The Happiness Paradox – Why Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

March 17, 2024

Mark Manson explains the happiness paradox in his book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

“Here’s the thing that’s wrong with all of the “How to Be Happy” shit that’s been shared eight million times on Facebook in the past few years — here’s what nobody realizes about all of this crap:

The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.

This is a total mind-f*ck.

So I’ll give you a minute to unpretzel your brain and maybe read that again:

Wanting positive experience is a negative experience; accepting negative experience is a positive experience.

It’s what the philosopher Alan Watts used to refer to as “the backwards law”— the idea that the more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place.”

– Mark Manson, Author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: : A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

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