EF10 (S1-E8): The Road to Happiness is Inked in Suffering

(EF10) S1-E8: The Road to Happiness is Inked in Suffering The Evolve Faster Podcast with Scott Ely Season One

(EF10) S1-E8: The Road to Happiness is Inked in Suffering (Season One, Episode Eight)

PLAY | DOWNLOAD Even though today’s world is obsessed with happiness, many measures would indicate it’s attainment is on the decline. What if happiness isn’t a lovely, attainable destination, but instead, a journey of learning to embrace day-to-day suffering? And does happiness define the good anyway? 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.

Episode EF10 Summary

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?

“It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey.” This trite expression is one of the modern favorites in a bin of overused cliches we tell ourselves when we start to lack that next hit of happiness. But is it really trite or just misunderstood? Being a cliche doesn’t necessarily make something wrong. Instead, that comes when we don’t actually change things in order to live by the message of such wise life lessons. 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?

Into the Rabbit Hole

SHOW NOTES: This episode is dedicated to Kurt Vonnegut. See the EF10 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.