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  • The Pursuit of Happiness: 21 Steps to Continuous Life Improvement Learning how to examine one's life and change it to maximize happiness is a very powerful skill. Increasing one's tranquility and happiness can lift the human spirit to a high level of grace and dignity. In this text, we propose a process of examining one's life and carefully reconstructing it to maximize tranquility and happiness. We encourage each reader to examine his own life and make improvements based on his own judgment an…
  • 11. Add Behaviors Which Bring Happiness! As you make decisions on behavior throughout your life, be sensitive to feelings of joy, kindness, love, beauty, grace and other positive emotions. Select behavior and seek out situations that promote and maximize these feelings. 12. Shut Down Negative Thoughts! You are enjoying something, and suddenly a thought comes flying out from your deep subconcious that causes you doubt, guilt, fear or anxiety. For example, you are taking a nice hot shower and enj…
  • At the time I wrote that piece, I had left employment a few months prior and was living off of savings and investments. My focus was on how my long term "sacrifice" of saving enabled me to live a free life of my own choosing. That is the background for my focus on rational hedonism and the need for careful decisions. Today, after four years of freedom, my challenge has more to do with balancing my personal comfort with the need to do some strenuous activity to get some exercise. So my situation…
  • (Quote from Martin)Yes, on original writing, the focus in that paragraph is in part on desires such as those which come from advertising, consumerism or media lifestyle marketing. These desires are not really beneficial or pleasing other than in initial acquisition and over the long term they don't provide enough pleasure for the cost of money, time, or mental energy expended on them. Perhaps these desires are better described as false promises rather than unnecessary. There may be other desire…
  • I intend to edit the following sections and welcome comment: (Quote from Garden Dweller)This section will be replaced with: 16. Preserve the Health of Your Body Your level of happiness over the long term depends on how you treat your body. Neglect and abuse can bring pain. Eat healthy foods, exercise and use your body to maintain your fitness level. Use appropriate hygiene and preventative medical care. Exercise is an example of a short term discomfort that has long term benefits. Strive to ach…
  • (Quote from Garden Dweller)I intend to replace this with: 18. Rational Behavior Decisionmaking In order to use reason to live a life of happiness and tranquility, one applies rational decisionmaking to ones life based on the philosophy of Epicurus. Rational Behavior Decisionmaking involves selecting one's behavior and activities, including: Which activities we choose to do each day Which people we associate with How we speak to and treat other people Recognizing nature through our senses What w…
  • (Quote from Garden Dweller)I agree that focusing one's attention on negative things is not good for the mind. I may need to go through the full text and change the focus from negative sensory inputs to ways of enhancing comfort. ... Present Moment Physical Comfort Enhancement Be attentive to one's body and how one could improve comfort and contentment. At frequent intervals, one should be aware of one's current physical state and imagine what one could do to increase comfort, such as drinking t…
  • What types of things would one do to increase mental comfort?
  • Some mental pains that I can imagine are anxiety, worry, desire for revenge, fear and anger. I know that one of the basic goals of Epicurus is to reduce or eliminate fear/anxiety/worry in humans. I am using the terms Rational Decisionmaking and Rational Behavior Decisionmaking in place of the term Hedonistic Calculus. Section 18 is an attempt to describe Hedonistic Calculus, how one would make behavior decisions using criteria that align with Epicurean philosophy. I don't like the philosophical…
  • Tell me if I am over-interpreting the Epicurean approach: A student of Epicurus, when confronted with a pain causing problem, will use a strategic method to relieve the pain, including: Analysis of the root causes of the problem, which may be complex and not easily discerned. Consulting with others on how best to resolve the problem, including use of the body of knowledge obtained through scientific method. Respond to the problem by means of a strategy focused on achieving a state of pleasure, …
  • I have applied the edits to sections 16 and 18.