Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Forget this idea of seeking happiness

Author: Paulo Coelho

Countries where income is under US$ 10,000 a year are countries where the majority of the population is unhappy. However, it was discovered that from that figure upwards, monetary difference is not all that important.

A scientific study conducted on the 400 richest persons in the United States shows that they are only slightly happier than those who earn US$ 20,000.

The logical consequence: of course, poverty is something unacceptable, but the old saying that “money does not bring happiness” is being proved in laboratories.

Happiness is just another of the tricks that our genetic system plays on us to carry out its only role, which is the survival of the species.

So, to force us to eat or make love, it is necessary to add an element called “pleasure”.

However happy people say they are, nobody is satisfied: we always have to be with the prettiest woman, buy a bigger house, change cars, desire what we do not have.

This is also a subtle manifestation of the instinct of survival: at the moment when everyone feels completely happy, no-one will dare to do anything different and the world will stop evolving.

Therefore, both on the physical plane (eating, making love) and on the emotional plane (always wanting something we do not have), the evolution of humanity has dictated one important and fundamental rule: happiness cannot last.

It will always be made of moments, so we can never get comfortable in an armchair and just contemplate the world.

Conclusion: Better forget this idea of seeking happiness at any cost and look for more interesting things like unknown seas, strangers, provocative thoughts, risky experiences.

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