This week, Ewan has a new philosophy.
I’m sick of pursuing happiness. It’s a false idol. I will never be happy.
You will never be happy.
There is no magic kg to have on the bar.
No miracle bodyfat % that you will hit that will suddenly make it all come together. The job. The family. The car. Nope. Nothing. We’re fucked.
There are serious arguments that can be made that demonstrate we aren’t meant to be happy. As Tim Minchin put it: ‘content homus erectus got eaten’. We’re biologically designed to remember bad events in more clarity than happy ones, it’s necessary from an evolutionary standpoint; ‘my dad got eaten by a wolf, better avoid wolves from now on.’
And yet it’s constantly pushed on us we need to be happy. Tick this box, buy this thing, achieve this dream and you will finally be happy. Forever. Hooray.
Since, quite recently, realising that this is absolute guff I’ve decided to stop pursuing happiness. Instead I am striving to be engaged, interested, ecstatic, miserable, exhausted, in love, in pain and in oblivion. Happy is a banal, vague term. It’s the wettest of emotions. Why pursue happy anyway? It’s a mediocre feeling that is fleeting and meaningless.
This new approach to life is so incredibly liberating. Happiness, to me, seems to be measured by comparing yourself to others: I have this thing that they don’t, therefore my life is better than theirs, therefore I must be happy.
Once you give up this pursuit, once you step off this straight and narrow track and into the open plain… well, that’s true freedom.