how can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?

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ukelly
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how can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?

Post by ukelly »

Hi

Not sure if this is a philosophy question. I asked this in a science forum and they said it's not science. I am pretty sure it's philosophy.

sometimes, I discover a new way of doing something, and then I am like "all these years I was doing it wrong. If I had only known this better way, how cool would it be"

I will give you a simple example. let's say you don't know scanners with document feeders exist. So you have a scanner without a feeder. every day, you have to scan a bunch of papers. you waste so much time doing this. Then suddenly, you discover this other kind of scanner that has a feeder. You can just feed it and forget it. then you think "all this time I wasted so much time, I WISH I had known about this other scanner"

Now I will extrapolate that to life. how can I live my life to the fullest? How can I make sure that on my death bed, I won't be like "all this time, I lived like this, I wish I had lived this other way, which is better"?

Does that make sense to anyone what I am asking?
RickLewis
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Re: how can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?

Post by RickLewis »

It makes complete sense, yes. I do think it is a useful way to look at life and also at life decisions. You imagine yourself on your deathbed and ask yourself whether, looking back, you will be happier to have chosen path A or path B.

There may be limits to the usefulness of this perspective. I'm not sure.

Suppose you spent decades of your life investigating the Loch Ness Monster, and spent many quiet, happy days messing around in boats on Loch Ness, or giving talks about the subject, meeting interesting people who shared your hobby, perhaps writing books and articles which brought you satisfaction and pride.

Then, on your deathbed, maybe just ten minutes before you died, you were thinking back over all the evidence and you came quietly and seriously to the conclusion that the Loch Ness Monster does not exist. You decide that you have spent your life chasing a figment of somebody else's imagination.

Would this mean that your whole life had been meaningless? Or just the last ten minutes of it?

I'm undecided. What do you think?
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Immanuel Can
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Re: how can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?

Post by Immanuel Can »

Is there a difference between, say, being whatever we mean by "happy" and being what we might call "fulfilled," or "content," or "free from regret"?

Aristotle's concept is sometimes translated "happy," particularly when people quote Solon's axiom in reference to him:

"Call no man happy until he's dead."

But Aristotle had more the latter three adjectives in mind, and less the first one, it seems.

One could drug oneself on one's deathbed, so that no matter how perverse or wretched one had been in life one could *feel* happy in death...but is that what we're after, a feeling not a fact?

What does it mean to have a happy death?
duszek
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Re: how can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?

Post by duszek »

A mistake can have nice side-effects.

You look for the right office and you go the wrong way and you find out things by accident.
If you had gone straight to the right office you would not have made all these additional accidental experiences.

Being active and leading one´s life is important. Otherwise life just happens to you and you endure it passively.

But buddhists seem to argue that action makes you exhausted. You you should rather let yourself flow with the flow.

Difficult.
marjoramblues
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Re: how can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?

Post by marjoramblues »

ukelly wrote:Hi

I asked this in a science forum and they said it's not science. I am pretty sure it's philosophy.

M: Hi and welcome, u kelly or uk elly :)
Why did you ask this in a science forum; did you think the answer would be related to knowledge of physiology, pharmacy, physicians. If dying from a terminal disease, then medication may not ensure 'happiness', but you may well be pain-free physically albeit psychologically deadened. Also, if it is about control over the way in which you die, then there are practical and legal matters re assisted death. So many areas to discuss...


sometimes, I discover a new way of doing something, and then I am like "all these years I was doing it wrong. If I had only known this better way, how cool would it be"

M: Knowledge is key. As is awareness of what is right and wrong, for you. Easier to say than achieve. I guess that many are disturbed by the prospect of dying without having either valued life or the perception that they might have misloved or mislived.

I will give you a simple example. let's say you don't know scanners with document feeders exist. So you have a scanner without a feeder. every day, you have to scan a bunch of papers. you waste so much time doing this. Then suddenly, you discover this other kind of scanner that has a feeder. You can just feed it and forget it. then you think "all this time I wasted so much time, I WISH I had known about this other scanner"

M: Time can be wasted by not knowing about improved ways of doing things; however, what is done with all the apparent freed up time allowed by hi-tech. Time is precious and, even if actions are laborious, perhaps repetitive and boring, there is time to think. Multi-tasking, if you like. Also, you can't wish your life away. There will always be better and worse actions or decisions. If you wish for anything, wish for wisdom ; it is good that you found the PN forum, it's full of it. And more...

Now I will extrapolate that to life. how can I live my life to the fullest? How can I make sure that on my death bed, I won't be like "all this time, I lived like this, I wish I had lived this other way, which is better"?

M: First, you can never be sure that you will be happy on your death bed, even if you have developed a full and satisfying life and philosophy. Brain chemicals an' all that.

Living life to the fullest - well, what do you mean by that - there are all kinds of philosophy to suit distinct personalities, backgrounds...
I've just finished reading 'A Guide to the Good Life: { the ancient art of stoic joy } by Willima B Irvine. Ch 18 deals with Dying: On a Good End to a Good Life.


Does that make sense to anyone what I am asking?

M: Yup. sure does :)
marjoramblues
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Re: how can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?

Post by marjoramblues »

Rick:
Then, on your deathbed, maybe just ten minutes before you died, you were thinking back over all the evidence and you came quietly and seriously to the conclusion that the Loch Ness Monster does not exist. You decide that you have spent your life chasing a figment of somebody else's imagination.

Would this mean that your whole life had been meaningless? Or just the last ten minutes of it?

I'm undecided. What do you think?
A high-dose drip of Irn Bru will soon sort that sorta nonsense out, so it will 8)

http://www.irn-bru.co.uk/adverts/favourite-ads.html

Love the 'Snowman' vid :)
Irn Bru Gets You Through

or...

another 'jingle'
Know God
Know Peace
No God
No Peace

Each to his own tranquility trail...
aiddon
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Re: how can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?

Post by aiddon »

ukelly wrote: Now I will extrapolate that to life. how can I live my life to the fullest? How can I make sure that on my death bed, I won't be like "all this time, I lived like this, I wish I had lived this other way, which is better"?
For some reason, though it is very difficult to attribute it to anything evolutionary, human beings are hardwired to wonder what another existence would have been like. Could I have been a better person? If you are not a believer in determinism, then it is possible to imagine living your life a thousand different ways - this in itself is a scintillating prospect. Therefore it is easy to see how one may ask the question, "Why have I lived this life, when all other lives were equally possible?" Add to this the current fixation in society of the notion that anything is possible in life, that one should not set limitations on oneself. You want to be an astronaut, then heck, go be an astronaut! - the myth perpetuated by marketing companies and tv reality shows that you can be anything you want to be. Rampant commercialism is the fuel that burns the fire. What has resulted in recent years is a society living well beyond its means, and increased unhappiness because reality rarely matches expectation.
RickLewis wrote: Would this mean that your whole life had been meaningless? Or just the last ten minutes of it?
Existentialism says yes. So would many others. But who cares about meaning? As Camus believed, as long as you can be happy in the fact that it is all meaningless, then there's no problem.
Tusok
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Re: how can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?

Post by Tusok »

Ukelly is drawing conclusions from two concepts that aren't related. How you live your life doesn't have anything to do whether you are happy or not. Have you ever had a sad day, just because? Have you had a happy day, just because? Did you not do exactly the same thing on both days?

You can also draw some comfort in knowing that, no matter what you do, there is always a better way to do it. So what? The method of doing something can be just as important as the outcome.

Finally, how do you ensure that you die a happy man?

Easy.

Live a happy life today.
aiddon
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Re: how can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?

Post by aiddon »

Seeing as nobody replied to my previous offering, may i offer this one:
Question: How can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?
Do what my father did and request that everyone he ever disliked stay away from his funeral. He even had a list made out. This seemed to bring him great peace in the end.
Impenitent
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Re: how can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?

Post by Impenitent »

overdose on laughing gas

-Imp
Skip
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Re: how can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?

Post by Skip »

Now I will extrapolate that to life. how can I live my life to the fullest? How can I make sure that on my death bed, I won't be like "all this time, I lived like this, I wish I had lived this other way, which is better"?
Make two lists.

One, the Negative: All the things that cause you sorrow, pain, irritation and frustration every day; the aspects of your life that chafe. Then, tick off the ones you can't immediately do anything about and circle the ones that are left. Number those from most to least discomfort and copy them onto separate sheets of paper. Take the top sheet and figure out how you can be rid of the cause of that discomfort. Might be a simple matter of cutting off relations with an overly critical parent, or a long and difficult one, like kicking an addiction. Whatever it takes, admit the cause, face the problem and solve it. Then switch over to

List Two, the Positive: All the things you have longed to do or own or try or taste or see and, for whatever reason, have not. Tick off the impossibles and prioritize the possibles - in inverse order of the pleasure anticipate from them: least to most. Make yourself a present of the first one, as soon as you've succeeded in shedding the first negative thing.

Go to page 2 of the negative list. Fix problem. Switch lists. Reward success with a pleasure.

If you're still alive when you've done everything you can, start on the impossible lists.

You might never be truly happy (that's up to you, alone), but I guarantee you'll never be bored.
marjoramblues
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Re: how can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?

Post by marjoramblues »

'Negativity bias' apparently means that to achieve some kind of 'happy' balance, we need to work up 5 times more positive feelings or interactions.
There seems to be a built-in survival mechanism so that generally people are more inclined to avoidance of pain rather than pursuing pleasure; also there is a tendency to remember 'bad' experiences more. Trouble is we might misperceive and misremember...due to cognitive distortions. See links below.
This idea of negativity bias is seen in all aspects of our lives, especially when it comes to our relationships. With the disproportionate amount of weight our brain’s put on negativity it is no wonder our relationships are affected. A person must learn how to balance the positive and negative atmospheres in a relationship. Researchers have described it as a sort of “thermostat” that regulates this balance in healthy relationships and marriages. Due to the disproportionate weight of negativity though, it is not a 50-50 equal balance. There is an actual ratio researchers have discovered that is required for a healthy relationship life for both people involved. This ratio is five to one. There must be five times as much positive feelings and interactions in the relationship than negative.

This five to one ratio has actually been found to be significant not only in our intimate relationships but in other aspects of our lives, as well. Researchers found that occasional “big” positive events don’t impact the brain enough to overlook the negativity bias. Our brain is in need of many small positive experiences to tilt the balance towards positive feelings and happiness.

Definitiveness: Humans rely heavily on distinguishing features from an object. For example, when talking about cars, people rely on the features that make a certain car stand out from another car.
However, when this effect is applied to perception of people, it is the negative traits that stand out. Normal traits of people tend to be positive traits, so when perceiving other people, humans rely heavily on the negative appearances such as a big nose or a round tummy.

People are much more likely to choose things based on their need to avoid negative experiences, rather than on their desire to get positive things.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negativity_bias

Think carefully before judging others and your experiences:
http://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-c ... istortions

The What, Why and How of Happiness
http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/h ... definition
marjoramblues
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Re: how can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?

Post by marjoramblues »

Skip: Might be a simple matter of cutting off relations with an overly critical parent

Simple matter? How so? And what about the happiness of the perceived 'overly critical' parent ?

Did you make such lists yourself ? Anyone else ?
marjoramblues
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Re: how can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?

Post by marjoramblues »

aiddon wrote:Seeing as nobody replied to my previous offering, may i offer this one:
Question: How can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?
Do what my father did and request that everyone he ever disliked stay away from his funeral. He even had a list made out. This seemed to bring him great peace in the end.
Goodness, what is this thing with 'lists'.
How difficult would it be for anyone to meet the requests of a dying person when it might result in soured relationships with the living? For example, an aunt and cousins...

Dying people who extract difficult to keep promises from close ones are guilty of supreme selfishness.
marjoramblues
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Re: how can I make sure I am happy on my death bed?

Post by marjoramblues »

How useful and important are 'To-do' lists' in achieving a fulfilled life :?:

Who could persuade or inspire you to make one :?:

Umberto Eco; Benjamin Franklin - the list could go on...and on...

http://www.fastcompany.com/3021379/work ... ally-works
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