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#211493 - 12/05/05 12:04 AM Why are geniuses never truly happy?
Bushi_no_ki Offline

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
One of our members has/had a signature line that said "I'll rather be happy than right". There have been other threads with links to documents over the last few days (here and bullshido) where it was painfully obvious that the writer was both highly intelligent and not really happy in life. Looking upon my own life, I see the same thing. I'm highly intelligent, I've learned alot in my short life, but I'm not truly happy with my life. Look throughout history, and all the people who come across as intelligent, or even geniuses, also come across as being less than happy most of their lives. Examples would include Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon Bonaparte, Albert Einstein, etc. Can anyone think of a reason why this is?

#211494 - 12/05/05 12:18 AM Re: Why are geniuses never truly happy? [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
I think it has to go along the cliched lines of:

Ignorance is bliss
What you don't know, can't hurt you

This might just be a correlation, not a cause.
These people were also under enormous stress in their days, they had a LOT to do, a lot of responsabilities, and a lot to think about. Being the smarty pants that they were, people probably looked up to them, expected and demanded answers and perfection from them....

Like I said though, this is probably just an interesting correlation rather than causation.....
There's a good study most psych classes use to illustrate this point, about toasters and birth control. I can't remember the name of it, or the researchers, but it's a common example of why correlation does not equal causation.
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

#211495 - 12/05/05 12:19 AM Re: Why are geniuses never truly happy? [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA

The don't generally focus on the happy geniuses, because they don't complain.

Life is hard on many levels. How you view and accept life and how you live your life will engender happiness, or not.

Rememeber Aristotle...the unexamined life is one not worth living. I would have an addendum to that and state that if you have found things unhappy in life, correct what you can and abide the rest. Happiness on one level will take care of itself.

I hope things work out for you.


#211496 - 12/05/05 01:06 AM Re: Why are geniuses never truly happy? [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Foolsgold Offline

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 1635
Loc: South Lyon, MI, USA
LOL! We just can't win, can we?

(Or lose. This is, after all, the zen forum. )
Soy stupido, pero soy guapo!

#211497 - 12/05/05 01:09 AM Re: Why are geniuses never truly happy? [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
take this with a grain of salt bushi...I'm just picking on you, but there is a point.

I'd rather be happy AND right. When I see cake, I like to eat it too.

Abraham Lincoln - civil war was probably kindof a 'downer'.

Napoleon Bonaparte - what conquoer in history has ever been happy? oh, I'm happy with taking west Europe, think I'll stop here. nope...on to Russia!

Albert Einstein - women problems and WW2 Germany...can you blame him?

how about Mozart? money trouble.
Da Vinci? church and political problems. (too bad he didn't invent separation of church and state)
Steven Hawking? seems happy to me despite the wheel chair, incurable disease and life support.

maybe they became who they are BECAUSE of the hardship and sadness that follows? maybe it takes extrodanary circumstances to make people extrodanary.

now Edgar Allan Poe and Van Gogh were some unhappy fellas...not sure what happened there. think it was abject fear of death and a broken heart.

#211498 - 12/05/05 01:21 AM Re: Why are geniuses never truly happy? [Re: Ed_Morris]
Foolsgold Offline

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 1635
Loc: South Lyon, MI, USA
I actually think there's something to what Bushi is saying. For instance, when I read this verse:

23Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 19)

...I think of it as applying to all things in life (intelligence, skills, ability, social status, etc.). The more we have, the more we have to lose. I know that there's something like this in the Tao te Ching (sp?), but I'm not as familiar with that. It was something like: With wisdom comes war and poverty, with foolishness comes peace and joy.

Wow, I butchered that.
Soy stupido, pero soy guapo!

#211499 - 12/05/05 01:26 AM Re: Why are geniuses never truly happy? [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
If it makes you feel any better I know stupid people that aren't happy either.
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<

#211500 - 12/05/05 01:46 AM Re: Why are geniuses never truly happy? [Re: BrianS]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772

#211501 - 12/05/05 02:29 AM Re: Why are geniuses never truly happy? [Re: BrianS]
Bushi_no_ki Offline

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
It's not that I'm necessarily unhappy with my life. There have been good parts to it. Part of what triggered this thread is that recently I was looking at alot of photos of myself, and it seems that from about the age of twelve, each year, the smile seems more and more forced, or less and less a smile. In fact, it seems the periods of time I enjoyed the most were when I was focused entirely on some serious task.

I guess some element of loneliness might have something to do with it. I have only three really close friends that I can sit and talk to for long periods of time, and that is only because they are also more intelligent than average. Perhaps living in a more populated area might alleviate some of that, but as some of you know, I'm somewhat limited in my ability to move, hence joining the Army. I expect that there are many people out in the world today who have above average IQs, who get to do a job related to what they are truly passionate about, but we never hear about such people. They would be the auto mechanic who could give you the stats of every NASCAR race ever, or the clerk at Barnes & Noble who is consumed by reading. But in this area, I have been denied jobs related to the things I'm interested in, despite multiple applications (I guess the video game stores don't want me becuase they figure I'll spend all my time on the demo systems while at work ) I do know that much of my lack of happiness is due to knowing that I have so much potential going unfullfilled. All I need though, is an opportunity, which hasn't well been presented to me at this point (the people who could have made such an opportunity keep messing things up royally, except for my recruiter) Perhaps it's just a matter of time, and enlisting, and having the opportunity to excel. I will know soon enough.

#211502 - 12/05/05 03:26 AM Re: Why are geniuses never truly happy? [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Alicia Offline

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 222
Loc: BC, Canada
Why geniuses aren't ever really happy is because they're smart enough to figure out the system. We are all controlled to maintain the structure of society. If we weren't to cooperate, the structure would collapse. We base our lives around capital, something to which we assign value, and consequently, something artificial that will never truly make us happy. Break the cycle. Find out what really makes you happy (things that aren't harmful to anyone), and try to incorporate it in your daily life as much as possible. Don't focus on money. Earn enough money to be comfortable. Don't base your life on it. Base your life on happiness, and money to simply pay for the necessities. This is all easier said than done.

If you like videogames, try to find a realistic videogame-related job. Once in a while, there will be jobs posted in local BC papers for people wanting work as video game testers - people who test out video games for a living. Find out if there are any opportunities like this in your area.

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