tend to spend a little too much time in their own heads instead of getting to fucking work.

    BD isn’t a success- or mastery-minded person though, he’s designed his life around a steady stream of contentment,

    Correct, more or less. I’m success-oriented but not mastery-oriented. My goal is freedom and happiness, not mastery. Mastery takes way too long. Read about the 90% rule for more details.

    with fewer lows and fewer highs in exchange for a more steady baseline.

    Oops, now you’re utterly incorrect, and missed the entire point of the article above, as well as many of my other articles. My life doesn’t involve fewer highs and lows. It involves consistent highs and near-zero lows.

    Keep the highs, maximize them, and increase them. Eliminate all lows (as much as you can). Minimizing the highs is stupid.

    BD, did you read Siddhartha (by Hermann Hesse)?

    Yes, but it was long ago and I don’t remember much. I remember liking it though.

  13. Oops, now you’re utterly incorrect, and missed the entire point of the article above, as well as many of my other articles. My life doesn’t involve fewer highs and lows. It involves consistent highs and near-zero lows.

    I just addressed this in my reply above, but no, YOU are utterly incorrect here.   Consistent elevated levels of serotonin and dopamine (the “highs” in life) are not physically and biologically possible.   You are NOT consistently high with near-zero lows, that’s a snake oil sales pitch (that you’re perhaps using to fool yourself). You are mildly content at best if you maintain emotional consistency, scientifically.

  14. @Chester Cheeto

    Apologies for triggering your Anti-SP mentality. If you bothered to read between the lines, you’d know what I mean. Just substitute the term ‘everlasting happiness’ with ‘long-term and consistent happiness’.

    There are ways to maintain a consistent 9 or 8.5 level of happiness. You can’t maintain a level 10, granted, but there is still room for a mild high. Living such a life doesn’t mean you are impervious to 1 or 10s, though. It just means they happen much less often. You should aim for an optimal lifestyle. No one is selling you a ‘perfect’ life here.

    For example, BD and I can smoke pot and drink to boost our happiness to a perfect but transient 10. But as you and I get older, accomplish some of our dreams, find a mission and get a firm grip on the variables in our lives, we will learn to optimize it as best as we can. Just wait and see…

    If you’re still adamant about your ‘scientific’ claims, I’d like to see you present some actual evidence to show me why BD is an abnormal phenomenon.

  15. If you’re still adamant about your ‘scientific’ claims, I’d like to see you present some actual evidence

    My claim is that high levels of consistent “highs” are not possible.   If consistency is the goal, you’re aiming for a consistent middle ground.   If you want “highs” you have to live a more risk/reward life and risk “lows.” Thus truly achieving happiness “highs” ends up requiring the ability to handle and channel lows, not avoiding or eliminating them.

    As for evidence, when consistent high levels of dopamine are present, significant issues arise: http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/04/01/high-dopamine-levels-symptoms-adverse-reactions/

    When consistent high levels of serotonin are present, significant issues arise:  http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/04/04/high-serotonin-levels-symptoms-adverse-reactions/

    These highs are bursts, and come with lows.  Its how the brain works.  You can’t maintain consistent highs and if you do you run into an array of health problems.

    For the record I’m not young, I’m an older guy.

  16. I have to admit, I don’t have much time to thoroughly read that. But I did skim through it. It seemed like the article was a warning for people who want to know about certain serotonin and dopamine increasing drugs. As I stated, anyone can smoke pot and do whatever drugs to reach a transient 10. Obviously that will mess you up later on. Pursuing an up and down life will do that to you too, albeit the effects show up gradually.

    The reason, as it just dawned on me, is stress. I forgot this variable but if want a 8.5 level of happiness, you can do what BD did, get your life in order, pursue pleasuring activities, eliminate stress, find a Mission that rewards you with mini-goals so that you can feed your challenge seeking ambition. You’ll never be bored of your happiness if you put some artificial challenges in front of you that DON’T add actual stress to your life. (Take up hobbies, martial arts, etc)

    How about that? No artificial stimulants to mess up your mind, no stress to cause agitation and a bunch of never-ending challenges that feed you and keep you excited.

  17. It seemed like the article was a warning for people who want to know about certain serotonin and dopamine increasing drugs.

    Yes because the brain won’t actually do that to itself unless there’s an abnormality.   That’s my whole point. Consistent “high” cannot be acheived.

    The reason, as it just dawned on me, is stress. I forgot this variable but if want a 8.5 level of happiness, you can do what BD did, get your life in order, pursue pleasuring activities, eliminate stress, find a Mission that rewards you with mini-goals so that you can feed your challenge seeking ambition. You’ll never be bored of your happiness if you put some artificial challenges in front of you that DON’T add actual stress to your life. (Take up hobbies, martial arts, etc)

    I think living a stressful life is a bad thing, but I think stress avoidance within a balanced life is also a bad thing (if happiness “highs” are a goal. I’m not trying to be judgmental I’m pointing out a significant inconsistency).   You have to take risks, you have to CARE, to achieve elevated states of happiness, which means risking lows.

    This comes down to BD’s main point in the first paragraph of “some have come to the incorrect conclusion that I am against emotions.”

    And “some” are saying this, IMO after reading this article, because you HAVE TO CARE to reach elevated states of happiness.  And with caring, comes pain, loss, failure, and withdrawal.  Its part of life.

    So for those who choose to risk caring (like MJ and Paul Piece, the original examples given by someone else), life becomes about channeling the lows that inevitably come in the right direction. Avoiding them would mean surrendering their purpose in life, which is to care deeply enough about something that they risk getting hurt by it.

  18. A lot of smoke and no fire is what I see. I don’t think we actually disagree enough that would justify our continued argument.

    To summarize…aim for a reasonably high happiness that’s reasonably consistent. As long as you can get that, I don’t care if you have to eliminate stress or shoot yourself in the foot. To each their own. Just don’t knock it till you try it.

    Point being, I’m talking about this as a theoretical concept as I haven’t achieved my desired happy life yet. So I’m not qualified to continue arguing.

  19. Consistent elevated levels of serotonin and dopamine (the “highs” in life) are not physically and biologically possible.

    I’m not talking about biological levels of serotonin and dopamine. I’m talking about overall happiness levels. When I say “high” I mean I’m between a 8 and a 10 on the happiness 1 to 10 scale at all times (with unusual exceptions; everyone has bad days occasionally). I’m not saying I’m at 10 at all times; that would indeed be impossible.

  20. I’m not talking about biological levels of serotonin and dopamine. I’m talking about overall happiness levels. When I say “high” I mean I’m between a 8 and a 10 on the happiness 1 to 10 scale at all times (with unusual exceptions; everyone has bad days occasionally). I’m not saying I’m at 10 at all times; that would indeed be impossible.

    You’re probably at a 6, if we’re using a true 1-10 of the potential levels of happiness. Just on the other side of feeling good on a regular basis.  Ecstasy would be 10, and you’re not within 20% of full potential ecstacy on an everyday basis, your brain won’t support that.

    You can’t separate happiness from the neurochemicals in the brain that create happiness, and they work a certain way.  You can’t just will the underlying biological function of happiness away, that’s ridiculous. If you’re talking happiness, you’re talking biology.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201211/the-neurochemicals-happiness

    “Therefore, our brain has a wellspring of self-produced neurochemicals that turn the pursuits and struggles of life into pleasure and make us feel happy when we achieve them. ”

    You need pursuits and struggles in your life to experience pleasure.  We’re biologically designed that way.   Without struggle, there is no elevated state of happiness, there is only baseline.   With struggle comes failure.  With failure comes down feelings.   This is all normal and good, down feelings included.  How you channel these down feelings is what’s important.  Avoidance is not in your best interest.

    The article goes down how to trigger each of the happiness chemicals.

    To trigger dopamine, you have to set a goal and achieve it.  This risks failure and a decreases in dopamine that will make you feel less happy until accomplished, when you’ll feel rewarded with increased happiness for job well done.   This is good stuff!  Not to be avoided.  Its our fundamental biology at play.

    To trigger oxytoxin, you have to involve yourself in a romantic connection.   This risks breakup withdrawel.  This is good stuff!  You don’t want to not go down the rabbit hole with a girl out of fear of withdrawal down the road, you will NOT experience the same levels of happiness this way.

    etc etc etc.

    They all include risk/reward.   Its human biology.  You either coast along at mildly content, or you have to CARE about things enough to be hurt by them, and take risks.

    You seem to promote detachment to the point of not caring. THIS is why people say “you feel fewer emotions”. . . you actively promote detachment, the opposite of emotion. And claim this leads to extended elevated levels of happiness. This simply isn’t how it works at a fundamental level. You’re selling withdrawal of feelings in exchange for mild contentment, not ongoing elevated happiness.

  21. i Think I have reached the age, mental age, to transition from 1) to 2).

    Re-read Siddhartha, and, even before, Mhadava’s Jivanmuktiviveka, or the Veda, or the Upanishad, should you want to move to state 2).

    The algorithms of normal human minds aren’t of limitless variety, and I see no point to watching the same scenes all over, endlessly.
    Comedy has never been my genre, and (I say with thoughts to an old post of yours) while I seriously hate the dominant the submissive look worthless to me.

     

    The independent?
    You mean really independent?

    Dostoevsky once wrote they are 1 in 10000.
    Maybe it’s 1 in 1000, 1 in 500.

    Usually, if you for example hear somebody about the Middle East, fascism, men & dating (if the speaker is a woman), iDevices, IQ, you can predict if they were born in some nations or some others, their ethnicity, if they have had to bear being overlooked by everyone they liked or not, if they can afford Apple products or can not, and so on.
    That you can know who they are by knowing their “thoughts” means those thoughts don’t take their shape freely: they’d have to be umpredictable.

    Talk with a woman from Vietnam and she’ll say virginity means nothing. Talk to an Indonesian and she’ll say it’s important. They have what they believe their ideas. Yes. They, obviously, don’t notice these supposedly individual ideas are all the same for all people within a territory, and different but again uniform beyond the border.

    No, comedy has never been my type of entertainment.

  22. Chester Cheeto, you either misunderstand BD or are strawmanning him. I’ll be long-winded if you don’t mind.

    Misunderstanding: outcome independence as defined on this blog is not synonymous with not caring. He doesn’t advocate detachment, he’s very much a hedonist if I understand anything about him. I’m not gonna go into the details; there just are scores of relevant articles you needed to read and didn’t (or read them and misrepresented them, which leads me to: )

    Strawmanning: you’re imposing your own definition/preferred view of the 1-10 scale, one that inevitably makes BD’s “8/10 or more” claim wrong. You want the 10 to mean some kind of permanent orgasm or similar, which is obviously unsustainable.

    You’re right that the biology of human happiness works with stick and carrot patterns, but that doesn’t mean everyone including those who claim to be happy are stuck with an average of 5-6 or less “because there are always highs and lows”. A bear that finds honey every time it’s hungry still had to feel a little tingle of hunger, start searching, and quickly find the treat; that’s still an extremely happy bear. And if it’s evopsych you want, here’s evopsych: the very fact that animal happiness works “stick and carrot”-like means that when natural selection is concerned, there’s a point of of diminishing returns when your genes program you to keep wanting more with the same intensity – and therefore pain – regardless of how much has been achieved. Megalomaniacs who stay super-thirsty for more are not the norm; the norm is that as you have more, you never stop wanting more, but the wanting does diminish with each increment, without quite reaching zero. Natural selection has never been about perfection, just about beating the competition by a hair. All that to say that some people really are way, way more satisfied by life than others and are very far from a “meh” 5/10.

    8/10 isn’t some scientific claim of continuously having your dopamine at 80+% of optimum (any more than saying “My patience is down to 30%, you better hurry” would express something accurate about your brain states, or the exact length of time before you lose patience) , it’s simply the state of mind of being roughly 80% satisfied with how your life is, with 99% being something like “frankly, I want nothing more. I mean, screwing one more top model per week would start to feel like an indigestion, although a light saber or going to Mars would be cool, in an ultimate-icing-on-the-cake sort of way”: he’s not permanently high, he’s just high no less frequently than he wishes, and he’s not upset frequently enough for the memory of it to have any big impact on what goes through his mind when he hears the question “Are you happy?”.

    I understand your point about ‘lows’; if i was “bored of being satisfied all the time” I’d probably throw myself in the jungle or something, to experience some distress, but again, in spite of the suffering involved, I’d be happy about that (ignoring the misleading question of whether I’m experiencing pleasure all the time during that). Let’s not dig into the philosophy of “wanting the struggle” to feel that moments of pleasure are “well-earned”, etc, this comment is already super-long.

    At the risk of sounding repetitive, what people mean when they answer “happiness” questions with 1-10 scales is not linearly proportional (though it definitely is linked) to their dopamine levels: it’s the consequence of what memory and personality ‘deduce’ from those levels when the person is asked to provide a number between 1 and 10. Reports of happiness are not reports of pleasure at moment t, they are a global assessment of the remembered past moments t1, t2 etc as perceived in the moment of recalling them. Maybe I was in great pain when I was doing squats in the gym, but I’m happy about that, and my happiness doesn’t require ditching the squats – it would probably make me unhappy, actually.

    Besides, you’re contradicting yourself when you start by admitting that “it’s all personal preference” and then insisting that BD must be at a 6. By definition, if what’s described is BD’s “preference” and if he’s achieving it, then he has the right to claim much more than a 6. (“When it comes to consciousness, the appearance is the reality.” John Searle) You’re very happy if you think you’re very happy, doesn’t matter that it’s subjective because precisely we’re asking about what the subject feels.

    NB: I have a history of having my primary points ignored and my secondary points bickered with, so please address the parts in bold if you intend to respond. Thanks.

  23. Have you read The Power of Now?  I’ve been listening to the audio book when I drive and walk the dog… it has helped a lot with this… I also meditate regularly

  24. Chester – Jesus dude. You really need take a deep breath and get your nose out of your college science textbooks.

    i o p – I don’t understand your comment.

    Sean – I read the first few chapters of Power of Now but it was so airy faerie gay that it annoyed me and I couldn’t continue. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad book (I’d have to read the entire book to make that judgement), nor do I disagree with some of its points, but it definitely wasn’t for me. I’m too concrete a guy I suppose.

  25. Hi BD, I love your blog. Just started reading it.

    I know how to manage this lifestyle with honesty now, so thanks a bunch! My original plan was probably just keep my playing around quiet and wait for stuff to blow up in my face. Haha.

    I was wondering if you could give me a little advice. I slept with a girl twice, she is hot and local enough I let her stay the night the second time and mentally gave her MLTR status. She’s cool with polyamory, she isn’t a poor peasant girl (I live in Thailand) and she’s sexy.

    Yesterday she messaged me saying would I like to eat with her (very normal in Thailand as eating out is very very cheap), so I said sure. The cheeky girl then replied saying ‘Treat me next week,’ can you believe that?

    My reply was ‘Don’t ever tell me what to do again, we just met, if I treat you it’s because I want to, not because you asked.’

    So far so good right.. except now I’m in a pickle. Over the next few times we go out, I’m sure we’ll end up going for food – either before or after the act. What are my options for avoiding the beginning of provider status?

    Socially, Thai girls expect to be treated from time to time and I haven’t yet bought her anything. I’m fine with treating my girls, it’s not a problem at all, it’s just that now the girl has had the cheek to ask, I’m quite sure getting my wallet out after that first meal is going to reinforce that cheeky behavior even though I initially said no.

    Please would you talk me though the options I  have? Noting going Dutch is probably not an option I would consider.. I need something else. Not going to food is also impossible as many Thais eat out 3x per day instead of cooking at home.

    Sincerely yours

    ClearT

  26. @Clear thought

    It’s clear that you’ve met recently or you haven’t established your alpha frame yet. Don’t be such a hardass about it. Reframe your relationship by laughing at her and telling her that little boys buy ticket meals. Make it clear to her that to be with you she needs to dance to your tunes . Not hers (you don’t need to verbalize this). Stay cheap (even by Thai standards). Let her become frustrated if that’s what it takes. You should be ready to walk away should she persist (she probably won’t anyway if you don’t budge).

    You need to show her that a relationship with you means sex. Not validation. Not free meals. It’s okay if she still expects these things from others but not you. You are the alpha.

    Two criticisms:
    1) You’ve had sex with her twice and she’s already an MLTR? Please tell me you have a really low libio because otherwise that means you’ve only known her for a short while. Remember that you need to have been dating for AT LEAST 6 months before romancing her, meanwhile you have to cut down on communication and contact severely at all times. Once per week dates and short texts. You should be a busy man building your empire. You ignore these relationship category rules at your own risk. You’re more than welcome to tweak them to fit your style but don’t complain if something goes wrong when you go off the script.

    2)Please refrain from asking questions like this on posts that are completely irrelevant. And keep reading. Questions like this are answered all over the blog.

  27. I’d rather BD did an article about ego and how to micromanage that. I’m quite convinced that narcissism has been coded in our DNA by now lol, as everyone feels like they are a “victim” of something.

    Pretty much everyone would accept his school of thought when it comes to emotion management. It makes perfect sense to throw away bad emotions and only feel good ones. But the only reason people deny that is because their ego gets in the way. My suppressed ego is why I can troll and rustle jimmies (whenever I’m not being serious) without a second thought without anyone really being able to successfully do the same to me.

    We need to start talking about EGO management, since narcissistic traits are soon going to ruin everything for everyone going into the 2020s. Its just starting now with keyboard warriors online, its only a matter of time before people irl start doing this.

  28. @ Pyro Nagus

    Who said anything about romance? We slept together twice, which means I’ve known her for 2 weeks and seen her on 2 occasions as per the rules. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with giving somebody fast MLTR status. I love to go out with a hottie and show her off and don’t have to wait an arbitrary amount of time to enjoy this pleasure – unless I have misread something somewhere. I just got here, some girls have to fill the role.

     

    Fair point on the ‘hardass’ comment, but to be fair I was genuinely outraged at the pure cheek. Humor would have been the better way to go though, I can see that now.

  29. You need pursuits and struggles in your life to experience pleasure.

    It may well be that our biological wiring of emotions is relative, so highs only make sense in contrast with lows. But first of all, having experienced some lows, I don’t need to feel that anymore to appreciate my highs.

    Secondly, imagine an engineer tackling some complex problem, e. g. designing some important part of an airplane. He tries an approach, runs the calculations and finds it to be unacceptably dangerous. Is this a struggle? Sure. Does this stress him out? No, he knows there are other approaches to try out. Does he need terrible things to happen, such as people dying during testing, to experience pleasure and happiness when he eventually solves the problem? Or does anyone want to say that if the engineer immediately thinks of a clever way, tests it and it immediately succeeds on all accounts without failures, that engineer won’t be happy once his solution is implemented and is saving fuel and preventing catastrophes?

    you HAVE TO CARE to reach elevated states of happiness

    After learning of BD’s way and doing some research for myself, some seemingly contradictory things happened to me—I stopped caring and I started caring.

    I’m no longer concerned about people who aren’t concerned about themselves. I give advice as long as it’s heeded—they stop listening, I stop caring. But the same approach has let me extend much more warmth towards people. I used to be stressed out by women—no longer. I’m rather gentle and kind by nature, and I’m no longer withholding any of that fearing it could be misunderstood. I can enjoy the company of a woman without any stress, I can caress her as much as I like and if she won’t accept it, there are others that will.

    The quoted statement is, of course, correct. An excellent article related to it is “Something to Protect” from Less Wrong. What you don’t have to do is let the object of your care ruin your life by neglecting their own.

  30. Sean – I read the first few chapters of Power of Now but it was so airy faerie gay that it annoyed me and I couldn’t continue. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad book (I’d have to read the entire book to make that judgement), nor do I disagree with some of its points, but it definitely wasn’t for me. I’m too concrete a guy I suppose.

     

    Haha, I can see why you’d say that… but it has been extremely practical for me.

  31. I’m also INTJ.  In your opinion, what is the most important thing for us types to learn and implement game?

    @Robert17

    I’m INTJ too, so I can relate to your problem.

    The most difficult thing I did when learning game was exactly what BD said: to stop overthinking. Game is a very interesting topic when you’re starting, so it’s easy for us “strategists” to be stuck in a lot of theories and try to dissect every aspect of seduction. Don’t fall for that trap!!!

    Seduction should be fluid in it’s essence; a very light and fun aspect of a man’s life. Do not spoil it with a bunch of nonsensical academics. Learn the fundamentals and go out there to have fun and improve.

  32. Who said anything about romance? We slept together twice, which means I’ve known her for 2 weeks and seen her on 2 occasions as per the rules. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with giving somebody fast MLTR status. I love to go out with a hottie and show her off and don’t have to wait an arbitrary amount of time to enjoy this pleasure – unless I have misread something somewhere. I just got here, some girls have to fill the role.

    Fair enough. My nose was off. You’re free to go. if you haven’t been too romantic then that’s fine. Just remember. Your cue as to when you’ve messed up is when she starts enforcing rules onto you and becoming dramatic when you don’t adhere to them.

    This being said, messing up is not all that bad when you’re starting out. You should have some flexibility to try things out.

    Sometimes I go directly against some dating/redpill advices just to gain some firsthand experience of what comes my way. Experimentation.

  33. Chester – Jesus dude. You really need take a deep breath and get your nose out of your college science textbooks.

    You claim you enjoy, and actually AKS FOR, legitimate well-thought-out challenges to your ideas.  Then you skip out entirely with an ad hom when presented with a very reasonable and thorough scientifically based counter.   Come on now, let me “Jesus dude” right back at you.

  34. Secondly, imagine an engineer tackling some complex problem, e. g. designing some important part of an airplane. He tries an approach, runs the calculations and finds it to be unacceptably dangerous. Is this a struggle? Sure. Does this stress him out? No, he knows there are other approaches to try out. Does he need terrible things to happen, such as people dying during testing, to experience pleasure and happiness when he eventually solves the problem? Or does anyone want to say that if the engineer immediately thinks of a clever way, tests it and it immediately succeeds on all accounts without failures, that engineer won’t be happy once his solution is implemented and is saving fuel and preventing catastrophes?

    There will be MANY ups and downs experienced throughout this process.   And yes, the more downs there are, the harder and more important the challenge, the greater the sense of pride and happiness and badass-ness will be felt once the objective was accomplished.

    This doesn’t mean “stressed out like a single mother with 4 jobs” lows, but there will be many lows and disheartening phases to any difficult goal you set for yourself or any person you wish to bond with. These lows are GOOD, and its all about how you CHANNEL them into personal growth. Avoidance = personal stagnation and thus boredom, active avoidance moves you closer to depression than happiness.

    I’m no longer concerned about people who aren’t concerned about themselves. I give advice as long as it’s heeded—they stop listening, I stop caring. But the same approach has let me extend much more warmth towards people. I used to be stressed out by women—no longer. I’m rather gentle and kind by nature, and I’m no longer withholding any of that fearing it could be misunderstood. I can enjoy the company of a woman without any stress, I can caress her as much as I like and if she won’t accept it, there are others that will.

    I agree that learning to not give the right shits is a key to a happy life.  But likewise, you WANT TO CARE STRONGLY at the same time about things that matter, IF you wish to achieve higher states of happiness and ongoing fulfillment.    With caring, comes downs.  This cannot be avoided.  BD’s premise of “all highs, no lows” and his “here’s the 3 options in life” are the strawmen here.

  35. You claim you enjoy, and actually AKS FOR, legitimate well-thought-out challenges to your ideas.  Then you skip out entirely with an ad hom when presented with a very reasonable and thorough scientifically based counter.

    I didn’t ad hom you, and I already told you I’m not talking about biological endorphin highs which are not the same thing has happiness, but you don’t want to hear that. But you’re free to have any opinion you like.

  36. I didn’t ad hom you, and I already told you I’m not talking about biological endorphin highs which are not the same thing has happiness, but you don’t want to hear that. But you’re free to have any opinion you like.

    That’s what happiness is, a collection of well balanced neurotransmitters (endorphins being one.)   “Highs” was YOUR WORD that YOU used to describe your supposed perma-state.  What kind of constant ongoing happiness “high” are you experiencing that doesn’t involve the basic biology behind mood? You’re dodging some very solid points here.

  37. This will be my last comment to you on this topic, because I dislike having to repeat myself. Here I go for the third time. I’ll try to be as clear as I can. When I say “highs” or “happiness,” I’m not talking about a chemical endorphin rush that you get when your ride a roller coaster or have an orgasm. I’m talking about an overall feeling of general happiness, as rated from 1 to 10.

    As I type these words, my happiness level right now is at about a 8.5, if not a 9. That’s happiness, not an endorphin rush. That doesn’t mean I’m cumming right now. It means I’m really happy about today, tomorrow, and my life right at this moment. Some really great things happened in my business yesterday, today has been a really good day, I’ve lost a lot of weight lately, and tomorrow I go to Vegas!!! All super exciting to me, and that’s my typical week.

    If you want to say none of that counts because I’m not having an orgasm or its equivalent right now, that’s fine, let’s agree to disagree.

    And by the way, I also have lots of endorphin rushes too. I have far more sex on a regular basis than the average man, by far, as just one example. So even with your definition of “highs,” saying that I’ve “minimized the highs” in my life is still utterly inaccurate. The exact opposite is true.

    But this is my last comment to you about this. You’ve got to stop attaching anal, technical scientific definitions to everything I’m saying here, which is why I said you need to get your nose out of your college textbooks (because you do). But whatever! Have fun with your opinions!

  38. I’m going through psychoanalysis and there is a heavy emphasis on experiencing repressed emotions from childhood that I never got the chance to express as a child. For example, I’m angry at my father for not spending enough time with me, but he wasn’t around much and I was expected to be a “nice boy” and keep a smiling face.

    I think these types of emotions are good to express and get out of your system even if you’re an adult. Deep, repressed feelings generally manifest as anxiety and neurosis as adults.

    Other than that, I agree with #3. I wouldn’t continue going to church if it made me angry or upset, for example.

  39. You’ve got to stop attaching anal, technical scientific definitions to everything I’m saying here, which is why I said you need to get your nose out of your college textbooks (because you do). But whatever! Have fun with your opinions!

    That addresses one of my three points.  Fine, you can have your arbitrary 1-10 scale and call yourself a 9. If that’s your argument there’s nothing I can say, its a pointless circularity that entirely falls on however you care to define it.

    My other points:  you must CARE to reach elevated states of happiness.   With CARING comes ups and downs and potential great pain.   How do you eliminate the downs and great pains that come from caring from your life?  How do you care to great enough levels to achieve ongoing consistent elevated happiness, and then not feel pain during the down times?   If you care about a person, you’re vulnerable to being hurt by them.  If you care about your business, you’re vulnerable to being hurt by it.   Vulnerability is a part of achieving happiness. No business will be constant success, no person will be constantly positive.   That needs to be squared away somehow, does not add up how you can experience the highs of caring without the lows during down times.

    And then I made the point that the above round peg/square hole is why people see you as less emotional.  People who experience ongoing elevated levels of happiness know that a crash is inevitable.   You WILL lose sometimes, and if you CARE, it will HURT.   For you to claim minimal hurt, you would have to care less, which would mean less overall happiness in your life.

    It just doesn’t add up.

    So, no need to repeat yourself.  Please don’t continue to micro-zoom into my scientific points, and please address the ACTUAL point I’ve been making?  You HAVE NOT addressed it, you’re dodging like a champ.

     

     

  40. Why the notion that caring implies letdowns of epic proportions? Name several examples which have probabilities of happening in a given year greater than, say, BD’s favorite figure of 2%, and which unavoidably have a great negative impact on happiness.

  41. Why the notion that caring implies letdowns of epic proportions? Name several examples which have probabilities of happening in a given year greater than, say, BD’s favorite figure of 2%, and which unavoidably have a great negative impact on happiness.

    It all depends on the level of care.   If you feel mildly about most things, yeah, you won’t feel as many downs or as much sadness.   If you feel strongly about things, you’ll feel more sadness and more happiness.

    Die hard sports fans (and players), for example, that LOVE their team, feel sadness at every loss.   This is in exchange for feeling higher levels of happiness at every win.   Someone who chooses to not care much about sports, because they don’t want to fully experience the downs of all the inevitable losses, also will not fully experience the happinesses of all the wins.   Its just “ok, that’s cool” to them.  Contentment. . coasting at 6, not reaching a week of an elated 9 when the Panthers beat the Rams that week like the sports fan who cares.

    Or to enjoy NRE, a months-to-years long state of scientifically measurable elevated happiness, means there will be a crash of some kind.

    There are ways to channel and minimize, but the crash will come.   There are ways to channel the pain of a loss for a fan or player, but the crash will come.

    That’s the point. . it would seem to avoid sadness, means giving up happiness.   The premise of BD’s “School of Thought 3” does not square up.   It sounds like a reduction in overall caring or feeling in exchange for moderate contentment that he’s calling an “8 or 9” on his scale of 1-10.

    Where to TRULY experience a life at 8 or 9, you risk some time at 2 or 3. The skill then becomes about CHANNELING this time at 2-3 into something positive. Most successful people talk about this aspect being one of the most important, how to turn their downs into growth, and that this is where their largest growths are achieved. So why aim to avoid this?? You lose happiness, and you lose growth potential.

    Is what I’m saying that out of whack?   I feel its pretty accurate.

     

  42. how to turn their downs into growth <…> So why aim to avoid this?

    Who says that? I fully agree failures are great indicators of where to apply effort if one wants to grow. But why be sad, angry and resentful? By the same logic, should you cast away all civilization and let wild animals bite off your limbs from time to time so the ups you experience are staggering in contrast?

    I’d prefer my downs to be at 8.5 and ups at 9.5, please.

    P. S. BD, your server’s time appears to be off by as much as 5 minutes.

  43. This really resonates with me: maximising happiness and positive emotions, minimising unhappiness and negative emotions.

    Arranging one’s life to achieve the above makes so much sense.

    This is super important, I feel I have stumbled across a treasure in this blog.

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