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The Power of the Granted -- Why I Choose to Be Unhappy

Updated: Mar 7

A man writing in a sad mood.

The Hedonic Treadmill

The things we possess, including money, do not increase our happiness once we get used to them. Once we get used to things, they slowly but gradually become indifferent to us. We start to take their existence in our lives for granted, until we forget the value we once placed on them, at least empirically. This can make them, even, seem worthless in our eyes.

The key to maintaining our happiness lies in maintaining a perspective that will nurture gratitude and appreciation we have for the things we already possess. Getting more and more things we don't need, just to be happy, is a waste of time and money, and is the fault in financial materialism. Instead, we can create a mindset of gratitude and appreciation, which is free of charge.

This is the cycle of financial materialism: chasing after something that we think will make us happy, only to find that it doesn't once we get used to it. This leads us to buy more and more things, just to maintain the initial happiness. However, this is actually counterproductive, because it leads to addiction. And every addiction leads to short-term happiness in quantity, but not to long-term happiness in quality. Such is the case, for example, with coffee.

This is why I know that even if I were to become rich, I would most likely become accustomed to it. I would be mentally the same way I was before I was rich. This would make the quest for wealth counterproductive. The return to point 1, the point of no satisfaction, is inevitable unless we develop a mindset of satisfaction, regardless of our financial and social status.

In other words, happiness is not something that we can buy. And the best way to create happiness is to focus on the things that we already have, and to be grateful for them.

Granted: Subverted and Utilized

As for myself I purposefully choose to be unhappy and unsatisfied, so I would get more work done on and for Philosocom. Ambition leads to suffering, and because I take suffering as granted, the same as I do with many of my achievements as a writer, I don't mind it as much.

Taking things for granted helps me a lot to ease my daily agonies. From war (October 2023) to skin hunger to that period I used to be a physical handicap due to post-trauma, and more. I choose to take my lack of satisfaction and convert it into a drive for work, hence why I undermine the idea of relishing in the fruits of my labor -- because I desire to make more "fruit".

I take my quest for vengeance as granted as well because I know whatever I'll do, will never be enough to satisfy my heart and mind. Because I also take that as granted as well, I am hoping to construct the best philosophy blog out there, per my vision. Empires are built on the lust for more, and thus, on suffering.

I might never be happy as I used to be back when I was a child in the 2000's. However I don't care, and take that for granted, too. I mentally survive by internalizing facts and possible facts as quickly and and logically as I can. I discard what is too impractical to indulge on, and focus on whatever can be converted into the product of either a new article, or a revamped one.


Hence why I have chosen asceticism over hedonism. The joy already exists within the potential of our minds, and even then, not everyone wants to be joyful and/or happy. Hedonists can live the way they do and rarely feel any joy beyond the immediate pleasure of costly things. Ascetics might as well disregard the topic of taking things for granted, completely, as asceticism has its own reasoning that may be irrelevant to this notion.

Everything else is extra, not the essence. You might be surprised to find that you are still unhappy despite achieving the things you achieved.

Hence why, unlike many, I do not base my achievements upon emotions. I take it for granted that I shouldn't act on petty emotion, nor see it as "evidence" for my success, which depends on the external world, not my heart.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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