EF31 (BTP-EF10): Dharma, Modifying Negative Thinking and the Never Ending Pursuit of Happiness by Embracing Suffering — Behind the Podcast of Episode EF10

(EF31) BTP-EF10: Dharma Modifying Negative Thinking and the Never Ending Pursuit of Happiness by Embracing Suffering Behind the Podcast of Episode EF10

(EF31) BTP-EF10: Dharma Modifying Negative Thinking and the Never Ending Pursuit of Happiness by Embracing Suffering — Behind the Podcast of Episode EF10

PLAY | DOWNLOAD From Ancient India and Greece, to modern Western Culture, we can find countless theories on what happiness is and how to attain it. So why is our ability to attain it no better today—and, by some measures, on the decline—even after thousands of years of intellectual progress? More...


Spoiler alert: You’re about to listen to a Behind The Podcast (BTP) of Episode EF10, which was Season 1, Episode 8 of the Evolve Faster Podcast titled The Road to Happiness is Inked in Suffering. The driving question of this episode (and this BTP) for you to think through is … Does happiness define the good? It’s a fascinating question that actually has surprisingly little research or philosophical investigation.

As a reminder about Episode EF10: Coming from a wealthy family, most others would only dream of the life Alex leads. Every moment is another silver platter where he is handed all the best education, can have his pick of expensive items and to experience seemingly infinite joys. Although grateful for everything, Alex can’t shake the reality he isn’t happy or fulfilled by any of this at all—nor could he really even define what happiness would look like for him. But why? What could possibly be missing when having everything you want?

The eighth episode of the first season of the Evolve Faster Podcast Episode is driven by the big question Does happiness define the good. We want to be happy, yet there are only a few people who can honestly claim that. So are we hardwired to sadness or simply bad at our job?

To peek behind the curtain of Episode EF10, we’ll dissect the following submitted questions:

  • Why the question “does happiness define the good”?
  • Does this happen to people who are very rich?
  • What is dharma?
  • What did you learn writing this episode?
  • Is Alex Sid from one of the previous episodes? Why does he reappear so many times?
  • Who is Mr. Wright supposed to be? Who is the nameless, tattoo shop guy?
  • And more…

Does Happiness Define the Good?

The big question driving Episode EF10 is … Does happiness define the good? We need to be happy to feel good. Even a 4-year-old child knows this somewhere in the chaos of their still-evolving mind. Thus, it seems logical the closer we are to becoming happy 24/7, the better. But when was the last time you met someone who achieved this? And have you ever thought through the practicalities of such a scenario?

Although as a society we’re trying extremely hard to be happy, it doesn’t seem we’re doing too good of a job. Even worse, when we finally achieve happiness, it doesn’t take long for the sunny day to turn into a thunderstorm. So is it possible we got the entire idea wrong? Maybe happiness isn’t the only ingredient towards a good life? Perhaps we do need a healthy amount of sadness, anger, frustration, in which case, it’s rather all about finding the balance.

Into The Rabbit Hole

SHOW NOTES: This episode is dedicated to Kurt Vonnegut. See the EF31 Show Notes for details of the dedication, inspirations, references, selected quotes and more.

ABOUT THE EVOLVE FASTER PODCAST: Everything is changing, yet the questions that drive us remain the same. Will humanity face the absurdity of our collective existential crisis in time? Join Scott Ely as he takes us deep into the rabbit hole with philosophical tales to reboot your mind, upgrade your life and explore your soul. To Evolve Faster is to see the fact that you will die someday as a formidable challenge, instead of a source of immense fear. Create your reality…before it creates you. Isn’t it time for an upgrade? More episodes…

SUBSCRIBE: The Evolve Faster Podcast is written, performed and produced by Scott Ely. Writing and production of each episode of the podcast is a significant undertaking spanning many months—it’s a labor of love, but it needs your help to survive. To help ensure the creation of more episodes, please learn about ways you can support the podcast (register, share, review and subscribe) on the Support Evolve Faster page. Your help is much appreciated.