Is it a problem when you don't have any problems?

Uncertain's picture

Why do I feel so detached from everything?
Is it a sign of a problem when I become so detached I don't 'feel' like I have any more problems?

Like a cancerous growth inside me that I haven't discovered or have learnt to ignore -

But I no longer feel its pain either.

So what difference does it actually make? Is it true that you need problems to make you more human, to make you understand the highs and lows, to make you empathise better?

Why is this all about outcomes? Is there something else just... intrinsically wrong about it?

I -think- (not feel) of myself as a totally administered machine. I have direction. I churn out essays. I carve out bits of my life to socialise, to exercise, to rest. I debate ideas I no longer believe in (and win). I act on stage (but I'm no longer performing). I already speak three languages yet I'm learning German and Japanese (not for their beauty, but for their means-end utility to potentital future careers). I do my hair everyday, I exfoliate my skin, I make myself perfectly presentable. I think socialising is reducible to formulas. People are more or less moulds of similar things.

Is nothing for the here and now? What does that even mean?


swimmerguy's picture

What I do

I do whatever I think will create optimum happiness for me.
I mean, even though it makes me less happy now to do schoolwork and get at least mediocre grades, it'll make me happier in the future when I'm able to at least make more than 2 dollars a year.
But if I have a A-, and there's a huge extra credit assignment that will get me an A that will take all weekend, I'd rather go to a party and just take the A-, because it'll probably never make my life worse in the future in any way, and it will make my life better now.

I don't like how our whole society has become very conservative in that it's always, planning for the future, planning from elementary school which college to go to, then which job, then planning a career path until a retirement that won't be that great anyway.
I mean, I really don't care about having money. At all. I'd like to always have enough food, hopefully, but beyond that I don't care as long as I'm doing something that makes me happy.
I don't even have any clue what college I'm going to or what I'm going to study there. I'll just wing it. Whatever I deem will make me the happiest.

Uncertain's picture

The paradox is that what you

The paradox is that what you described is exactly the sort of outlook I have (or had - depending on how you look at it).

The goal is happiness. I don't think anyone sets out to do things that will make them unhappy (generally speaking). It's just that the means don't always take you there, and maybe it's time to have a little reflection.

swimmerguy's picture


If anyone thinks about it, they want happiness.
But the problem is I think that people lose sight of that goal.
It would be like people who look down on other people for not showering every day.
I mean, I swim every day, so I take a shower in the morning before school so that my hair isn't straw for the whole day.
But during times when I'm not swimming, there's no real need to. In modern society, we hardly get dirty. If I don't feel like taking showers, I take a shower every 3 or 4 days if I so wish.
If you didn't like showers and didn't do things that required them, there'd be no reason to shower every day, as long as you didn't notice any filth, I guarantee your happiness would be increased.

Or, to give a more real example, my mom tells my brother to wash the car about every 5 days. Now, all he does every day is just drive around the clean town roads, he's not off-roading or anything, and he doesn't notice any filth.
If it was his decision, he'd use that time to be off having a good time somewhere and only wash the car when he noticed a truly disgusting amount of filth on the car. Which would be maybe once a month, or less, I dunno.
Anyway, my point is, even though washing the car every 5 days probably won't make ANYONE happier, my mom demands that it be done, because she's forgotten that happiness is the endgame, and she's been caught up in washing the car is something that must be done, and forgotten why.

It starts in school. We're told, we need to do our schoolwork in order to be successful and happy in life.
Which is true, to a certain point, and depending on what you want.
But most kids should do their schoolwork even if it diminishes their current happiness because it will increase their future happiness. And so then it comes into their mind as something that must get done for happiness.
And then they continue with that, and then they clean their house every day, because they never really thought about it, they're still on that track that cleaning their house must get done, but it's not for happiness anymore. They've forgotten the original reason you do anything, and just continued with a good work ethic, and continued doing useless things because they didn't realize they were useless.

elph's picture

I feel a need to say something appropriate...

But... the best I can come up with at this instance is:

I am in awe at (of?) the thought processes that contributed to this exchange...