Schopenhauer's Art of Being Happy

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Schopenhauer's Art of Being Happy

Last update: Augusts 31, 2020

The art of being happy it is defined by Schopenhauer starting from his theories. The German philosopher known for his pessimism claimed the existence of possible worlds, in ours happiness is nothing more than an artificial illusion.

Following the death of the philosopher, a manuscript entitled Die Kunst, glücklich zu sein, or The art of being happy, was found among his notes and personal possessions. Curiously, despite the pessimistic ideas that the German philosopher had defended throughout his life, among these pages he had developed and enumerated a series of rules with which to avoid unnecessary suffering, thus achieving a state of happiness.



Let's find out what, according to Schopenhauer, the art of being happy consists.  

Schopenhauer's Art of Being Happy

1. Avoid comparisons so as not to fall into envy

Schopenhauer's first rule of being happy it consists in avoiding the feeling of envy. According to the philosopher, envy is a very negative emotion that plunges us into a continuous state of dissatisfaction.

Always comparing ourselves to others and positioning ourselves on a lower level takes us away from happiness. To avoid this useless consequence, it is therefore important to abandon comparisons: each person is different and we must learn to accept ourselves.

2. Don't worry about missed results

Schopenhauer's Art of Being Happy teaches us to accept failure caused by bad decisions made while developing any project. The German philosopher invites us to try our best at all times. Knowing that we have given the best of ourselves, bad results will hurt less.

3. Always follow your instincts

Schopenhauer knew well that there are creative people and more logical people, the former more inclined to action and the latter to contemplation. In other words, he teaches us to let ourselves be guided by our instincts so that we can be ourselves and get to know each other better.



4. Don't depend on anyone to be happy

Schopnehauer's fourth rule for being happy teaches us to make happiness depend only and exclusively on oneself. In this way, we will avoid receiving disappointments from others and we will avoid that decisions independent of our will affect our mood.

5. Don't overestimate your own desires

Being aware of your limits and not getting carried away by unattainable desires will not cause despair thinking you cannot reach them. Instead, let's focus on our situation and plausible goals for us.

It is not a question of stopping dreaming, but of understanding that it is thoughts adapted to our possibilities that can make us feel really good.

6. Have control over your expectations

The art of being happy according to Schopenhauer involves the need to learn to adapt our expectations, in addition to our desires. In this sense, we will avoid that exaggerated expectations about a project or a person become a possible cause of unhappiness.

Definitely, it is a question of adopting a more realistic view of life and knowing how to deal with obstacles in a more adequate way.


7. Value what you have

To be happy, you need to learn to look beyond your material possessions. This will not only prevent us from feeling envious, as indicated in the first point, but it will also help us to give greater value to what is really important in our life.

In this sense, we will improve relations with our friends or family, giving them due importance.

8. Pay more attention to the present

The last of the rules proposed by Schopenhauer to be happy is linked to the time we dedicate to our past and our future. Losing ourselves brooding over the problems of the past will do us no benefit, the decisions now made cannot be changed.


On the other hand, spending too much time dreaming of the future can generate deep unhappiness, observing how our expectations and desires are not fulfilled. Therefore, it is necessary to know how to enjoy the pleasures offered to us by the present.

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