Author Topic: Translating "happiness" for non-MMMers  (Read 1806 times)

babysteps

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Translating "happiness" for non-MMMers
« on: August 24, 2013, 09:02:54 AM »
With MMM off to Ecuador soon for a kind of happiness summit, I've been talking to friends about happiness.  Mine, theirs, ours.

Luckily my friends are pretty accepting of my MMM-ish views, but when I say "happiness" they sometimes hear "shallow self-centered pleasure center" instead of "at peace with the world and happier/stronger for it".

Maybe what I mean by "happiness" is closer to what the consumer culture would call "contentment".
The way I see it, contentment-happiness is lasting and has a strong foundation, like a nice warm woodstove in a cabin on a cold night.
Consumer's happiness is brief, more like a short hit of adrenaline that a narcissist gets when someone pays attention to them.

Please share your "MMM happiness" word that translates to the broader consumer world - contentment doesn't have to be my final answer :)
Trying not to complicate my simple ;)

footenote

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Re: Translating "happiness" for non-MMMers
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2013, 10:09:43 AM »
Agree on your definition of consumerist "happiness". I have found that material objects always disappoint, never living up to the "happiness" you thought it would "buy" you.
It's always darkest before it dawns on you

matchewed

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Re: Translating "happiness" for non-MMMers
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2013, 10:20:50 AM »
Contentment is a good one. My boss has frequently turned to me and saying in a rather nasty tone, "You're so content with your position." I usually just thank him for his observation.

Acceptance is one I'm fond of too. Acceptance doesn't mean that you don't strive for something but that you accept the results of your work. If you fail you accept that you failed and move on, whether that's trying again or trying something different it doesn't matter. Although I'm not sure if you feel acceptance. Maybe I'm just using a crappy synonym to contentment.

Carrie

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Re: Translating "happiness" for non-MMMers
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2013, 10:35:09 AM »
Peace.  Not worrying about the future because the present is spent wisely.
Satisfaction.  Knowing that our choices reflect our values.
but, contentment is probably my favorite....


enderland

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Re: Translating "happiness" for non-MMMers
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2013, 10:36:15 AM »
Not so much a single word, but knowing you are choosing to live your life the way you want results in a very profound sense of contentment.

I am not working because I have a $500 car payment or $2000 mortgage payment. I could pretty easily manage my current lifestyle if I was making only minimum wage simply because I'm spending such a low percentage of my actual income. This is a feeling of freedom, peace, and contentment each time I go to work which coworkers who *need* their job cannot ever experience. I am choosing to be at that specific job.

The problem is this concept is incomprehensible to someone who spends what they earn.

babysteps

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Re: Translating "happiness" for non-MMMers
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2013, 10:46:46 AM »
Thanks all, keep 'em coming!  Much appreciated :)

[/quote]
Not so much a single word, but knowing you are choosing to live your life the way you want results in a very profound sense of contentment.

Yes!!

Acceptance is one I'm fond of too.

Acceptance, an excellent word. "Good enough" is my favorite phrase for acceptance of my own efforts.  I think 90% of life is pass fail, so acceptance comes in handy!!.  When I get too 'hm, how can I *fix* this (person/situation/thing)', I try to remind myself there is the option to accept (person/situation/thing) for what it is and chill out :)  "Try" being the operative word... 

Peace.  Not worrying about the future because the present is spent wisely.
Satisfaction.  Knowing that our choices reflect our values.
but, contentment is probably my favorite....

I like satisfaction as a potential one-word concept understandable to the consumer culture.  Peace is a good one too.
Trying not to complicate my simple ;)

sisca

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Re: Translating "happiness" for non-MMMers
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2013, 01:52:32 AM »
I know I am off here, but to me it is Safety.

I am a very safety oriented person, when it comes to money, though I am no stranger to risk. But if the roof over your head is truly yours, and no one can take it away, you are safe. The rest is icing on the cake. So that means I can accept risk on everything else, but not with the house.

Safety means I control what happens to me tomorrow. And what I do tomorrow. Maybe it is freedom that is the goal, but that comes from safety, I don't know.

FunkyStickman

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Re: Translating "happiness" for non-MMMers
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2013, 06:48:41 AM »
In today's Advertising-run world, "contentment" is a 4 letter word. Everybody is supposed to be discontent with what they have and where they are, otherwise, how could they sell you more stuff?
"There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means." -Calvin Coolidge

"Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities." - Mark Twain

hybrid

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Re: Translating "happiness" for non-MMMers
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2013, 09:39:24 AM »
In today's Advertising-run world, "contentment" is a 4 letter word. Everybody is supposed to be discontent with what they have and where they are, otherwise, how could they sell you more stuff?

Good point.  The only way you can possibly be happy (however briefly) is with new and better stuff, right?  Right?

I'm three months in now on my MMM journey.  It has been a transition to be sure, but not buying more stuff was the easiest transition to make.  Confusing tools needed for a different lifestyle (Craigslist bike, bike accessories, powered antenna to replace cable TV, gardening and canning supplies, etc.) with just regular old stuff trips me now and then (Hey, I'm still spending money!).  But now that we've tackled all the low hanging fruit and change comes more slowly I am looking forward to good old fashioned contentment.   
Is it October 1, 2016 yet?

vern

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Re: Translating "happiness" for non-MMMers
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2013, 08:26:56 PM »
What's that Joe Heller quote..."I have something he (a billionaire) will never have...Enough."

http://www.fastcompany.com/1737273/kurt-vonnnegut-having-enough-reminder-no-asshole-rule
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 08:28:59 PM by vern »
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smedleyb

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Re: Translating "happiness" for non-MMMers
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2013, 09:40:59 PM »
The key to happiness is realizing that seeking out only the things that make you happy will lead to misery.

Wisdom, knowledge, trust, care, love, peace -- there is much more to life than seeking out ways to satiate the happiness impulse.

babysteps

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Re: Translating "happiness" for non-MMMers
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2013, 12:43:39 PM »
The key to happiness is realizing that seeking out only the things that make you happy will lead to misery.

How true!

+1 on "enough"!!

one word we liked in my real life conversations, in addition to everything here:

fulfillment

Thanks again, I really appreciate all the ideas, was a great springboard for talking with non MMM friends.
Trying not to complicate my simple ;)